The story goes that John Pius Boland was only in Athens in 1896 to visit a friend. But he was persuaded to enter the Olympic tennis tournament and duly won both the singles and doubles. Although Boland was from Dublin, the political landscape was such that he represented Great Britain.
Boland's double has helped Britain to the top of the overall Olympic tennis medal list with 44, although that has much to do with past glories, this year's hosts having won only one medal since 1924. The United States have claimed the most gold medals with 17.
Tennis was a fixture at the Games until 1924, but it was then dropped until 1988, apart from demonstration appearances in 1968 and 1984.
Since being restored to the programme, the tennis tournament has been graced by some of the legends of the game.
Steffi Graf landed the women's singles gold for West Germany in 1988, beating Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina in the final, while her future husband, Andre Agassi, struck gold for the United States in the men's singles in 1996.
Venus Williams, another famous American player, triumphed in the women's singles in 2000 and partnered sister Serena to the women's doubles title in 2000 and 2008.
EVENTS / FAVOURITES / FORMAT:
1. Roger Federer (Switzerland)
2. Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
3. Rafa Nadal (Spain)
4. Andy Murray (Great Britain)
5. David Ferrer (Spain)
6. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (France)
7. Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic)
8. Janko Tipsarevic (Serbia)
1. Victoria Azarenka (Belarus)
2. Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland)
3. Maria Sharapova (Russia)
4. Serena Williams (United States)
5. Samantha Stosur (Australia)
6. Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic)
7. Angelique Kerber (Germany)
8. Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark)
1 Bryan/Bryan (United States)
2 Fyrstenberg/Matkowski (Poland)
3 Llodra/Tsonga (France)
4 TipsareviC/ZimonjiC (Serbia)
5 Nestor/Pospisil (Canada)
6 Bury/Mirnyi (Belarus)
7 Paes/Vardhan (India)
8 Brunstrom/Lindstedt (Sweden)
1 Williams/Williams (United States)
2 Huber/Raymond (United States)
3 Errani/Vinci (Italy)
4 Kirilenko/Petrova (Russia)
5 Srebotnik/Klepac (Slovenia)
6 Shvedova/Voskoboeva (Kazakhstan)
7 Vesnina/Makarova (Russia)
8 Radwanska/Radwanska (Poland)
All competitions will be conducted on a knockout basis with players and pairs seeded according to ITF rankings.
All matches are decided by the best of three sets with the exception of the men’s singles final which will be the best of five sets and all Mixed Doubles matches which will be resolved by a first-to-10 tie-break if they reach one set all.
ALL-TIME MEDAL TABLE:
- Sports & Recreation
- John Pius Boland