Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Date Started: September 20, 1988
Date Finished: October 1, 1988
Participants: 129 (81 men and 48 women) from 38 countries
Youngest Participant: Arantxa Sánchez Vicario (16 years, 281 days)
Oldest Participant: Anand Amritraj (36 years, 188 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 4 athletes with 2 medals
Most Medals (Country): United States (5 medals)
Tennis was contested at every Olympics from 1896-1924, but the sport was removed from the Olympic Program after the Paris Olympics. The sport was discontinued after 1924 because of disputes between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF) over amateur rules. In addition, the ruling bodies of tennis, then centered in London, were concerned that the Olympic tournament might begin to overshadow Wimbledon.
Tennis would return as a demonstration sport in 1968 and 1984, and then return to the Olympic Program as a full-medal sport in 1988. Its return was orchestrated mostly by Italian IOC Member [Giorgio De Stefani], who had been President of the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF) on three separate occasions. De Stefani was a former Italian doubles champion, reached the final of the 1932 French Championships in singles, losing to Henri Cochet, and played in 34 ties for the Italian Davis Cup team.
The Seoul tennis events took place on hardcourts at the [Te-ni-seu-jang], or Olympic Tennis Centre, in the Olympic Park (Ol-lim-pik Gong-won) in Seoul. It was finished in 1986, being built specifically for the 1988 Olympics, and had 13 courts, with the main stadium having seating for 10,000.
There were four events in 1988 Olympic tennis, men’s and women’s singles and doubles. Eight nations won medals in 1988 tennis, with the United States winning the most, with 5, and winning both doubles events. The women’s singles was won by Germany’s Steffi Graf, who had won the demonstration singles event at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.