August 1, 2012, by Fraser
Should tennis be an Olympic sport?
Well, should it?
There’s a school of thought that says: if it’s not the pinnacle of the sport, it shouldn’t be in the Olympics.
In tennis, the four Grand Slam tournaments are very much the pinnacle. If you win one of those, you’ll write your name in the history books of tennis forever. As Andy Murray well knows…
What has led to further questioning of tennis’ place at the Olympics is the gold medallists since tennis was re-instated at the 1988 Seoul Games. Miloslav Mecir, Marc Rosset, Nicolas Massu – ringing any bells? No, didn’t think so.
But at the last Olympics in Beijing, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic prioritised the Games in their calendars and took gold and bronze respectively. And while he was knocked out of the singles early, Roger Federer licked his wounds and teamed with countryman Stanislas Wawrinka to take the doubles.
And so, the top reasons why tennis should be an Olympic sport:
- The top players care about it. World #6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga battled to win his 2nd round match 25-23 in the third. Federer is playing, Djokovic is playing and Nadal is gutted that he’s not.
- You get to see cool doubles pairings like Federer and Wawrinka, Tsonga and Llodra, and Djokovic and Troicki — making it different to other events and giving increased access to the top players. And this year there’s mixed doubles too where world #1 Victoria Azarenka is teaming with Max Mirnyi and Andy Murray is pairing with former junior Wimbledon winner Laura Robson.
- Tennis fans are buying the tickets. Like most Olympic events, the tennis sold out quickly. And, while Wimbledon tickets are like gold dust every year, the Olympic tennis event gave a broader range of people a chance to see top quality tennis. The commentators have commented on the Olympic tennis fans being more vocal than normal — and this can only be a good thing.