Olympics Sports >> Tennis

Tennis

THE 5 EVENTS

  • Men (2 events): Singles, doubles
  • Women (2 events): Singles, doubles
  • Mixed doubles

THE FORMAT

Direct elimination from a line up of 64 players (best of 3 sets, except for the final for men's singles and doubles, which is best of 5 sets).

Bronze medal match between beaten semi-finalists. 64 players, with 16 seeds for singles, 16 teams, with 4 seeds for doubles.

MILESTONES

1874

The first rules of tennis are established by Walter Clopton Wingfield of Britain.

1877

First Wimbledon tournament, won by Britain's Spencer Gore.

1881

First US Open.

1900

Britain's Charlotte Cooper is the first women's Olympic champion in Paris.

1905

First Australian Open.

1925

First French Open, the 4th of the Grand Slam events.

1927

Following a conflict between the International tennis federation and the IOC concerning professionals at the Games, tennis disappears from the Olympic agenda until 1988 in Seoul.

1969

For the second time after 1962, Aussie Rod Laver wins all four legs of the Grand Slam in a single year. Don Budge (USA) accomplished the same feat in 1938.

1968

Creation of the professional circuit and ATP rankings.

1973

Introduction of the tie-break.

1988

Germany's Steffi Graf pulled off the unprecedented feat of sweeping all four Grand Slam events in the same calendar year and also added the Olympic gold with victory at Seoul.

2002

Pete Sampras wins the US Open to set a new record for Grand Slam victories in singles with his 14th major.

2006

The Hawkeye computer system is used for the first time at professional level in Perth allowing players to challenge calls.

2008

Spanish ace Rafael Nadal wins the gold medal at Beijing to join Andre Agassi as the only two men to have won all four Grand Slams as well as the Olympic single's title.

2009

Roger Federer wins a record 15th Grand Slam with victory over Andy Roddick at Wimbledon edging an epic fifth set 16-14. He added a 16th crown at the 2010 Australian Open to move two ahead of Sampras on the all-time list.

STARS

Rod Laver (Australia)

Mr. Grand Slam. The only player to win two Grand Slams, in 1962 and 1969. The left-handed ace won 11 Slams in total and five Davis Cup titles between 1959 and 1973.

Martina Navratilova (United States)

The Queen of Wimbledon. The American (born in Czechoslovakia) won 18 Grand Slam single's titles (though Margaret Smith Court 24, Steffi Graf, 22, and Helen Wills Moody, 19, all won more), half of which were at Wimbledon. In total, she won 59 Grand Slam titles including doubles and mixed doubles, the last of which was at the US Open in 2006 (with Bob Bryan), at the age of 49. Also holds the record with 167 tournament wins in singles.

Pete Sampras (United States)

Pistol Pete. Record holder winning 14 Grand Slams between 1990 and 2002, including 7 Wimbledon titles. Willie Renshaw also won 7 Wimbledon titles, but the competition was weaker in the 1880's. Won 5 Masters' tournaments and 2 Davis Cups in a glorious career.

Roger Federer (Switzerland)

Arguably the greatest player of all-time and still active on the ATP circuit with a record 16 Grand Slams to his credit. The Swiss master added the only missing major to his list when he finally triumphed at the French Open in 2009 against Robin Soderling. Set a new record by remaining world number one for 237 consecutive weeks before being deposed by Rafael Nadal.

Copyright 2008 Agence France-Presse.

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