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Tennis at the 1906 Athina Summer Games:

Men's Singles

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Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Athens Lawn Tennis Club, Athina
Date Started: April 23, 1906
Date Finished: April 26, 1906
Format: Single-elimination tournament.

Gold: FRA Max Décugis
Silver: FRA Maurice Germot
Bronze: BOH Zdeněk Žemla


Max Decugis was relatively unchallenged in winning this title, losing only two games in eight sets and four matches prior to the final. In the final, he defeated France's Maurice Germot in four sets (3-1). Germot was probably favored as he had been French singles champion in 1905-06, while Decugis had won that title in 1903-04.

Decugis was the greatest French tennis player prior to the "Four Musketeers" of the 1920's. He also has the greatest record of any Olympic tennis player, as he eventually won four Olympic gold medals and six Olympic medals in all: Gold - 1906 singles, doubles, and mixed; and the 1920 mixed (with Suzanne Lenglen); Silver - 1900 doubles; and Bronze - 1920 doubles. In the French Championships, which were closed until 1925, Decugis won 33 titles between 1902 and 1920 - 8 singles, 14 doubles, 11 mixed. His best performance at Wimbledon came in 1911 and 1912 when he made the singles' semi-finals. In 1911, he and André Gobert (FRA) won the gentlemen's doubles, the first Frenchmen to win a Wimbledon title. Decugis was also German singles champion in 1901-02.

Of note, "Guus" Kessler (NED) made it through to the semi-finals without playing a match, being given the benefit of three walk-overs. In the semis, he lost to Decugis love-love, thus finishing =4th in the Olympics without winning a single game.

None of the world's top men's players were in Athens in 1906. Laurie Doherty (GBR) had been Wimbledon singles champion in 1902-06, and was probably the greatest player in the world. Britain's Arthur Gore was Wimbledon runner-up in 1906-07, and would win that title in 1908-09. Norman Brookes of Australia was runner-up to Doherty in 1905 and would win the Wimbledon singles in 1907. America's top players were Beals Wright, the defending Olympic champion from 1904, who won the 1905 United States' singles title; and Bill Larned, U.S. singles champion in 1901-02, and 1907-11.

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Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Max Décugis 23 France FRA Gold
2 Maurice Germot 23 France FRA Silver
3 Zdeněk Žemla Bohemia BOH Bronze
4T Guus Kessler 17 Netherlands NED
4T Gerard Scheurleer 19 Netherlands NED
6T Leon Zarifis 21 Greece GRE
6T Karel Beukema 28 Netherlands NED
6T Georgios Simiriotis Greece GRE
9T Jaroslav Žemla Bohemia BOH
9T Xenophon Casdagli 26 Greece GRE
9T Jim Giraud 23 France FRA
9T Ioannis Ballis Greece GRE
9T Robert Schauffler 27 United States USA
14T Károly Vitus Hungary HUN
14T Nikolaos Karydias Greece GRE
14T Ladislav Žemla 18 Bohemia BOH
14T Homer Byington 26 United States USA
14T Nikolaos Zarifis 20 Greece GRE