History of Tennis at Olympics

Tennis (lawn tennis) was part of the inaugural 1896 Summer Olympic Games program, but since then it was dropped from the 1924 Summer Olympics onwards. Then, after two appearances as a demonstration sport, it returned as a full medal sport in the 1988 Summer Olympics and has been played in every edition of the Games since then on.

In 1896, 1900, 1904, 1988, and 1992, semifinal losers were given bronze medals. Other than these years, a play-off match for the bronze medal was staged. From the 2004 Athens Olympics onwards results of the Olympics count towards both the ATP and WTA world rankings.

Events of Tennis at Olympics

Tennis was first time contested as a Summer Olympic sport in the 1896 Games which were held in Athens. In the inaugural event, only 2 tournaments were played: men’s singles and men’s doubles. Women were only allowed in beginning to compete in singles and mixed doubles tennis events at the Olympic Games in 1900.

Between the era 1928 and 1988, tennis was not included as an official Olympic program. However, Demonstration tennis events took place twice, first in 1968 and later in 1984. It was reinstated as a medal sport in 1988.

Record Holders of Tennis at Olympics

Kathleen McKane Godfree is the record holder for having most medals in tennis at Olympics, with one gold, two silver, and two bronze medals, and Reginald Doherty and Venus Williams are the record holders for having the most Olympic Tennis gold medals with having three gold medals apiece.

Four tennis players have yet earned four medals: Doherty (who sits on top of the table for overall medals table with having 3 gold and 1 bronze), Charles Dixon with one gold, one silver, two bronze, Arantxa Sánchez Vicario and Gunnar Setterwall both with two silver, two bronze medals.

There are 8 Americans who have earned two or more gold medals; while a further 10 athletes from other countries have achieved this particular feat, including 6 from Great Britain and 2 from France.

Tags: Olympics, tennis

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