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View Full Version : Why is tennis an olympic sport?


ezekiel
Jul 6th, 2005, 12:31 PM
I posted this in the london olympics thread but I feel it needs a thread of its own

What's the point of tennis being in the olympics?
It just seems like a shameless commercialization under the mantra , the more the better. I feel the same thing for soccer, basketball etc.
Does any tennis player grow up dreaming of olympic medals ? NO!!!
Does their livelyhood and reputation depend on it? NO!!!
Do all the best players show up ? NO!!!

I can see for a number of semi pro sports like martial arts , swimming, weight lifting etc where it's the pinnacle of their carreer and biggest event at the olympics but for pro sports like tennis , the incentive is just not there and it's just plain economic exploitation to make olympics bigger but in reality it really undermines the fundamentals of olympics which let's remember started as an amateur competition.

I don't know but as I look at this , I just can't figure out why such a blatant commercialization that undermines the credibility of olympics is allowed.

tennislover
Jul 6th, 2005, 01:12 PM
IMHO tennis is not olimpic at all......

jonny84
Jul 6th, 2005, 01:12 PM
Well its only just come back as an Olympic sport (since 1988) where Graf won it and its always been popular and a crowd pleaser so why not?

Its all about the taking part too and not the winning.

Sam L
Jul 6th, 2005, 01:14 PM
It was a part of the 1896 Games. It should stay. It's a game that can fit easily in the Olympic city and now with London hosting, imagine how big tennis would be, considering it'll be played at Wimbledon!

Albireo
Jul 6th, 2005, 01:31 PM
I posted this in the london olympics thread but I feel it needs a thread of its own

What's the point of tennis being in the olympics?
It just seems like a shameless commercialization under the mantra , the more the better. I feel the same thing for soccer, basketball etc.
Does any tennis player grow up dreaming of olympic medals ? NO!!!
Does their livelyhood and reputation depend on it? NO!!!
Do all the best players show up ? NO!!!

The Olympic draws are usually excellent. They become Upset Central once competition begins.

I can see for a number of semi pro sports like martial arts , swimming, weight lifting etc where it's the pinnacle of their carreer and biggest event at the olympics but for pro sports like tennis , the incentive is just not there

Ask any player who's won a medal at the Olympics and you might find out otherwise. Start with Goran Ivanisevic, who relished his Olympic experience so much that he demended the Olympics be held "every three weeks" so he could do it again.

and it's just plain economic exploitation to make olympics bigger but in reality it really undermines the fundamentals of olympics which let's remember started as an amateur competition.

I don't know but as I look at this , I just can't figure out why such a blatant commercialization that undermines the credibility of olympics is allowed.

Tennis is different than the other sports that have been invaded by pros: no one country dominates. Look at Athens: China, Belgium, and Chile were the medal-winning countries. Did anyone give the Chinese women a chance in the doubles? Or Massu and Gonzalez? This isn't like the basketball tournament, where the US team has traditionally been the playground bully (and wasn't it a great story when they crashed and burned in Athens?). Any player who enters, historically, has got a fighting chance to come home with a medal (Marc Rosset, Jordi Arrese anyone?).

Something tells me you won't complain much if Ivanovic wins a medal at the next Olympics. ;)

ezekiel
Jul 6th, 2005, 02:00 PM
The Olympic draws are usually excellent. They become Upset Central once competition begins.

How is this a fact and what does it matter?
There are upsets in every tournament. I am not sure this is connected to the discussion here.



Ask any player who's won a medal at the Olympics and you might find out otherwise. Start with Goran Ivanisevic, who relished his Olympic experience so much that he demended the Olympics be held "every three weeks" so he could do it again.

No, I'll ask every tennis player and they'll say they want to win GS, Wimbledon, Roland Garros, this or that tourney, be number 1 etc. None will say they dream about olympics. Ivanisevic is a bad example to bring into this discussion since he is an idiot who talks a lot.



