The International Tennis Federation (ITF) was founded in 1924 as the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF), changing its name in 1977. Tennis made its debut at the inaugural modern Olympic Games in 1896.
Tennis withdrew from the Olympic programme after 1924. It did not return as a medal sport until 1988. Today, Olympic competition includes men’s and women’s singles and doubles.
At the 1984 Los Angeles Games, Steffi Graf won the Olympic tennis demonstration tournament despite being its youngest entrant aged just 15 years old. By the time the she arrived in Seoul in 1988 to compete in the inaugural full medal event, she was world number one having completed the Grand Slam less than a week before. She won with some ease.
As with most tournaments, Olympic tennis is a knockout competition. All matches are played best of three sets except the men’s singles and doubles finals, which are best of five. In all four divisions, the semi-final winners play to decide the gold and silver medals, and the semi-final losers play for the bronze.