Tennis 07-29-2004 09:23

Tennis is an attractive, dynamic and highly popular sport at all skill levels. But to compete at a high level successfully, athletes must develop special skills such as technique, stamina, speed, reflexes and imagination. Among Tennis athletes, an Olympic medal is considered as the highest distinction:

Lindsay Davenport: 鈥淲inning at the Olympic Games was amazing. It is my biggest success.鈥

Andre Agassi: 鈥淚n sports, nothing is as important as winning a gold medal at the Olympic Games.鈥

Steffi Graf: 鈥淲inning a gold medal is for me more valuable than any other money prize. I am certain that all athletes participating at the Olympic Games feel the same. Nothing compares to the Olympic Games.鈥

Boris Becker: 鈥淣othing compares to this experience 鈥 not even Wimbledon. There you compete for yourself whereas here for an entire country.鈥

Yevgeny Kafelnikov: 鈥淭o win the gold medal is beyond all my expectations. I am really proud of myself. I am really proud of my country. To have won two Grand Slams plus the Olympic gold means that my career is not going to be forgotten.鈥


Tennis is played between two or four athletes. To score a point, Tennis players have to hit the ball with their rackets so that it lands on the opponent鈥檚 court without the opponent being able to hit it back. Winner is the athlete or pair to win three 鈥渟ets鈥 of six 鈥済ames鈥 each in the men鈥檚 events (best-of-five set match) and two 鈥渟ets鈥 in the women鈥檚 events (best-of-three set match).

ATHENS 2004 Tennis

During the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games, Tennis competitions will be staged at the Olympic Tennis Center of the Athens Olympic Sports Complex (OAKA). Competition will take place within the span of eight days (August 15-22). A total of ten courts will be used for the competition: the centre court (8,000 seats), court 1 (4,000 seats), court 2 (2,000 seats) and courts 3-9 (200 seats). The total of men and women athletes competing will be 172.

Olympic Tennis consists of four events:

1. Men鈥檚 singles

2. Women鈥檚 singles

3. Men鈥檚 doubles

4. Women鈥檚 doubles


The ancient Greek game 鈥渟fairistiki鈥 was played in the 5th century BC, when players would hit a light ball with their fist or shoulder. According to literary sources, 鈥渟fairistiki鈥 eventually evolved into a game similar to modern Tennis, in which players would use a small wooden square board, tied around their forearm, to hit the ball into the air.

During the Middle Ages, Tennis was a social game played by members of the noble class. The sport first appeared in the 16th century in England, where King Henry VIII was a Tennis champion. The field of play was originally made of stone and called 鈥渢ennis court鈥. The game was played by hitting a ball over a net and was identified as 鈥渞eal tennis鈥 or 鈥渞oyal tennis鈥.

The first book on Tennis, entitled 鈥淭rattalo dello Palla鈥, was written in 1555. Tennis began to evolve into the game we play today at the end of the 16th century with the manufacturing of the first stringed rackets and the setting of rules. In 1858, the first modern Tennis court was constructed in the suburbs of Birmingham.

The first Tennis club was founded in 1872. Shortly after, Tennis became popular in the British Empire and spread around the world. The first men鈥檚鈥 tournament was conducted at the 鈥淎ll-England Club鈥 facilities in 1877. The first women鈥檚 tournament took place in 1884 at the same courts.

By 1913, Tennis was becoming increasingly popular and the existing national Tennis associations decided to join forces and form the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to ensure that the game was uniformly structured. The ITF now counts 200 member nations.

Tennis was included in the Olympic schedule from 1896 to 1924. Due to the persistence of then ITF President Philippe Chatrier and General Secretary David Gray, Tennis reemerged as a demonstration sport in the Los Angeles Games in 1984 and was officially reinstated as an Olympic sport in the Seoul Games in 1988.

The sport began in Greece in 1895 when the first Tennis club was founded in the island of Corfu. The founding of clubs in other Greek cities soon followed, including the Athens Lawn Tennis Club, where the Tennis competitions of the first modern Olympic Games were conducted, and the Club of Thessaloniki. In 1938 the Hellenic Tennis Federation was founded and today counts 214 club members.

Source:official website of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games


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