Tennis is different than the other sports that have been invaded by pros: no one country dominates. Look at Athens: China, Belgium, and Chile were the medal-winning countries. Did anyone give the Chinese women a chance in the doubles? Or Massu and Gonzalez? This isn't like the basketball tournament, where the US team has traditionally been the playground bully (and wasn't it a great story when they crashed and burned in Athens?). Any player who enters, historically, has got a fighting chance to come home with a medal (Marc Rosset, Jordi Arrese anyone?).

It's more likely that the best players don't compete so it's just as likely some guy from Afghanistan may win it. In other words it's just another second tier tournament.


Something tells me you won't complain much if Ivanovic wins a medal at the next Olympics. ;)

No , I won't care if she wins because frankly I won't be watching it and I have no desire whatsover to follow it. During the olympics I'd just rather watch other sports which I don't watch or follow otherwise. Last I heard , the stands were empty for tennis last summer in Athens

ys
Jul 6th, 2005, 02:04 PM
What I always wondered is why there is no mixed in Olympic tennis program.

Spunky83
Jul 6th, 2005, 02:39 PM
Yeah, itīs a bit weird, true...but not weird enough to say that tennis doesnīt belong in there.

Ezekiel, you havenīt been around during last yearīs Olympics, we prety much had the same discussion, I think most posters would rather "win" a Slam than Olympics gold although e.g. Justine said that winning Gold at Athens was a totally different experience for her cause itīs a win for your whole country.

I think she got a point there. From a players point of view it must be awesome to win a gold medal for your country and then the kind of sport doesnīt matter anymore.

Andy T
Jul 6th, 2005, 02:41 PM
I think they should make it a team event - mens and women's singles and doubles and mixed doubles with 4 men & 4 women making up the team.

Spunky83
Jul 6th, 2005, 02:45 PM
I think they should make it a team event - mens and women's singles and doubles and mixed doubles with 4 men & 4 women making up the team.

Thatīs a nice idea actually!

Albireo
Jul 6th, 2005, 03:16 PM
How is this a fact and what does it matter?
There are upsets in every tournament. I am not sure this is connected to the discussion here.

Your point was that the best players don't show up. They do. Look at any of the Olympic draws and you'll see that the top players are there. If it didn't matter to them, they would find reasons not to go.

No, I'll ask every tennis player and they'll say they want to win GS, Wimbledon, Roland Garros, this or that tourney, be number 1 etc. None will say they dream about olympics. Ivanisevic is a bad example to bring into this discussion since he is an idiot who talks a lot.

Given the choice, yes-- most players would prefer to win Slams or be #1. That doesn't alter the fact that the top players make room on their schedule for the Olympics. They understand the occasion and its importance.

And claiming that Ivanisevic is "a bad example" because "he is an idiot who talks a lot" in no way invalidates his comments. His opinion of the Olympics is from someone who played there and appreciated the experience. Many players share his opinion. Just because you disagree with him is no reason to consider his opinion worthless, especially as he has firsthand experience that you don't. As you haven't played the Olympics yourself, I'd say his opinion is considerably more substantial than yours.

It's more likely that the best players don't compete so it's just as likely some guy from Afghanistan may win it. In other words it's just another second tier tournament.

The best players do compete. Look at the list of medal winners:

http://www.usta.com/news/fullstory.sps?iNewsid=23135

No , I won't care if she wins because frankly I won't be watching it and I have no desire whatsover to follow it.

Fine. Don't watch it. Just don't assume that everyone else will avoid it. Judging by the number of threads the Olympic tournament generated here, quite a few people care about it.

During the olympics I'd just rather watch other sports which I don't watch or follow otherwise. Last I heard , the stands were empty for tennis last summer in Athens

They were empty for a lot of sports. (The home crowd had few tennis players to root for, which is always a factor; the stands were full in Atlanta [for example].) Popularity is a lousy decider for what is valid. Many tournaments have sparse crowds (YEC, anyone?). Even Grand Slams can have sparse crowds for the early rounds; by your logic, we should get rid of them, too.

Nimi
Jul 6th, 2005, 03:31 PM
If you would have seen Nico Massu's and Fernando Gonzalez's reactions after winning the gold medal - you would have known.

I also don't think Justine was too depressed as she won it, or am I wrong?

