Tennis at the 1988 Summer Olympics

Dates 20 September – 1 October 1988
Medal Events 4

Tennis was contested at every Olympics from 1896-1924, but the sport was removed from the Olympic Program after the Paris Olympics. The sport was discontinued after 1924 because of disputes between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF) over amateur rules. In addition, the ruling bodies of tennis, then centered in London, were concerned that the Olympic tournament might begin to overshadow Wimbledon.

Tennis would return as a demonstration sport in 1968 and 1984, and then return to the Olympic Program as a full-medal sport in 1988. Its return was orchestrated mostly by Italian IOC Member Giorgio De Stefani, who had been President of the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF) on three separate occasions. De Stefani was a former Italian doubles champion, reached the final of the 1932 French Championships in singles, losing to Henri Cochet, and played in 34 ties for the Italian Davis Cup team.

The Seoul tennis events took place on hardcourts at the Te-ni-seu-jang, or Olympic Tennis Centre, in the Olympic Park (Ol-lim-pik Gong-won) in Seoul. It was finished in 1986, being built specifically for the 1988 Olympics, and had 13 courts, with the main stadium having seating for 10,000.

There were four events in 1988 Olympic tennis, men’s and women’s singles and doubles. Eight nations won medals in 1988 tennis, with the United States winning the most, with 5, and winning both doubles events. The women’s singles was won by Germany’s Steffi Graf, who had won the demonstration singles event at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.


Event Status Date Participants NOCs
Singles, Men Olympic 20 – 30 September 1988 64 32
Doubles, Men Olympic 23 September – 1 October 1988 62 31
Singles, Women Olympic 23 September – 1 October 1988 48 26
Doubles, Women Olympic 24 – 30 September 1988 28 14
129 (81/48) 38 (36/26)


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Singles, Men Miloslav MečířTCH Tim MayotteUSA Stefan Edberg
Brad Gilbert
Doubles, Men United StatesUSA SpainESP Czechoslovakia
Singles, Women Steffi GrafFRG Gabriela SabatiniARG Zina Garrison
Manuela Maleeva
Doubles, Women United StatesUSA CzechoslovakiaTCH Australia
West Germany

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
United States USA 2 1 2 5
Czechoslovakia TCH 1 1 1 3
West Germany FRG 1 0 1 2
Argentina ARG 0 1 0 1
Spain ESP 0 1 0 1
Sweden SWE 0 0 2 2
Australia AUS 0 0 1 1
Bulgaria BUL 0 0 1 1