Tennis at the Summer Olympics


Tennis was part of the Summer Olympic Games program from the inaugural 1896 Summer Olympics, but was dropped after the 1924 Summer Olympics due to disputes between the International Lawn Tennis Federation and the International Olympic Committee over how to define amateur players.[1][2] After two appearances as a demonstration sport in 1968 and 1984 (with a U-21 age limit),[3] it returned as a full medal sport at the 1988 Summer Olympics open for all players regardless of their age and status and has been played at every edition of the Games since then.[4]

2012 Women's Singles medalists, Serena Williams (center), Maria Sharapova (right) and Victoria Azarenka (left).
Tennis at the Summer Olympics
Governing bodyITF
Events5 (men: 2; women: 2; mixed: 1)
Games
  • 1924
  • 1928
  • 1932
  • 1936
  • 1948
  • 1952
  • 1956
  • 1960
  • 1964
  • 1968
  • 1972
  • 1976
Note: demonstration or exhibition sport years indicated in italics

Tennis

In 1896, 1900, 1904, 1988, and 1992, semifinal losers shared bronze medals. In all other years, a playoff match for the bronze medal was staged.

In the past, results from the Olympics used to have ranking points that the ATP and WTA added to their players annual totals in singles for that calendar year. This occurred from the 2004 Athens until the 2012 London editions. No points were awarded for the editions prior and for the 2016 Rio Olympics. While the ranking points amount did not equate with those given at the Grand Slam tournaments, the Olympic tournaments have increased in perceived importance since their reintroduction, with some players, critics and sports pundits considering winning the gold at the Olympics just as prestigious as winning a Grand Slam title.[5][6]

Serena Williams and Venus Williams have each won a record four gold medals, three each as a doubles pairing, the only players to win the same Olympic event on three occasions. Kathleen McKane Godfree (one gold, two silvers, and two bronzes) and Venus Williams (four gold, one silver) are the all-time record holders for the most Olympic medals in tennis. Andy Murray is the only player to have won two singles gold medals, and the only singles player to have retained the Olympic title. Gigi Fernández and Mary Joe Fernández and Serena and Venus Williams achieved this feat in women’s doubles in 1992 and 1996, and 2008 and 2012 respectively.

A player who wins an Olympic gold medal and all four Grand Slam events in the same year is said to have won a Golden Slam. As of 2016, Steffi Graf is the only player to have completed this achievement.[7]

Surface

The playing surface of the court varies between Olympic Games. It has been on hard court for every game since 1984 except for the 1992 Olympics (which was on a clay court) and the 2012 Olympics (which was played on a grass court). The changing playing surface gives certain players different advantages and disadvantages not seen in most other Olympic sports.

Events

(d) = demonstration event, (e) = exhibition event

Event9600040812202428–646872–8084889296000408121620Years
Men's singles (d, e) (d) 16
Men's singles (indoor) 2
Men's doubles (d, e) 16
Men's doubles (indoor) 2
Women's singles (d, e) (d)14
Women's singles (indoor) 2
Women's doubles (d, e) 11
Mixed doubles (d, e) 8
Mixed doubles (indoor) 1
Total 24268550000444444555
Surface9600040812202428–646872–8084889296000408121620Years
Indoor 2
Outdoor 18
Carpet 0
Clayred 7
Grass 3
Hard 8
Wood 2

Champions and venues since 1988

Year Host city Venue Surface Gold medalist
Women's Singles Men's Singles Women's Doubles Men's Doubles Mixed Doubles
1988 Seoul Seoul Olympic Park Tennis Center Hard Steffi Graf Miloslav Mečíř Shriver & Garrison Flach & Seguso Not included
1992 Barcelona Tennis de la Vall d'Hebron Clay Jennifer Capriati Marc Rosset G. Fernández & M. J. Fernández Becker & Stich
1996 Atlanta Stone Mountain Tennis Center Hard Lindsay Davenport Andre Agassi G. Fernández & M. J. Fernández Woodbridge & Woodforde
2000 Sydney Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre (NSW Tennis Centre) Hard Venus Williams Yevgeny Kafelnikov V. Williams & S. Williams Lareau & Nestor
2004 Athens Athens Olympic Tennis Centre Hard Justine Henin-Hardenne Nicolás Massú Li & Sun González & Massú
2008 Beijing Olympic Green Tennis Center (National Tennis Center) Hard Elena Dementieva Rafael Nadal V. Williams & S. Williams Federer & Wawrinka
2012 London All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon Grass Serena Williams Andy Murray V. Williams & S. Williams B. Bryan & M. Bryan Azarenka & Mirnyi
2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Tennis Centre, Barra da Tijuca Hard Monica Puig Andy Murray Makarova & Vesnina López & Nadal Mattek-Sands & Sock
2020 Tokyo Ariake Tennis Park Hard
2024 Paris Stade Roland Garros Clay
2028 Los Angeles Tennis courts at Dignity Health Sports Park Hard

