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Olympics Tennis Index
Major reasons tennis was withdrawn as an Olympic sport in 1928: The poor organization and playing conditions at the 1924 Games, disputes concerning the definition of amateurism, and the rejected proposal of the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF) to cooperate with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the organization of tennis at the Games.
John Pius Boland, the tennis gold medalist at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, said his best and favorite sport was Cricket.
Major reasons for readmitting tennis into the Olympics, according to ITF Secretary David Gray in a January 1982 World Tennis editorial: “The universality of the sport, the growth of participation and public interest, our history (Baron de Coubertin had regarded us as suitable for the first modern Olympics in 1896), and the simplicity of our requirements.”
What the organizers of the tennis event at the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896 did to fill the draw because no prominent international players had entered: They recruited athletes from other Olympic sports who had either been already eliminated or who hoped to reap even more medals.
What John Pius Boland, an Irish tourist who captured the singles and doubles titles (with Friedrich Adolf Traun, the 800-metres runner from Germany) at the first modern Olympics, did during the morning of the day the tennis event started: “Totally unprepared for tennis,” he hunted up a pair of flannels, shoes and a racket.
What IOC President Jacques Rogge said is one moment he will never forget: “The tears of joy of Roger Federer winning the gold medal for the doubles” at the Beijing Olympics.
What flustered and upset Didi Vlasto before she lost to Helen Wills 6-2, 6-2 in the final of the 1924 Paris Games: Vlasto had to argue with the gendarme at the gate who refused to let her into the grounds because she had forgotten her ticket.
How all-time great Helen Wills, who captured 19 Grand Slam singles titles, remembered the 1924 Paris Olympics in her 1937 autobiography, Fifteen-Thirty: “I had more fun in the Olympic tournament than in any other.”
Helen Wills (left) with runner-up, Didi Vlasto at the 1924 Paris Olympics: Vlasto served underhanded during the final.
Only players to win the career “Golden Slam” — the four Grand Slam titles, plus an Olympic gold medal — in singles: Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, his wife, and Rafael Nadal.
Only men to win the career “Golden Slam” — the four Grand Slam titles, plus an Olympic gold medal — in doubles: Todd Woodbridge, Mark Woodforde and Daniel Nestor.
What the winners of the tennis competition at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 received: A huge diploma in a large circular cardboard case, a medal in a case and a branch of olive a couple of feet long.
What Serena Williams says is “my favorite thing I have” and the only award she shows off to friends: The gold medal she won playing doubles with her sister Venus at the Sydney Olympics.
At 16 years and 132 days, Jennifer Capriati is the youngest tennis player to win an Olympic gold medal — Barcelona Games.
Reason Serena Williams didn’t attend the opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympics: “I was in a foul mood by the time 5 p.m. came around.”
What happened to Rafael Nadal at a September 11, 2008 tribute to the Balearic Islands’ Olympic medal winners: His inner pant seams burst open during a press photo shoot, and he had to tie his jacket around his waist.
Who American Vinnie Richards polished off in successive days to win the singles gold medal at the 1924 Paris Games: France’s “Three Musketeers” who would dominate tennis for many years — Rene Lacoste, Jean Borotra and Henri Cochet — all in five sets.
Amount of weight Vinnie Richards, who also won a gold medal in doubles with Francis Hunter and a silver medal in mixed doubles with Marion Jessup, lost during 1924 Paris Games: 18 pounds, dropping from 170 to 152.
What track superstar Marion Jones said before the Athens Olympics: “I wanted to meet Venus and Serena Williams — but so did everyone else.”
What track superstar Carl Lewis said at the Seoul Olympics: “You can’t lure Chris Evert with money. She’s here because she loves the Olympics Games.”
Amount of money multi-millionaires Pete Sampras, Jim Courier and Michael Chang received for representing the United States in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics: $10 per day.
Year that the word “amateur” was deleted from the Olympic Games charter: 1973.
Biggest tournament Roger Federer has never won in singles: The Olympics, where his best result is reaching the semis at the 2000 Sydney Games.
Andre Agassi, who then owned Wimbledon, U.S. and Australian titles, called winning the gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics "the greatest accomplishment I’ve ever had in this sport.”
All-time great who told Tennis magazine in 2004: “I just think tennis doesn’t lend itself to being an Olympic sport. To me, the Olympics is track and field”: Double Grand Slammer Rod Laver.
What Rafael Nadal, a gold medalist at the Beijing Olympics, wrote in his autobiography about “[the] unjust the predicament of so many Olympic athletes”: Because “they train incredibly hard, at least as hard as we do, yet the rewards tend to be far smaller.”
What American underachiever Mardy Fish in 2008 admitted to famed trainer Pat Etcheberry on Tennis Channel was his greatest regret: “If I had done a lot more of this stuff [rigorous calisthenics and drills], maybe I would have won the gold medal instead of the silver medal [at the Athens Olympics].”
World ranking of 6’7” Swiss Marc Rosset when he beat Jim Courier, Emilio Sanchez, Wayne Ferriera, Goran Ivanisevic and Jordi Arresse to win a gold medal at the Barcelona Games: No. 44.
What world No. 4 Andy Murray says he is “desperate” to win this year: An Olympic gold medal at the All England Club.
Martina Navratilova described International Tennis Federation officials who declared her ineligible to compete in the Barcelona Olympics
as “pompous idiots.”
Only Open Era players to win Olympic gold medals in both singles and doubles at the same Games: Venus Williams (2000, Sydney) and Nicolas Massu (2004, Athens).
Only country to capture gold, silver and bronze medals in either the men’s or women’s singles events at the same Olympics in the Open Era: Russia at the 2008 Beijing Games, when Elena Dementieva, Dinara Safina and Vera Zvonareva won the medals.
