Roddick, Williams Sisters Among Players Named for U.S. Olympic Tennis
The USTA, the governing body for the sport of tennis in the United States, announced today the 12 players nominated to the U.S. Olympic Tennis Teams for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, July 28-August 5, 2012, to be played on the courts at Wimbledon.
U.S. women’s tennis coach Mary Joe Fernandez nominated a six-person team with four singles entries and two doubles teams. Serena Williams, the 13-time Grand Slam singles champion, will lead the U.S. women’s contingent along with Christina McHale, Varvara Lepchenko and three-time Olympic gold medalist Venus Williams, who will be competing in her fourth Olympics.
The world’s No. 1 women’s doubles team of Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond will compete for the U.S. in doubles, as will the Williams sisters, who are undefeated in Olympic doubles competition and seeking their third gold medal as a pair (2000, 2008).
U.S. men’s tennis coach Jay Berger also nominated a six-player team consisting of four singles entries and two doubles teams. Andy Roddick, a 2004 Olympian, was named along with John Isner, Ryan Harrison and Donald Young in singles.
The 2008 bronze medalists in men’s doubles, Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, will return to the Olympics as a U.S. men’s doubles team, with Isner and Roddick making up a second doubles team.
The U.S. will also nominate two teams in mixed doubles -- which will be contested at the Olympics Games for the first time since tennis returned to the Games in 1988 -- comprised from among the 12 players, and named once all players are on site.
The U.S. has won 17 Olympic medals in men’s and women’s tennis since it returned as a full medal sport in 1988 -- more than any other nation.
"These 12 players have worked extremely hard to earn selection to the U.S. Olympic Team, and they will be granted the tremendous honor of playing for their country on the world’s biggest stage," said Jon Vegosen, chairman of the board and president, USTA. "That the competition is being held on perhaps tennis’ most hallowed grounds, these Olympics will surely augment a memorable summer of tennis."
Venus and Serena Williams are the last American women to win Olympic gold in tennis, having captured the 2008 gold medal in women’s doubles.
Andre Agassi was the last American man to win Olympic gold in men’s singles when he defeated Spain’s Sergi Bruguera in the gold medal match at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Ken Flach and Robert Seguso are the last American team to win Olympic gold in men’s doubles when they defeated Spain’s Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez in the gold medal match at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.
Tennis was part of the Olympic program from the first modern Olympiad in 1896 until 1924. After a 64-year hiatus, tennis returned to the official Olympic program in 1988, becoming the first sport to feature professional athletes.
Serve Up School Tennis with TGA
The USTA has partnered with TGA Premier Youth Tennis, a leading national school-based youth tennis organization, to provide kids access to tennis through afterschool programming.
TGA will help make tennis more accessible to youth by bringing a unique USTA/TGA tennis enrichment curriculum to PK-8th grade students at their schools and other community-based organizations.
Using equipment that’s sized right for kids, and lesson plans developed in partnership with the USTA, the 5-level enrichment program in PK-3rd grade promotes advancement and achievement through an instruction-based curriculum. Students in 4th-8th grade participate in play-based curriculum, building their skills to prepare them for high school tennis participation -- and beyond.
While this partnership with the USTA is new, TGA has had great success over the past decade introducing kids to the sport of golf and currently runs programs in over 2,500 schools nationwide.
TGA’s goals are to Teach tennis through a fun and unique curriculum, Grow students’ passion for the sport throughout the community, and open doors for students to Achieve future success in USTA programs, in the classroom, on the court -- AND -- in life.
Franchise info is also available -- TGA and the USTA serve-up the chance to grow tennis, own your own business in the extracurricular space and impact your community. Entrepreneur magazine named TGA 1 of 10 Best Franchise Deals in the world in 2010 and a top Home Based Business Franchise in 2012, and Franchise Business Review named TGA a Top 10 Child Services Franchise in 2012. If you, or anyone you know, might be interested, check out www.franchisetga.com
To find out more about a USTA/TGA program in your area, to become a coach, or to learn how you can get involved, go to www.playtga.com
or follow TGA on Twitter @TGAyouthtennis.