Beijing:Serena Williams' bid for a first Olympic singles gold went up in smoke here on Thursday after she lost to Russian number five seed Elena Dementieva in the quarter-finals.
Number four seed Williams, who won doubles gold with her sister Venus at the Sydney Games but missed Athens four years ago through injury, went down 6-3, 4-6, 3-6 to this year's Wimbledon semi-finalist.
Dementieva, who also won Olympic singles silver in 2000, will play either unseeded Austrian Sybille Bammer or her ninth seeded compatriot Vera Zvonareva for a place in the final.
Williams had opened strongly, racing out to a 4-1 lead to set up the first set.
The second set saw Williams break Dementieva in her third game, but the Russian rebounded strongly, breaking back twice.
Williams double faulted to hand her the set 6-4.
The American found herself 5-1 down in the third set after the Russian's energetic game paid dividends against William's power plays, and Dementieva soon had it wrapped up at 6-3 for the match.