Albireo
Jul 6th, 2005, 03:43 PM
How is this a fact and what does it matter?
There are upsets in every tournament. I am not sure this is connected to the discussion here.

No, I'll ask every tennis player and they'll say they want to win GS, Wimbledon, Roland Garros, this or that tourney, be number 1 etc. None will say they dream about olympics. Ivanisevic is a bad example to bring into this discussion since he is an idiot who talks a lot.

It's more likely that the best players don't compete so it's just as likely some guy from Afghanistan may win it. In other words it's just another second tier tournament.

No , I won't care if she wins because frankly I won't be watching it and I have no desire whatsover to follow it. During the olympics I'd just rather watch other sports which I don't watch or follow otherwise. Last I heard , the stands were empty for tennis last summer in Athens

Or, put simply, read this:

http://www.tennis-x.com/story/2004-08-24/c.php

alwayshingis
Jul 6th, 2005, 03:46 PM
Tennis is an international sport

All international sports of any merit at all should be contended in the Olympic Games.

skanky~skanketta
Jul 6th, 2005, 03:49 PM
Thatīs a nice idea actually!just pray that marat and nastya dont pair out or they'll crash and burn in round 1!

ezekiel
Jul 6th, 2005, 03:57 PM
Or, put simply, read this:

http://www.tennis-x.com/story/2004-08-24/c.php

or you can read this

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-06/24/content_342168.htm

Albireo
Jul 6th, 2005, 04:15 PM
or you can read this

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-06/24/content_342168.htm

Safin's "an idiot who talks a lot." ;)

And he's wrong about Rosset, too-- Rosset was overjoyed at winning in Barcelona. Arrese was thrilled to get silver, although he was bummed to lose in front of a Spanish crowd.

Roger Federer was extremely disappointed to crash out early at Athens; so was Roddick. Myskina was devastated to lose to JHH. If the Olympics mean nothing to the players, as you're asserting, then why do so many of the players feel such disappointment when they lose? Why do they show up at all? Oh, wait a minute-- they don't even play. I guess Federer, Roddick, Myskina, and Henin-Hardenne don't count as top players.

Shonami Slam
Jul 6th, 2005, 04:23 PM
it's the best place to play for your country with pride.
sharapova's american, golovin is russian, all that BS talk vanishes away when you start crying as you hear your anthem.

Rollo
Jul 6th, 2005, 04:24 PM
Ezekiel-To answer your question.


Repeat China, China, China like a mantra.


Then repeat again as needed.

Toss in Russia, Russia, Russia for good measure.


Though we in the West think the slams are enough to promote tennis, in many nations the Olympics is it as far as sports go.

*************************************
Why do think tennis became so big in Russia?

Answer: once it became an Olympic sport money and support rolled in. Now look at what it's wrought-a whole wave of players.
**********************************

With China hosting the games it's hoping for it's own wave. You'll notice the Chinese bagged Wimbledon, but you can bet those girls will be killing each other for spots on the 2008 team.

So while the Olympics in tennis may not be a big deal for lots of the world, in other parts it IS the only big deal.

And IMO getting the whole world on board only helps out game. Hope that answers your question:)

DemWilliamsGulls
Jul 6th, 2005, 04:28 PM
Why is tennis a sport...? Same reason why table tennis is LOL

10nisfanofruz
Jul 7th, 2005, 12:53 PM
Tennis is such an individual sport. Olympic makes it to be more about country. Winning Grand Slam is a big achievement for the player ;however, winning gold medal is something extraordinary. ;)

Lady
Jul 7th, 2005, 01:15 PM
Russian players dream about winning a medal, an Olympics medal is something usual people would recognize as an achievement.

People know Kafelnikov not because he won 2 slams, but because he won an Olympics medal and was #1! ;)

And Olympics is very special to players! Just listen to them, not proclaim your opinion, ezekiel.

Pamela Shriver
Jul 7th, 2005, 08:49 PM
Why is tennis an olympic sport?

It was entirely to allow me to actually win something.

ezekiel
Jul 7th, 2005, 09:00 PM
Russian players dream about winning a medal, an Olympics medal is something usual people would recognize as an achievement.

