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Tennis

Games Debut

Athens 1896

Most Games Appearances

Samantha Stosur - 5 Games

Events

Tennis Mens Doubles

Tennis Mens Singles

Tennis Mixed Doubles

Tennis Womens Doubles

Tennis Womens Singles

 

Australia and Olympic Tennis

Edwin Flack, Australia's first Olympian, competed in Tennis and Athletics at the Athens 1896 Olympic Games.

The only Australian to compete at the 1896 Olympics, Flack represented Australia in doubles tennis with Englishman George Robertson and the pair won bronze. Edwin also became Australia's first Olympic gold medallist in 1896 through winning the 800m and 1500m titles in Athletics.

Edwin Flack

 

Australia can lament the hiatus in tennis’ appearance in the Olympic program between 1924-1980, but appearing as a demonstration sport at Mexico 1968 and at Los Angeles 1984, as it surely would have picked up many more medals when the Australian men were dominating the world’s tournaments in the 1950s and 1960s. Since Seoul 1988 Australia has claimed one gold, one silver and four bronze medals.

The gold and silver medals were won by ‘The Woodies’ (Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge) in the men’s doubles at Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 respectively.

Elizabeth Smylie and Wendy Turnbull won bronze in the women’s doubles at Seoul 1988 and Rachel McQuillan with Nicole Bradtke (then Provis) did likewise at Barcelona 1992. At Athens 2004, Alicia Molik won Australia’s first individual tennis medal, a bronze in the women’s singles.

Australia took a strong team to London 2012 which included 2011 US Open winner Sam Stosur, former world number one Lleyton Hewitt and rising star Bernard Tomic.

Stalwart Hewitt was Australia’s best performer as he made the men’s third round before going down to world number two Novak Djokovic.

He went on to make the quarterfinals with Stosur in the mixed doubles where they were defeated by Great Britan pair and eventual silver medallists Andy Murray and Laura Robson.

Hewitt caps historic Davis Cup comeback

 

The 2016 team was again spearheaded by five-time Olympian Sam Stosur and contained seven Olympic debutants. While no medals were won, Stosur achieved her best Olympic result in reaching the third round of the women’s singles competition.

Another highlight was Aussie young gun Daria Gavrilova (later Saville) battling it out with world number one Serena Williams (USA) on centre court.

John Millman also created Olympic history when he became the first man to not concede a game in his opening round encounter against Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis, which he won 6-0 6-0. Millman was later defeated by number four seed Kei Nishikori (JPN) in a centre court showdown.

A 10-strong team went to the pandemic-affect Tokyo 2020 Olympics, matching the record tennis team size in Sydney 2000 and Rio 2016. Sam Stosur became the first Australian tennis player to make it to five Olympics. Australia won their first medal since Athens in 2004, with Ash Barty and John Peers combining to win bronze in the mixed doubles.

Olympic History

Tennis appeared on the Olympic program in Athens 1896 and remained until Paris 1924. Due to difficulties in solving the amateur-professional divide, the sport disappeared until Seoul 1988. Its return to the Olympic fold was heralded when it appeared as a demonstration sport four years earlier in Los Angeles.

The first female Olympic champion at the modern Olympics was Charlotte Cooper, who won the women’s singles at Paris 1900. Steffi Graf of West Germany won the women’s singles title in 1988, when Tennis returned to the Olympics - adding to her successes in the Grand Slam titles of that year (Australian, French, Wimbledon and US).

Mixed doubles was added to the Olympic program for London 2012.

Sport Format

The Olympic Games format involves single elimination tournaments for each of the five tennis events (men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles). Paris 2024 will see a change in the court surface from hardcourts at Tokyo 2020 to the iconic clay at Stade Roland Garros, the home of the Roland Garros clay court Grand Slam.

Matches will be played following the best-of-three tiebreak sets format. Singles matches are best-of-three tiebreak sets. In doubles, if the score is one-set all, a 10-point tiebreaker will be played.

In all events, the semi-final winners play to decide the gold and silver medals, and the semi-final losers play for the bronze.

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