Tennis at the 2012 London Olympics
Set to be held at Wimbledon from Saturday July 28th until Sunday August 5th, the Olympic tennis games are shaping up to be full of excitement and famous faces. 2012 will be the first year that mixed doubles has been introduced into the Olympics since 1896, adding another dimension into the competition and giving the players more chances to play together and win.
Winners at the 2008 Beijing Olympics included Rafael Nadal, coming out top in the men's singles tournament, and the Williams sisters triumphing at the women's doubles. Fans of Olympic tennis have had to wait a while, occupying themselves in other ways such as playing sports themselves, reading books or playing on the PartyPoker site. But now 2012 is not too far away and the excitement is beginning to build again.
During the 2012 London Olympics, there will be a total of five medal events. These include men's and women's Singles, men's and women's Doubles and the new Mixed Doubles. The men's Singles final will be played in the format of best of five sets and all of the Mixed Doubles matches will be taken to a first-to-10 tie-break if they reach one set all.
The rest of the matches will be the best of three sets and all will be played in a knock-out format. The winners of each separate category will then go head-to-head on Centre Court, competing for the gold medals.
The first time tennis was played at the Olympic Games was in 1896, however it was then stopped after the 1924 Games in Paris. Thankfully, it was re-introduced 64 years later with Steffi Graf from West Germany and Miloslav Mečíř from Czechoslovakia winning gold in the two singles tournaments in Seoul, 1988.
2012 promises to be an important year for Olympic tennis. With the introduction of a Mixed Doubles tournament, the game is still expanding and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.