Tennis at the 2016 Summer Olympics

Dates 6 – 14 August 2016
Medal Events 5

Tennis was contested at every Olympic Games from 1896 through 1924 as a regular medal sport. It was then discontinued, although it was on the schedule as a demonstration sport in 1968 and 1984. Tennis returned as a full medal sport in 1988, after full-time professionals were allowed to compete at the Olympics. Unlike previous editions of tennis at the Olympics, it was decided that the events in Rio would not qualify for ATP and WTA ranking points.

Up to 2008 four events were contested: men’s and women’s singles and men’s and women’s doubles, but since 2012 there has also been a mixed doubles event. The 2016 tournament was held at the Olympic Tennis Centre, at the Barra de Tijuca Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, which was purpose-built for the Games with a GreenSet Grand Prix Cushion surface.

All five events were single elimination contests and each event saw the players seeded to prevent players of the same ability being drawn against other in the early part of the competition. Each country was allowed six players per gender. The singles tournaments were scheduled for 64 players, the doubles for 32 pairs, and the mixed doubles for 16 pairs.

The 64 entrants in the two singles events were made up of the top 54 ranked players on both the ATP and WTA ranking lists published directly after the French Open. The International Tennis Federation assigned two quota places and six wildcard entries for each singles tournament. The ranking lists also established the first 24 doubles entrants, with eight wildcards then being awarded. A maximum of four single’s players and two doubles pairs were allowed to participate per country. For the mixed doubles only players who already played in the singles or doubles tournament were permitted to participate.

All matches were the best of three sets, except for the men’s singles final which was the best of five sets. The tie break operated in every set, including, for the first time at the Olympics, the final one. In the mixed doubles, the third set was played as a match tie-break (10 points). Heavy rain made it impossible to play on 10 August, all matches had to be rescheduled for the next day.

With the exception of the men’s singles, won by favourite Andy Murray, all of the events saw surprise winners. Serena Williams, the world number one, lost her third round match, and the unseeded Puerto Rican Mónica Puig won the first ever gold medal for her country beating Germany’s Angelique Kerber in the final. Serbian Novak Đoković, also the world number one, lost his first round match against Argentinian Juan Martín del Potro, which left Murray with a great chance to defend his title.

Serena and Venus Williams, the women’s doubles favourites, also lost their first round match, and the Russian duo Yekaterina Makarova and Yelena Vesnina won the gold medal, defeating Timea Bacsinszky and Martina Hingis from Switzerland in the final. As Bob and Mike Bryan withdrew from the men’s doubles for health reasons, and Spain’s Rafael Nadal won his second Olympic gold medal when he partnered Marc López to victory. The mixed doubles were won by Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jack Sock.

Events

Event Status Date Participants NOCs
Singles, Men Olympic 6 – 14 August 2016 64 34
Doubles, Men Olympic 6 – 12 August 2016 64 26
Singles, Women Olympic 6 – 13 August 2016 64 36
Doubles, Women Olympic 6 – 14 August 2016 64 23
Doubles, Mixed Olympic 11 – 14 August 2016 30 12
196 (105/91) 56 (43/38)

Medals

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Singles, Men Andy MurrayGBR Juan Martín del PotroARG Kei NishikoriJPN
Doubles, Men Spain 2ESP RomaniaROU United States 2USA
Singles, Women Mónica PuigPUR Angelique KerberGER Petra KvitováCZE
Doubles, Women Russian Federation 2RUS SwitzerlandSUI Czech Republic 1CZE
Doubles, Mixed United States 2USA United States 1USA Czech RepublicCZE

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
United States USA 1 1 1 3
Great Britain GBR 1 0 0 1
Puerto Rico PUR 1 0 0 1
Russian Federation RUS 1 0 0 1
Spain ESP 1 0 0 1
Argentina ARG 0 1 0 1
Germany GER 0 1 0 1
Romania ROU 0 1 0 1
Switzerland SUI 0 1 0 1
Czech Republic CZE 0 0 3 3
Japan JPN 0 0 1 1