Last time, prior to the 2012 London Olympics, that mixed doubles was an event at the Games: 1924 Paris Olympics.
Won-lost record of Nicolas Massu, a 24-year-old Chilean, on hard courts in 2004 going into the Athens Games, where he won a gold medal in singles: 0-7.
What former world No. 1 Jim Courier called Nicolas Massu’s surviving 10 tough sets in two days, and 11 matches in nine days, to capture singles and doubles gold medals at the Athens Olympics: “The most impressive physical performance I’ve seen in tennis.”
Number of times Nicolas Massu served and volleyed on fast hard courts when he and Fernando Gonzalez scored a five-set gold medal victory over Germans Nicolas Kiefer and Rainer Schuettler at the Athens Olympics: 0.
Only tennis player to win medals at three different Olympic Games: Spain’s Conchita Martinez, who won a silver medal in 1992, a bronze in 1996 and a silver in 2004 − all in the women’s doubles event.
Lindsay Davenport's career record against Arantxa Sanchez Vicario before she defeated the Spaniard 7-6, 6-2 to win the gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics was 0-5.
Tennis event that became a full medal sport at the 1992 Barcelona Games: Wheelchair tennis, with 14 countries represented.
Only man to win medals in back-to-back Olympics in the Open Era: Fernando Gonzalez, a doubles gold medalist and singles bronze medalist at the 2004 Games, and a singles silver medalist at the 2008 Games.
One of only three sports that were sold out before the 2000 Sydney Olympics began: Tennis.
Number of tournaments Olympics gold medalist Yevgeny Kafelnikov and silver medalist Tommy Haas had won in 2000 prior to the Sydney Games: 0.
Number of gold medals in either singles or doubles won by Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl, Stefan Edberg, Mats Wilander and Novak Djokovic: 0.
Number of top 50-ranked players Tomas Berdych, an 18-year-old Czech ranked No. 135, had beaten in eight attempts before he upset world No. 1 Roger Federer 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 at the Athens Olympics: 0.
First man with a top-five singles ranking to win a gold medal in the Open Era: Rafael Nadal at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Record for the most siblings competing at the same Olympic tennis event: 3 − At the 1992 Barcelona Games, Katerina Maleeva and Magdelena Maleeva played for Bulgaria, while eldest sister Manuela, the wife of Swiss coach Francois Fragniere, represented Switzerland.
Only Open Era singles player or doubles team to retain their title: Gigi Fernandez and Mary Joe Fernandez of the U.S., doubles gold medalists at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics.
Only one of the seven Americans representing the United States at the 1988 Seoul Games not to win a medal: All-time great Chris Evert, who was upset by Italy’s Raffaella Reggi in the third round.
Match that Justine Henin, who won seven Grand Slam titles and a singles gold medal at the Athens Games, remembers with the most satisfaction: The 2004 Olympic semifinal when she trailed French Open champion Anastasia Myskina 5-1
in the third set but came back to win 7-5, 5-7, 8-6.
First woman in any sport to win an Olympic gold medal: Britain’s Charlotte Cooper
(later to become Mrs. Sterry), the Wimbledon champion of 1895, 1896 and 1898,
beat Helene Prevost in the women’s singles final at the 1900 Paris Olympics.
Tennis champion who averred: “To win a Grand Slam [title] is the greatest thing in the sport, but to win an Olympics is the biggest thing you can do in all sports”: Andre Agassi.
Percent of the tennis sessions at the 2008 Beijing Games that attracted capacity crowds: 100.
What Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games in 1896, called women’s sports: “Against the laws of nature.”
How Baron Pierre de Coubertin defined the Olympics: As “the solemn and periodic exaltation of male athleticism with … female applause as reward.”
What Rafael Nadal wrote in his autobiography impressed him most about his experiences at the Beijing Games: “The camaraderie between the athletes and the chance I had to learn about so many different sports and discover how much we all had in common.”
What Nicolas Massu, a singles and doubles gold medalist at the 2004 Games,
realized while leaving the Olympics at the Athens airport: He left his medals under
his pillow at the Olympic Village, where, fortunately; fortunately, Chilean teammate Fernando Gonzalez found and saved them for him.
What American Pam Shriver did with the gold medal she won in doubles with
Zina Garrison at the Seoul Olympics: Kept it with her wherever she went for two
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Visionary Coaching: Developing a Weapon
In his last piece, David Brouwer introduced the idea of "visionary coaching" for developing young tennis players. Here he delves deeper into this concept by presenting more of the nuts and bolts of the program, that is developing the forehand as a weapon. To be successful at any level, you need a go to shot you can rely on. David takes his juniors through 5 progressions designed to develop the attitude and the ability to crack the forehand at any opportunity.
Do you regularly suffer from tennis related injuries? Do you have trouble maintaining consistency when generating power? Do you have trouble handling powerful shots? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then you will likely benefit from learning about what Daryl Fisher calls "stable alignment." Achieving stable alignment involves the relative positioning of parts of your body as you hit the ball that creates the greatest stability and resilience — put quite simply, a strong rather than a weakened position
ProStrokes 2.0 — Grigor Dimitrov, Forehand
Grigor Dimitrov, is the most successful Bulgarian male tennis player, both in terms of ranking and prize money. He enjoyed a very successful junior career, in which he held the World No. 1 ranking and won the boy's singles titles at the 2008 Wimbledon Championships and the 2008 US Open, but he is still looking for a breakout year on the ATP tour.. Dimitrov plays right-handed and has a single-handed backhand. His game has been compared to Roger Federer's (earning him the nickname "Baby Fed") due to the similarity in their ground strokes, particularly off the backhand side but he has a long way to go before that name has relevance.
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