Participating nations

Nation9600040812202428–646872–8084889296000408121620Years
 Algeria 112
 Argentina 5 15688967610
 Armenia 1113
 Australasia 1 1
 Australia 1212 3677107861010
 Austria 33 23513133211
 Bahamas 222225
 Barbados 11
 Belarus 2425326
 Belgium 168 13332539
 Benin 11
 Bermuda 11
 Bohemia 148 3
 Bolivia 11
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 122
 Brazil 1 13434344710
 Bulgaria 23211227
 Canada 3 27564235410
 Chile 2 1222227
 China 1254348459
 Chinese Taipei 13213357
 Colombia 22434
 Costa Rica 11
 Ivory Coast 121
 Croatia 24551247
 Cyprus 112
 Czech Republic 47811876
 Czechoslovakia 75 554
 Denmark 1035 2 1322111112
 Dominican Republic 112
 Ecuador 4 313
 El Salvador 11
 Estonia 222
 Finland 4 11115
 France 114161010 2 45747987916
 Georgia 212
 Germany 1157 635427811
 Great Britain 262211810 35656128715
 Greece 713 234214210
 Haiti 11114
 Hong Kong 11
 Hungary 1365 2155422212
 India 6 13224247410
 Indonesia 1352226
 Ireland 4 2224
 Israel 14134317
 Italy 48 3 45886687712
 Japan 24 2 24575433612
 Kazakhstan 322
 Latvia 2113
 Liechtenstein 112
 Lithuania 11
 Luxembourg 1 112116
 Madagascar 2213
 Mexico 2 6 1543228
 Moldova 11
 Montenegro 11
 Morocco 121125
 Netherlands 215 115532310
 New Zealand 311125
 Nigeria 1313
 Norway 734 2116
 Paraguay 221114
 Peru 3213
 Philippines 11
 Poland 13226777
 Portugal 1 22225
 Puerto Rico 3 12115
 Romania 3 54322568
 Russia 2 45991087
 Serbia and Montenegro 11
 Serbia 4663
 Slovakia 5574436
 Slovenia 434415
 South Africa 3354 66528
 Soviet Union 4 72
 South Korea 15454217
 Spain 48 3 2467711912912
 Sweden 41684 1 23645453114
 Switzerland 34 22433452211
 Thailand 2232124
 Togo 11
 Tunisia 11224
 Turkey 11
 Ukraine 224265
 Unified Team 51
 United States 53519 6 7777101010121114
 Uruguay 112
 Uzbekistan 211115
 Venezuela 34114
 West Germany 4 353
 Yugoslavia 1 233
 Zimbabwe 13223317
Nations64210141427 15 343848555252484456
Players132636508275124 45 64129177176182170169184184184
Nation9600040812202428–646872–8084889296000408121620Years

Medal tables

All years (1896–1924, 1988–2016)

RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 United States (USA)2161239
2 Great Britain (GBR)17141243
3 France (FRA)56819
4 Russia (RUS)3328
5 South Africa (RSA)3216
6 Spain (ESP)27312
7 Germany (GER)26210
8 Switzerland (SUI)2204
9 Chile (CHI)2114
10 Mixed team (ZZX)1337
11 Australia (AUS)1135
12 Czechoslovakia (TCH)1124
13 Belarus (BLR)1012
 Belgium (BEL)1012
 China (CHN)1012
 West Germany (FRG)1012
17 Canada (CAN)1001
 Puerto Rico (PUR)1001
19 Sweden (SWE)0358
20 Czech Republic (CZE)0347
21 Argentina (ARG)0246
22 Japan (JPN)0213
23 Greece (GRE)0112
 Netherlands (NED)0112
25 Austria (AUT)0101
 Denmark (DEN)0101
 Romania (ROM)0101
28 Croatia (CRO)0033
29 Unified Team (EUN)0022
30 Australasia (ANZ)0011
 Bohemia (BOH)0011
 Bulgaria (BUL)0011
 Hungary (HUN)0011
 India (IND)0011
 Italy (ITA)0011
 Norway (NOR)0011
 Serbia (SRB)0011
Totals (37 nations)666782215

