"The medals count, too"Christophe Dechaux
, a tennis pro, offers
his analysis of Olympic tennis.
Nadal's year! He won the French Open, Wimbledon and finally, the Olympics. On Monday, he became
the world's number one player, and the tennis world is anxious to see his
performance at the US Open.
Federer did well also, taking away a doubles gold.
tennis is becoming more exciting because the best players are participating.
This year, the world's top four were in Beijing: Nadal, Federer, Novak Djokovic and
Nikolay Davydenko (who lost to Paul-Henri Mathieu of France).
when tennis came back to the Seoul Games - thanks to Philippe Chatrier,
president at the time of the International Tennis Federation - the best players
did not all attend. They preferred to prepare for the US Open (as did the United States' Andy Roddick this year).
year, for the first time, players participating in the Olympics will win ATP
points for the next season. This new measure can only help draw the greats to
the games, especially since there are other tournaments - in Washington and Los Angeles - at the same time as the Olympics.
In the end,
the Olympic tournament was more exciting this time around. (In 2004, Nicolas
Massu of Chile won.) The quality of the matches is
other hand, there are fewer surprises, in the women's game as well as the men's.
Russia is back, with Elena Dementieva's win. And the
Williams sisters dominated the doubles.
one's country every four years is important for the best players, such as Nadal
and Federer; it really means something to them. Federer was a flag-carrier
again this year, as he was in Athens in 2004.
shown the same attitude by adjusting his schedule to participate in the David
Cup at the qualifying level. And Nadal is always there for it, too.
Olympic Games are important for the great players, and it's not just a question
of image. The medals count, too. This year, the Olympics may be seen as the
fifth tournament of the Grand Slam.
have also been an occasion for certain players to show what they can do. I'm
thinking particularly of France's Arnaud di Pasquale, who hasn't
achieved much in his career - just one title, in Palermo in 1999. But we remember him
because he won the bronze in Sydney in 2000. There's also Amélie
Mauresmo, also from France, who won a silver medal in Athens in 2004.
the French doubles team of Arnaud Clément and Mickael Llodra were frustrated to
finish fourth. It was their last chance at an Olympic medal. They don't think
they'll make it to London in 2012."