People know Kafelnikov not because he won 2 slams, but because he won an Olympics medal and was #1! ;)

And Olympics is very special to players! Just listen to them, not proclaim your opinion, ezekiel.

Olympics are special to those athletes who train 4 years for it and generally depend on outside help whether material or coaching. Sports like rowing, track & field, swimming, marathon etc. Tennis , Basketball and pro sports do not do that. They have far more important events to look forward to.

And don't tell me what athletes say, they are told what to say. Their livelyhood and reputation certainly doesn't depend on Olympics. As far as tennis it ranks as a low key second tier tournament . I see no reason why anyone should pay attention to a tennis event at the olympics when there are far more rare and interesting competitions. I am not sure even who profits from having these pro events at the olympics but I do know that olympic spirit gets corrupted.

cartmancop
Jul 7th, 2005, 09:04 PM
u say several of the best players don't play the Olympics. I think the # of greats that play outnumber those that didn't. (for those who the olympics was available for)

Graf, Sabatini, Agassi, Davenport, Henin, Williams X 2, Federer, Navratilova, Capriati, Seles, Sanchez-Vicario, Edberg, Becker, Novotna, Pierce, Martinez, Courier, Sampras, Stich, Brugera, Roddick, Muster, Hingis, Safin & Mauresmo are just a few of the top players who have participated in the Olympics. Obviously, they must care about it or they wouldn't go....

vutt
Jul 7th, 2005, 10:26 PM
Graf, Sabatini, Agassi, Davenport, Henin, Williams X 2, Federer, Navratilova, Capriati, Seles, Sanchez-Vicario, Edberg, Becker, Novotna, Pierce, Martinez, Courier, Sampras, Stich, Brugera, Roddick, Muster, Hingis, Safin & Mauresmo are just a few of the top players who have participated in the Olympics. Obviously, they must care about it or they wouldn't go....

Now we have tough choice to choose between ezekiel's "bright" viewpoint and those from the cartmancop's list opinions.

I wonder who's opinion I'm going to prefer :shrug: ;)

njnetswill
Jul 7th, 2005, 11:26 PM
Because it's more physically demanding than golf and auto racing!!! :p

nitocris_tiger
Jul 7th, 2005, 11:56 PM
Alicia Molik has rated her bronze medal as the highlight of her career so far. The Olympics is only once every 4 years which adds to the mystique of being on the honour roll because there are only a limited few. And obviously it is different situation as you are playing for your country, not just yourself.

Doggy
Jul 8th, 2005, 01:01 AM
It is the experience that most players cherish. Monica Seles said that her bronze medal was the biggest highlight of her career and that girl won 9 slams too!!!! Martina Nav at last year's olympics was jumping around like a little kid, being so excited and such. Obviously people care a lot about this. the experience is so unique.

Albireo
Jul 8th, 2005, 01:14 AM
And don't tell me what athletes say, they are told what to say.

First, you say "who cares what Ivanisevic thinks?" Then, when confronted with still more comments from players-- comments that refute your point of view-- you respond with a dissenting opinion from Safin. Now, when confronted with even more evidence that refutes your opinion, you respond with the gem quoted above.

Let's hear it for logical (in)consistency! :clap: :clap:

As far as tennis it ranks as a low key second tier tournament .

The women's quarterfinalists in Athens were Henin-Hardenne, Pierce, Myskina, Schiavone, Sugiyama, Molik, Kuznetsova, and Mauresmo. Doesn't sound like a Tier II to me. The men's top seeds were Federer, Roddick, Moya, Henman, JC Ferrero, Andreev, Grosjean, and Safin-- not as strong as the women's, but not a field to sneeze at.

I see no reason why anyone should pay attention to a tennis event at the olympics when there are far more rare and interesting competitions.

If you don't see any reason to pay attention to it, then don't do so. But don't begrudge those who do. And there are many who do enjoy tennis at the Olympics. And, in any case, there's a logical fallacy at work here, too-- the "excluded middle": one can't enjoy both tennis and the other "more rare and interesting competitions." When it is, of course, entirely possible to enjoy any of the Olympic events you want to enjoy. Or not.