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Olympics 2024 Tennis: How It Works In Paris



Olympics 2024 Tennis: How It Works In Paris

The Roland Garros site in Paris preparing to host 2024 Olympics tennis may look familiar to tennis fans, but the format for Olympic tennis has a distinctly different approach than one of the season’s four annual major tournaments.

Running Saturday, July 27, through Sunday, Aug. 4, the Paris 2024 Olympics welcomes a 64-player draw for each singles competition (men’s and women’s), a 32-team doubles tournament for the men and women and a 16-team mixed doubles draw. How the players qualify for the tournament and the schedule of events comes a touch different than the norm.

How Tennis Players Qualify for Olympics 2024

Just like a regular tour event, a player’s ATP or WTA ranking plays a major factor in determining qualification for Olympic tennis. But there’s a few additional boxes to tick off.

Of the 64 players in each of the singles draw, tour rankings determine 56 of those spots, called direct acceptances. But a ranking alone isn’t enough. A player ranked in the top-56 in the world on June 10, 2024, must also have participated in Davis Cup (for the men) or Billie Jean King Cup (for the women) events to meet International Tennis Federation eligibility. There are exceptions made.

There’s also a limit of athletes for each nation. Every national Olympic committee can send a total of 12 athletes, six per gender and only four in the singles, two doubles teams and one mixed doubles team.

That means that if an athlete is a top-56 player in the world, but not top-four in their country, they don’t automatically receive a direct acceptance. Those direct acceptance spots then go to the next highest ranked player in the world. Also, each time a player eligible for direct acceptance declines the Olympics invite, it opens another spot down the ranking ladder.

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The final singles spots are essentially wild cards, with places available for athletes based on performances at recent regional games, such as the Pan American Games, a spot for the host nation, if needed, and two spots in each singles draw for a previous Olympic singles gold medalist or major winner that did not qualify by direct acceptance. Those spots—in Paris, that includes Andy Murray of Great Britain and Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland—go to players in the top-400. If more than two players fit the criteria, preference is given to the athlete with the highest number of titles.

Players can also use protected and special rankings, as Rafael Nadal is doing, allowing them to preserve a top-56 ranking before an injury, for example.

For the doubles, it can get a bit tricky. The first players to qualify are any top-10 doubles players in the rankings, but only if they have an available partner from their country ranked in the top-300. After that, quotas get distributed using a combined ranking of the partners.

Players already qualified in either singles or doubles can make up one of the 16 mixed doubles team, one pair per nation. If more than 16 teams enter, the final draw is decided by the combined rankings of the partners.

The 2024 entry list features 184 players with a total of 41 nations represented across the five events.

The Americans Playing Olympic 2024 Tennis

The United States filled its limit of four players for each Olympic tennis singles draw. The women’s team consists of Coco Gauff, Jessica Pegula, Danielle Collins and Emma Navarro in singles and Desirae Krawczyk in doubles. Krawczyk will pair with Collins, while Gauff and Pegula will form the other doubles duo. Madison Keys declined her singles invite.

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On the men’s side, three of the top-four American men—Ben Shelton, Frances Tiafoe and Sebastian Korda—all declined Olympics invites. The four men’s singles players are Taylor Fritz, Tommy Paul, Chris Eubanks and Marcos Giron. Rajeev Ram and Austin Krajicek will pair up for doubles, with Fritz and Paul making up the other American men’s doubles team.

The lone American mixed doubles team will be announced, along with the entire draw, following Wimbledon.

Olympics 2024 Tennis Schedule

With half the number of singles players in the Olympics draw compared to a major, the schedule for the tennis event falls more in line with what we once saw during one-week Masters events. The event kicks off on Saturday, July 27—the morning following the Opening Ceremony on the River Seine—and runs through the next weekend, with the women’s singles gold-medal match on Saturday, Aug. 3, and the men’s singles gold-medal match on Sunday, Aug. 4. In Olympics fashion, bronze-medal matches will also happen on the same day as the gold-medal matches.

Summer Olympics 2024 Tennis Site

Just as the 2012 Summer Olympics in London used the famed Wimbledon courts for the Olympics, Paris is dipping into history and featuring Roland Garros as the host site for the tournament. Originally opened in 1928, the modernized site will feature 12 match courts and six practice courts, highlighted by the 15,000-seat Court Philippe Chatrier and the 9,000-seat Court Suzanne Lenglen, both with retractable roofs, for Olympics 2024.

History of Tennis as an Olympic Sport

Tennis is nothing new at the Olympics. The sport was featured at the first modern Olympiad in Athens in 1896 but was pulled after the 1924 event due to questions on how to define amateur players. Tennis returned as a demonstration event, both in Mexico in 1968 and Los Angeles in 1984, but didn’t make the full return until Seoul in 1988. It has remained a mainstay on the Olympic schedule since.

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