Olympics: Tennis - Was this as good as it gets?
By Kylie MacLellan
LONDON (Reuters) - Twenty-four years after it was reintroduced to the Games, Olympic tennis may well have peaked.
Hosted at Wimbledon, featuring its strongest ever starting line-up and wrapped up with the crowning of a home champion, London will be a hard act to follow for Rio de Janeiro.
"I don't think there's ever going to be another Olympic Games in such a venue. So it's definitely a very special moment," said Victoria Azarenka of Belarus after collecting bronze in the women's singles and gold in the mixed doubles.
Dropped from the Games after 1924, Olympic tennis has gradually risen in prominence since making its return in 1988, despite regular questions about its inclusion.
London saw 18 of the world's top 20 men and 19 of the top 20 women among the competitors.
Of the four players who reached the singles finals, three - Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Roger Federer - were looking to complete the 'golden slam' of adding an Olympic gold to all four grand slam titles.
"Tennis really belongs at the Olympics. We are athletes just as all these other amazing athletes are," said Williams, who won gold in both the women's singles and, with sister Venus, in the doubles.
"There are so many great tennis players that deserve ... to have an event at the Olympics and come and have a chance to compete for what I think is the biggest prize for an athlete, which is a gold medal." Continued...