Tennis guide - London 2012 Olympic Games

Your complete guide to tennis ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

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Photograph: Tennis via Shutterstock


Converted: Two Wimbledons in one summer... count me in!

Confused: If it’s not a Grand Slam, who cares?

RECOMMENDED: See our full list of London 2012 Olympic sport guides

Tennis - The essential guide

Street cred: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are among the biggest names at London 2012 but with the Olympics sandwiched between Wimbledon and the US Open, will they be bothered?   

Who’s good? Nadal is the reigning men’s champ, while the Williams sisters have won two of the last three women’s doubles golds.

The basics: Fifteen-love, 30-love… come on, you know this. Matches are three sets each, apart for the five-set men’s singles final and the mixed doubles, which is settled with a first-to-10 tie-break if they reach one set all.  

Athlete to watch: See 'Street cred' above.

Almost useless fact: The origin of the term ‘love’ in tennis is disputed. Some say it comes from l’oeuf  (the French word for egg) because an egg looks like a zero. Others think this explanation is stupid, and that it refers to playing ‘for love’, as opposed to money.

As seen in: 'The Royal Tenenbaums', where Richie Tenenbaum (Luke Wilson) experiences a Wimbledon meltdown so thorough it makes Tim Henman looks like a man of Churchillian resolve.

Do say: ‘The indefinable magic of Team USA will add some timely glamour to this increasingly maligned Olympic discipline.’

Don't say: ’Nadal Schmadal... where's Andre Agassi?'


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