Winning a career slam by taking the singles titles at the four global Grand Slam tournaments – Wimbledon, US Open, Australian Open and the French Open – is often considered to be the very pinnacle of a professional tennis player’s achievements. With many of today’s top tennis stars holding multiple career slams and grand slam titles, just how much does winning the Olympic tennis event actually mean to them. According to the world’s best, quite a lot!
In just a few weeks time the Olympic Games are set to commence in London, and with it the special Wimbledon Olympics will see the likes of Roger Federer, Venus & Serena Williams and Andy Murray descend once again on the lawns of the All England Tennis Club. The general consensus amongst these players is that the Olympics is an event to be taken very seriously, and is in fact the ultimate dream for players like Venus Williams who has always held a special place in her heart for Olympic tennis.
Serena Williams shares Venus appreciation for the event, and despite already being a gold medallist, is still “getting little butterflies” in anticipation of the 2012 games. It’s not just the Williams sisters that view winning the Olympics as a career goal, fellow leading female player Maria Sharapova will be making her Olympic debut this year and is also making history as Russia’s first female flag-bearer at the Olympic ceremony. When asked about what the event means to her, the former world number 1 explained that growing up in Russia “the Olympics as a huge part of our culture, so I can’t wait to be an Olympian.”
Following his disappointment at losing out on the Wimbledon trophy to resurgent number 1 Roger Federer, Andy Murray hopes to bounce back with a gold medal and believes that “the Olympics are up there with the Slams”. For Federer himself and long-term rival Rafael Nadal, competing at the Olympics at Wimbledon is “going to be incredible” and will probably be “the most special thing that can happen” to a professional tennis player. All four players currently topping the ATP world rankings will be making the second appearance at the Olympic Games; however that’s not dimmed their enthusiasm for competing at this year’s truly historic and memorable event