Tennis at the Olympics
Tennis has a long history at the Olympic Games. Tennis was played at the Olympics until 1924, then reinstituted in 1988. There is a men's and womens singles and doubles tournament, and since London 2012 there has been a mixed doubles event.
Olympic Tennis Trivia
- John Boland of Ireland won the first gold medal awarded in Olympic tennis, and he also won a second gold that same year playing doubles.
- For the games in 1896, 1900, 1904, 1988, and 1992 the semi-final losers shared bronze medals. In all other years and in future tournaments a playoff match for the bronze medal is staged.
- The first woman to win an Olympic event was England's Charlotte “Chattie” Cooper, who won the tennis singles at the 1900 games.
- In 1912, the Olympics and Wimbledon were held at the same time, and all of the best players chose to compete at Wimbledon.
- After the 1924 games, Tennis and the Olympics had a messy break up. The Olympic Committee and the various tennis federations could not agree on how to settle the question of whether professional players should be allowed to compete.
- Tennis was a demonstration sport in Mexico City in 1968, however the crowds and interest in the competition were small. Tennis was also played at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics as a demonstration sport - the first time professional athletes were officially allowed to compete in any Olympic sport. This time fans bought out every seat at the tennis venue.
- In 1988, tennis returned officially after a 64-year absence, and Steffi Graf won the women's gold and Miloslav Mecir of Czechoslovakia the men's competition.
- The most successful all-time performing tennis players at the Olympic Games are American sisters Venus and Serena Williams, who have won four gold medals each. See more on the greatest Olympic tennis players.
- Since the 2004 Athens Olympics, results from the Olympics tennis tournament count towards both the ATP and WTA world rankings in singles.
- In 2012 London, a mixed doubles event was officially included for the first time since 1924.