Tennis at Olympics 2024: A look ahead to Paris

Tennis at Olympics 2024: A look ahead to Paris
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As a huge tennis fan, my mind often focuses on the four majors and 1000-level tournaments. However, I’ve been thinking of the 2024 Paris Olympics for months now, mainly due to what’s on the line for many key players. It promises to be a special event, too – taking place on the red clay of Roland Garros.

I can’t wait to witness the guaranteed passion of the French crowds as multiple individuals bid to pick up an Olympic Gold Medal. Of course, this is the stuff tennis dreams are made of for the vast majority of participants! With this in mind, the objective today is to give you an early look into tennis at the Olympics 2024.

I’ll be taking a broad look at the schedule, players, special things on the line, and who I feel has the best chance of bringing from the Gold Medal. So, let’s dive in.

Key information for the tennis at Olympics 2024

The 2024 Olympics are not too far away at the time of writing. In fact, the official start of the Olympics is July 16th, and the official end of the Olympics is August 11th. So, as you can see, we’re promised almost a month of top-level athletes from all backgrounds fighting for Gold in their respective sports. But what about the specifics of the tennis at Olympics 2024?

Well, before I get into the key players and predictions, I’d like to cover some of the specific information you must know to track the event properly. 

Olympics tennis schedule

Although I’ve given you the general overview of the Summer Olympics schedule above, the tennis schedule is a little different. For clarity, the tennis event for the 2024 Olympics will begin on July 27th and will end on August 4th. Within this period, there will be a men’s and women’s singles event, a men’s and women’s doubles event, and a mixed doubles event.

Tennis at Olympics 2024 – location, venue, and playing surface

As you’ve probably guessed, given that Paris is hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics, the tennis events are set to be held at Roland Garros. This is the venue where the French Open is played each year, meaning that the event will be played on red clay. Of course, this will suit some more than others, and this alone makes the 2024 tennis event very interesting.

Tennis at Olympics 2024 preview
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This is all the more true since the actual French Open is set to be held less than a couple of months before the Summer Olympics. And with that said, many are still wondering – will Nadal play at the French Open? 

Event format

Shifting to the event format now, it goes without saying that the Olympics doesn’t follow a typical tennis tournament structure. Sure, there are similarities in terms of it being a knockout event, but there are other differences you should know. For example, the singles events will each have 64 players, the doubles events will have 32 pairs, and the mixed doubles will have 16 pairs.

As for the individual matches, all matches will be played using the ‘best of three’ system seen in regular tournaments. However, a match tie-break will be used instead of a final set in the doubles and mixed doubles events.

Lastly, the losers of the semi-finals will face off for a Bronze Medal in a playoff game, which is different from regular tournaments.

Most recent Gold Medal winners

Given that the Olympics are only held once every four years, we’ve got to look back to 2020 for the last Gold Medal winners. That said, it was Alexander Zverev who claimed Gold in 2020 for the men’s singles. And for the women’s singles, it was Belinda Bencic who claimed Gold.

Tennis at Olympics 2024 – the biggest stories

Because the Olympics only occurs once every four years, this makes every event special. But at the same time, it puts added pressure on the competing players to deliver, especially for those who are towards the end of their careers. This is the case for both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal this year. It’s essentially certain that this will be Nadal’s last Olympics, and it could well be the same for Djokovic.

The great Serb has never won Gold, however, and this is pretty much the only ‘trophy’ missing from his collection. As for Nadal, the fact that the tennis at Olympics 2024 is set to be played at Roland Garros will give him a huge boost. But with young guns like Sinner, Alcaraz, and many others set to compete, too, it will be anything but easy for the old boys.

As for the women’s side, I definitely feel that the venue is a big plus point for players like Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff. Neither has collected a Gold Medal before, yet there are big threats from players like Sabalenka, Rybakina, and many others, too.

My predictions for tennis at Olympics 2024

As promised, while the Olympics are still a few months away (at the time of writing), I wish to give a few predictions in the build-up to the event.

Tennis at Olympics 2024 predictions
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So, let me get right into it without wasting any time.

The women’s race – Iga Swiatek

On the women’s side, I’m struggling to bet against the relentlessness of Iga Swiatek. The 22-year-old Pole is truly formidable when she hits top form, especially on clay. And as the current world number one, she’s got to be the favourite since the Olympics will unfold at Roland Garros. 

Furthermore, she’s won the French Open three times already, so she obviously loves this venue! Then again, she has struggled against players like Sabalenka and Rybakina over the last 12/18 months, so she’ll need to overcome those individuals if she encounters them.

The men’s race – Novak Djokovic

The 2024 season has been unusual for Novak Djokovic, and not only because he hasn’t claimed any titles. He’s split with his long-term coach, and he’s withdrawn from numerous events for different reasons. But over the years, I’ve learned not to write this man off, especially when it looks as though he’s down and out.

This is when he’s most dangerous, and I think his motivation to claim Gold at the Paris Olympics will be off the scale.

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