The Olympic Games are just around the corner and all the tennis players who have qualified are excited about joining the biggest sporting event in the world, while those left behind are dreaming about being able to play the next time. Now I'd like to ask you: Do you think the Olympic Tennis Event is at par with Grand Slams or do you see the gold medal as less important than a Grand Slam trophy?
Here's what WTA players are saying:
It’s getting closer and closer. I’m getting little butterflies in my stomach. As a tennis player, you get to play Grand Slams what seems every other week. You don’t think about the Olympics. It’s an added bonus. – SERENA WILLIAMS, 2000 and 2008 gold medalist with sister Venus in the women’s doubles
The Olympics is one of my biggest goals. Growing up, the Olympics was a huge part of our culture, so I can’t wait to be an Olympian. – MARIA SHARAPOVA, Russia's first female flag-bearer
The moment when I was handed the Olympic torch was one of the most emotional and amazing moments of my life, let alone my career. – ELENA BALTACHA, Britain's No.4
From my point of view, even though the Olympics are without a doubt overall the biggest sports event, in the case of tennis, I find Grand Slam titles more important than an Olympic gold medal, even though I can absolutely understand how special the Olympic event is and how amazing it must be to win a medal there.
The Olympics are more exclusive because they come around once every four years, but at Grand Slams the draws are larger (players have to win one match extra to win a title) and at Grand Slams players earn more rankings points (at the Olympics gold medalist receives 685 rankings points, while Grand Slam champions get 2000).
Your thoughts? Feel free to share your perspective in the comments below.
Marine, thanks for the inspiration for this article!