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. Starting from the 2004 Athens Olympics, results from the Olympics count towards both the ATP and WTA world rankings.
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 US 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.