1988–2016

RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 United States (USA)143724
2 Russia (RUS)3328
3 Spain (ESP)27312
4 Germany (GER)2428
5 Great Britain (GBR)2204
 Switzerland (SUI)2204
7 Chile (CHI)2114
8 Australia (AUS)1135
9 Czechoslovakia (TCH)1113
10 Belarus (BLR)1012
 Belgium (BEL)1012
 China (CHN)1012
13 Canada (CAN)1001
 Puerto Rico (PUR)1001
15 Czech Republic (CZE)0246
16 Argentina (ARG)0235
17 France (FRA)0224
18 Sweden (SWE)0123
19 Netherlands (NED)0101
 Romania (ROM)0101
 South Africa (RSA)0101
22 Croatia (CRO)0033
23 Unified Team (EUN)0022
24 Bulgaria (BUL)0011
 India (IND)0011
 Japan (JPN)0011
 Serbia (SRB)0011
Totals (27 nations)343442110

1896–1924

RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 Great Britain (GBR)15121239
2 United States (USA)73515
3 France (FRA)54615
4 South Africa (RSA)3115
5 Mixed team (ZZX)1337
6 Germany (GER)1214
7 Sweden (SWE)0235
8 Japan (JPN)0202
9 Greece (GRE)0112
10 Austria (AUT)0101
 Denmark (DEN)0101
12 Australasia (ANZ)0011
 Bohemia (BOH)0011
 Czechoslovakia (TCH)0011
 Hungary (HUN)0011
 Italy (ITA)0011
 Netherlands (NED)0011
 Norway (NOR)0011
Totals (18 nations)323239103

Multiple medal winners (1896–2016)

RankNameGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 Venus Williams4105
2 Serena Williams4004
3 Reginald Doherty3014
4 Vincent Richards2103
Andy Murray2103
6 Laurence Doherty2013
Mary Joe Fernández2013
Suzanne Lenglen2013
Charles Winslow2013
10 Rafael Nadal2002
John Pius Boland2002
Charlotte Cooper2002
Gigi Fernández2002
André Gobert2002
Arthur Gore2002
Edith Hannam2002
Nicolás Massú2002
Hazel Wightman2002
Helen Wills Moody2002
Beals Wright2002
21 Kathleen McKane Godfree1225
22 Charles Dixon1124
23 Max Décugis1113
Fernando González1113
Steffi Graf1113
Josiah Ritchie1113
27 Herbert Barrett1102
Elena Dementieva1102
Roger Federer1102
Harold Kitson1102
Dorothea Köring1102
Todd Woodbridge1102
Mark Woodforde1102
Max Woosnam1102
35 Mike Bryan1023
36 Victoria Azarenka1012
Marguerite Broquedis1012
Bob Bryan1012
Zina Garrison1012
Edgar Leonard1012
Miloš Mečíř1012
Jack Sock1012
43 Arantxa Sánchez Vicario0224
Gunnar Setterwall0224
45 Harold Mahony0213
Conchita Martínez0213
Jana Novotná0213
48 George Caridia0202
Henri Cochet0202
Dorothy Holman0202
Dionysios Kasdaglis0202
Ichiya Kumagae0202
Robert LeRoy0202
Hélène Prévost0202
Virginia Ruano Pascual0202
Helena Suková0202
57 Alphonzo Bell0112
Sigrid Fick0112
Juan Martín del Potro0112
60 Albert Canet0022
Stefan Edberg0022
Goran Ivanišević0022
Marion Jones0022
Arthur Norris0022
Hedwiga Rosenbaumová0022

See also

References

  1. Soltis, Greg (July 27, 2012). "Olympic Events Through History". LiveScience. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
  2. Williams, Wythe (July 27, 1928). "SOCCER AND TENNIS BARRED IN OLYMPICS". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
  3. "Olympic Tennis Event – History: Overview". International Tennis Federation. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
  4. "2 More Olympic Games". The New York Times. October 2, 1981. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
  5. "Olympics or Slams – What's More Important For Tennis Players?". Let, Second Serve. July 12, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  6. Paul Fein (September 20, 2012). "How Important Is an Olympic Gold Medal in Tennis?". World Tennis Magazine. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  7. Tignor, Steve (30 July 2015). "1988: Steffi Graf wins the Golden Slam". Tennis.com. Retrieved 17 September 2017.