Tennis was part of the Summer Olympic Games program from the inaugural 1896 Summer Olympics, but was dropped after the 1924 Summer Olympics due to disputes between the International Lawn Tennis Federation and the International Olympic Committee over allowing amateur players to compete.[1][2] After two appearances as a demonstration sport in 1968 and 1984,[3] it returned as a full medal sport at the 1988 Summer Olympics and has been played at every edition of the Games since then.[4]

2012 Women’s Singles medalists, Serena Williams (center), Maria Sharapova (right) and Victoria Azarenka (left).
In 1896, 1900, 1904, 1988, and 1992, semifinal losers shared bronze medals. In all other years, a playoff match for the bronze medal was staged.

From the 2004 Athens Olympics until the 2012 London Olympics, results from the Olympics was counted towards both the ATP and WTA world rankings in singles for that calendar year; no points will be awarded for the 2016 Rio Olympics. While the ranking points distribution did not equate to those given at the Grand Slam tournaments, the Olympic tournaments have increased in perceived importance since their reintroduction, with some players, critics and sports pundits considering winning the gold at the Olympics just as prestigious as winning a Grand Slam title.[5][6] A player who wins an Olympic gold medal and all four Grand Slam events is said to have won a Golden Slam.

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