20 Greatest Tennis Moments in Olympic History

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20 Greatest Tennis Moments in Olympic History
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Tennis emerged as part of the modern Olympics in 1896. It was one of the original nine events included in the first Summer Games held in Athens.

In the first year of competition, John Pius Boland of England won the singles title. He teamed with German Friedrich Traun to win the men's doubles in the only two tennis competitions held that year.

Britain's three-time Wimbledon champion Charlotte Cooper won the singles title in St. Louis in 1904. She became the first female Olympic champion in tennis as well; the first woman in any sport to win an Olympic gold medal.

The last Olympic tennis played in London prior to 2012 was in 1908 at the All-England Club and at Queen's Club.

The 1948 Games were held in London, but tennis was not a part of the program.

Tennis was dropped from the Olympics for 64 years, beginning with the 1924 Antwerp games until 1968 in Mexico City when it returned briefly as a "demonstration" sport. 1968 also marked the beginning of the Open Era of tennis, allowing professionals and amateurs to compete against one another.

Tennis had been eliminated from the Olympics because the International Tennis Federation and the International Olympic Committee were in dispute over the IOC's unyielding definition of "amateur." At the time, only amateur athletes were allowed into Olympic competition.

Now, of course, professional athletes compete on the world stage with amateurs in many disciplines like men's and women's basketball, although highlighting the efforts of amateur athletes around the globe remains preferable.

Tennis became part of the regular Olympic program again starting in 1988 in Seoul. The year 2012 marks the seventh year of Olympic competition with this year's games in London.

As we look back on the past six Summer Olympic seasons in tennis competition, these have been the most memorable tennis moments...

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