The Williams sisters, Venus (left) and Serena, are two of the most decorated tennis players in Olympic history.
Tennis was part of the first-ever Olympics in 1896, but was dropped after the 1924 Games. It featured as a demonstration sport in 1968 and 1984, with only U-21 players allowed to compete.
Tennis became a full-medal sport at the Seoul Games in 1988 for the first time in the Open Era (since 1968). The sport has been a part of every Summer Olympics since then.
Over the years, a host of top players have tasted success at the Olympics. Here, we take a look at the 12 most successful tennis players at the quadrennial Games since the advent of the Open Era.
#T10 Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde (1 gold, 1 silver)
Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde
Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde, the legendary doubles pair affectionately known as the Woodies, won the men’s doubles gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, beating Neil Broad and Tim Henman in the final.
Four years later, they fell to Sebastian Lareau and Daniel Nestor of Canada in the gold medal match in Sydney.
In a stellar partnership that spanned more than a decade, the Australian pair won 61 doubles titles together, including 11 Majors.
#T10 Roger Federer (1 gold, 1 silver)
Roger Federer (left) and Stan Wawrinka at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
Roger Federer is one of the most decorated male players in tennis history, but he is yet to win the Olympic singles gold. However, he does have an Olympic gold in doubles to his name.
The Swiss pairing of Federer and Stan Wawrinka won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, defeating Sweden’s Simon Aspelin and Thomas Johansson in the final.
Four years later in the London Olympics, Federer surprisingly fell in straight sets to Andy Murray in the final of the men’s singles competition. A few weeks earlier, on the same court, Federer had beaten Murray in four sets to win his seventh Wimbledon men’s singles title.
#T8 Steffi Graf (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
Steffi Graf is the only player in tennis history to have won the Calendar Golden Slam. She did so in 1988 when she lifted all four Grand Slam singles titles and the women’s singles gold (beat Gabriela Sabatini) at the Seoul Olympics. She also partnered Claudia Kohde-Kilsch to win bronze in the women’s doubles.
Four years later in Atlanta, Graf failed to defend her women’s singles gold medal, as she fell to Jennifer Capriati in the final.
#T8 Fernando Gonzalez (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
Fernando Gonzalez (left) at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
Fernando Gonzalez, along with Nicolas Massu, won the gold medal in the men’s doubles event at the 2004 Athens Olympics, beating Nicolas Keifer and Rainer Schuttler in the final. At the same Games, he won the bronze in the men’s singles, finishing behind Massu and Mardy Fish.
Four years later in Beijing, Gonzalez finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal in the men’s singles.
#T5 Gigi Fernandez (2 gold)
Gigi Fernandez won both her Olympic gold medals while partnering Mary Joe Fernandez. The American pair beat Conchita Martinez and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario to win gold in the women’s doubles event at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
Four years later, they became the first women’s pair to successfully defend their title when they beat Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova in the gold-medal match at the Atlanta Games.
#T5 Rafael Nadal (2 gold)
Rafael Nadal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
Rafael Nadal is one of 10 players to have won two Olympic gold medals. The Spaniard beat Fernando Gonzalez to win the men’s singles gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Eight years later, Nadal combined with compatriot Marc Lopez to win the men’s doubles gold at the Rio Olympics. In the men’s singles event in Rio, the Spaniard lost in the semifinals in a third-set tiebreak. He also went on to lose in the bronze-medal match to Kei Nishikori.
#T5 Nicolas Massu (2 gold)
Nicolas Massu has two Olympic gold medals in his kitty. He won the first of them in the men’s singles event of the 2004 Athens Olympics, beating Mardy Fish in the final.
At the same Games, he combined with compatriot Fernando Gonzalez to win the men’s doubles gold, beating Nicolas Keifer and Rainer Schuttler in the summit clash.
Massu is the only Olympic men’s singles gold medallist who has never won a Grand Slam tournament.
#T3 Mary Joe Fernandez (2 gold, 1 bronze)
Mary Jo Fernandez
Mary Joe Fernandez, along with Gigi Fernandez, won the women’s doubles gold at the 1992 Games in Barcelona by beating Conchita Martinez and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario. The pair also won the gold in the 1996 Games in Atlanta by defeating Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova.
Mary Joe Fernandez also won the bronze medal in the women’s singles competition at the 1992 Barcelona Games, finishing behind Lindsay Davenport and Sanchez Vicario.
#T3 Andy Murray (2 gold, 1 silver)
Andy Murray is the only player in Olympic history to successfully defend his singles crown.
In the 2012 London Olympics, Murray beat Roger Federer in straight sets in the final. Four years later in Rio, the Scot beat Juan Martin Del Potro in the gold medal match.
In the same Games, Murray narrowly missed out on another gold when he and Laura Robson fell to Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi in the mixed doubles final.
#2 Serena Williams (4 gold)
One of the most decorated players in tennis history, Serena Williams is one of only two players to have won four gold medals at the Olympics.
The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion beat Maria Sharapova to win the women’s singles event at the 2012 London Olympics. She also combined with her sister Venus Williams to win the women’s doubles gold at the 2000, 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
#1 Venus Williams (4 gold, 1 silver)
Venus Williams (centre) at the 2000 Sydney Olympics
Venus Williams is the most decorated tennis player in the history of the Olympics. Together with her sister Serena, she has won a record three women’s doubles gold medals at the quadrennial Games.
The elder Williams sister also won gold in the women’s singles event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics by beating Russian Elena Dementieva.
Sixteen years later, Venus Williams failed in her quest to become the first five-time gold medalist at the Olympics when she and Rajeev Ram lost to compatriots Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jack Sock in the gold medal match of the mixed doubles competition.