View Full Version : Should the format change for tennis at Olympics?

Aug 16th, 2004, 01:53 PM
I mean the draw is the same as a regular tournament and you know the top players will make it to the final four at least (don't tell Elena D. this), but with Fed Cup and Davis Cup having countries playing against each other, shouldn't the ITF use the four years in between to determine the final groups and have a playoffs kinda format? It would be more interesting. In tennis@ athens, players are not playing for their countries more than they are playing for points and a ranking spot.

I think that it doesn't make sense when davis and fed cups are already using an international format and that should lead up to the Olympics every four years, having more space between the semifinals each year or two years and the results meaning a standing in the olympics.

Therefore it will be more of a country representation instead of an individual one.

What do you think?

Aug 16th, 2004, 02:14 PM
Yeah, that would be better, I think that also would draw more attention to tennis...there also would be a better atmopshere.

Aug 16th, 2004, 02:16 PM
Exactly, but there is no feeling when Venus has to eliminate a country woman to win gold and they are supposed to be from the same country. It defeats the purpose of the olympics.

Dave B
Aug 16th, 2004, 02:33 PM
Exactly, but there is no feeling when Venus has to eliminate a country woman to win gold and they are supposed to be from the same country. It defeats the purpose of the olympics.

That definitly sounds cool. I am all for it.

Aug 16th, 2004, 02:47 PM
Well, they have to defeat their own countrymen if they want to win swimming or track & field events too, and those sports have been around much longer. I think the current format is fine.

Aug 16th, 2004, 03:54 PM
Others have said this, too, and I gotta agree: Davis & Fed Cups shouldn't be held during Olympic years, and the Olympics should be played in a team format. Personally, I'd go for a mixed-gender event, with the same format as the Hopman Cup (best of three: women's singles, men's singles & mixed doubles).

There are just too many "big" singles events throughout the year; you've got the four Slams, the season-ending championships, then there are the Tier 1's (especially Key Biscayne and Indian Wells, which are supposed to be really big), and then you have the Olympics. It's just too many, and having too many big events is almost as bad as having not enough.

I say, change the Olympics to make it stand out and have its own unique significance.

Aug 16th, 2004, 03:59 PM
I say we have the World Team Tennis format from the glory days:

5 events (Women's and Men's singles, women's, men's, and mixed doubles)

1 set w/ ad scoring

points scored "1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 3-1, game Evert"

the cat
Aug 16th, 2004, 04:34 PM
I agree with you Macc about how country representation is more interesting and patriotic than individual representation. But don't look for the ITF to do anything constructive to help tennis in the Olympics. And the tinkering the ITF does with the Olympic draws so compatriots don't play each other early in the women's and men's tournaments adds an artificial feeling for me with tennis in the Olympics. :(

Aug 16th, 2004, 04:35 PM
That definitly sounds cool. I am all for it.

AMEN! :angel: :angel: :angel:

Aug 16th, 2004, 04:54 PM
No! I think, they could add a mixed draw. This team competition could follow the singles and doubles tournaments. Isn`t it the same in table tennis? :shrug:

Aug 16th, 2004, 05:11 PM
it should definately change, team concept will at least change something.

the only thing diff is that there are no Advertising hoardings on the courts
otherwise its just like a regular tour event for the players, most of the players feel the same
and i dont think any of the players are "gutted" when they lose, cos they got something much bigger as it stands in 2 weeks time.

and after matches, they asked questions
and they reply "its in a build up/nice preparation for the US Open"

Frankly the Olympics shouldnt be a build up for anything.

Aug 17th, 2004, 04:31 PM
I'd like to see something like an All-Around competition like they do in gymnastics, except I don't think there's time for another separate event, so I came up with a cool concept.

I definitely think a team element could be included, but run as part of the singles and doubles competition. Countries that want to be involved in the "All-Around" competition have to field competitors in both singles and doubles events to qualify. For example, Justine is the only competitor for Belgium in singles. Since there's not Belgian doubles team, Belgium does not qualify for the women's "All-Around" event.

So, depending on how far players from each country progresses, their points are added to the teams total. Because some countries have more players playing than others, the points could be added and then divided by the number of players to get an average. So, if for example, Maria Vento-Kabchi is the only competitor for Venezuela in singles, her points go onto the tally for Venezuela. If Milagros Sequera was also playing in singles, you would add both their points together and then divide by two to get an average. This would be the amount of points that would go on their tally. It's the same for doubles. If there are two teams, their points earned are divided by two to get their total and then added to their tally.

For example: Myskina earns 365 pts, Dementieva 1pt, Petrova 132 pts, Kuznetsova 200 pts, their average is 174.5. In doubles, Kuznetsova and Elena Likhovtseva earn 340 pts, while Myskina and Dementieva earn 23 pts, their average is 181.5. Russia's total score is 356. Do this for all the teams eligible for the "All-Around" competition.

At the conclusion of the competition, the nation with the most number of points won, wins the "All-Around" competition and receives the teams Gold, second receives Silver and third Bronze.

Aug 17th, 2004, 04:47 PM
The problem is tennis has such a hectic schedule it would be hard to do anything else. It would be cool to have a team medal and an individual medla and a doubles medal but when woudl the have the tiem.

Brian Stewart
Aug 17th, 2004, 06:25 PM
I'd like to see the singles draw remain, but they could replace the doubles competition with a WTT event. They would have to expand the tennis beyond 8 days. Why not go for 2 weeks? Get all or most of the singles event done in week 1 (perhaps leaving only the semis), and work in the team competition around that, then go with all team for the rest of week 2.

World Team Tennis format would be ideal for a number of reasons:

It's not already used for Davis/Fed Cup, so the ITF shouldn't object because they're worried about harming the uniqueness of those two events.

It's not as physically demanding on the players as playing full-blown matches. They just have to play a single set with no-ad scoring in their events.

It's quicker. An entire team competition can be finished in 2-2 hours. About the time of one long match.

You don't need an odd number of events. Because the scoring is cumulative, you could have, for example, two mixed doubles sets.

It's not over until the very last point. Unlike the Cups, which often have dead rubbers, every set in WTT is a "live" set. And no matter how far behind a team is, if they are particularly strong in the final event, they have a chance.

It would be a true team event. If someone gets down two breaks in their set, they would normally have no incentive to make much of an effort. In WTT format, every game counts. So even if you figure you can't win the set, you can at least try to grab as many games as possible.