From the USTA: WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 15, 2016 — The USTA, the governing body for the sport of tennis in the United States, today announced the 12-player U.S. Olympic Tennis Team roster for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 5-21.
U.S. women’s tennis coach Mary Joe Fernandez nominated six players with four singles entries and two doubles teams. The 22-time Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams will compete in the singles competition along with Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens, both making their Olympic debut, as well as Venus Williams, who will be competing in her fifth Olympics.In doubles, Serena Williams, the reigning singles gold medalist, and sister Venus Williams will look to remain undefeated in Olympic doubles competition as they seek their fourth gold medal (2000, 2008, 2012). They will be joined by first-time Olympians Bethanie Mattek-Sands and CoCo Vandeweghe in the doubles draw.
U.S. men’s tennis coach Jay Berger also nominated six players, including four singles entries and two doubles teams. Four American men will make their Olympic debuts, asSteve Johnson, Jack Sock, Denis Kudla and Brian Baker each will play singles. Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, the reigning gold medalists in men’s doubles,will return to the Olympics as a U.S. doubles team, with Johnson and Sock making up the other U.S. doubles pairing.
The U.S. will later announce its two teams in mixed doubles – which will be contested at the Olympics for the second time since tennis returned to the Games in 1988 – comprised from among the 12 players already named, once all players are in Rio.
The 2016 Olympic Games will be held August 5-21 in Rio with the tennis competition being staged August 6-14 at the Barra Tennis Center. The U.S. has won 21 Olympic medals in men’s and women’s tennis since it returned as a full medal sport in 1988 – more than any other nation.
“The USTA is extremely proud of the 12 athletes who have worked countless hours on and off the court to earn the opportunity to represent the United States at the Rio Games,” said Katrina Adams, USTA Chairman, CEO and President. “It’s going to be an exciting time for the eight first-time Olympians and for the four returning gold medalists. I’m looking forward to watching them compete as they look to claim gold.”
Serena Williams, 34, is the reigning singles gold medalist and a three-time gold medalist in doubles (2000, 2008, 2012). She also was a singles quarterfinalist in her only other Olympic singles appearance in 2008. By winning the Olympic gold medal in singles and again in doubles in 2012, Williams became the first player ever to complete the career Golden Slam in singles and doubles (winning all four Grand Slam events and the Olympic gold medal in a career). Williams is a 22-time Grand Slam singles champion, tying her with Steffi Graf for second on the all-time list, two behind Margaret Court. Serena also has captured 14 Grand Slam doubles titles and two mixed doubles titles. She is one of six women in history to have held the No. 1 rankings in both singles and doubles simultaneously and finished 2015 as the No. 1 player in the world for the fifth time. Williams holds a 16-1 record in Fed Cup play, including 13-0 in singles, and she helped the U.S. capture the 1999 Fed Cup title. Williams is ranked No. 1 in the world.
Venus Williams, 36, holds four Olympic gold medals and will become the first American tennis player to compete in five Olympic Games. She captured the gold medal in singles in 2000 and won gold medals in doubles with her sister Serena in 2000, 2008, and 2012. She is a seven-time Grand Slam champion, including five Wimbledon titles, and has won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles and two mixed doubles titles. She also has ranked No. 1 in both singles and doubles. Williams posted her first Top 10 season since 2010 last year, winning three WTA titles and reaching the quarterfinals at the Australian Open and US Open. In 2013, she re-entered the Top 20 for the first time since being diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder, following the 2011 US Open. Williams is 23-4 in Fed Cup competition, including 19-2 in singles, and she helped lead the U.S. to the 1999 title. Williams is ranked No. 7 in the world.
Keys, 21, will make her Olympic debut on the heels of breaking into the Top 10 for the first time this June, becoming the first American to debut in the Top 10 since Serena Williams in April 1999. Keys won her second WTA singles title in June at the grass-court Aegon Classic, played in Birmingham in Great Britain. With the title, Keys peaked at No. 9 in the world. Keys advanced to her first career Grand Slam semifinal at the 2015 Australian Open, where she upset No. 4 seed Petra Kvitova and No. 18 seed Venus Williams. This year, Keys reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and the French Open. She captured her first WTA title at the grass-court event in Eastbourne, Great Britain in 2014, and in 2011, she became the youngest player to win a main draw match at the US Open since Nicole Vaidisova in 2005. Keys has played in three Fed Cup ties for the U.S. with a 3-3 overall record (2-2 in singles, 1-1 in doubles). She is ranked No. 11 in the world.
Stephens, 23, is making her Olympic debut and has won three WTA titles this year in Charleston, S.C., Auckland, and Acapulco. She won her first WTA title last year in Washington D.C. Stephens’ breakout came at the 2013 Australian Open, where she defeated Serena Williams en route to the semifinals. At 19 years, 10 months, 3 days old, Stephens was the youngest American to reach a Grand Slam singles semifinal since Williams reached the 2000 Wimbledon semifinals at 18 years, 9 months, 8 days old. Stephens also advanced to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 2013 to peak at No. 11 in the world that October. Stephens has played in four Fed Cup ties for the U.S., and is ranked No. 23 in the world.
Vandeweghe, 24, is making her Olympic debut and won her second WTA singles title this year in ‘s’Hertogenbosch, Netherlands (she also won that title in 2014). The following week, she advanced to the semifinals of the WTA event in Birmingham, Great Britain, to reach No. 29 in the world. Vandeweghe also has had success in doubles, advancing to the semifinals at the 2015 US Open and the quarterfinals at the 2016 Australian Open. She also won her first WTA doubles title this year in Indian Wells with her Olympic doubles partner Mattek-Sands. Vandeweghe, also a U.S. Fed Cup player, is ranked No. 35 in the world.
Mattek-Sands, 31, is a veteran on the WTA Tour, but is making her Olympic debut. She is ranked in the Top 10 in doubles and swept back-to-back doubles titles in Indian Wells (with Vandeweghe) and Miami (with Lucie Safarova) this year for her 18th and 19th WTA doubles titles. In 2015, Mattek-Sands won the Australian Open and French Open women’s doubles titles (with Safarova) and the French Open mixed doubles title (with Olympian Mike Bryan). At the 2012 Australian Open, Mattek-Sands teamed with Horia Tecau to win her first Grand Slam title in mixed doubles. In singles, Mattek-Sands has played in 14 US Opens and reached the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2008 and the French Open in 2013 for her career-best Grand Slam results. In 2011, she was ranked a career-high No. 30 in the world in singles before being sidelined by a rotator cuff injury. Mattek-Sands holds a 5-0 record in Fed Cup doubles and a 2-6 record in singles, playing in seven ties. She is ranked No. 12 in the world in doubles.
Johnson, 26, is making his Olympic debut. He is ranked a career-high No. 29 in the world after winning his first ATP singles title this June in Birmingham, Great Britain. Last year, Johnsonreached his first career ATP final in Vienna in October, while reaching three additional ATP semifinals.Johnson also made his debut for the U.S. Davis Cup Team in 2015 against Uzbekistan, winning the doubles rubber with Sam Querrey after the duo advanced to the US Open doubles semifinals together. Johnson turned pro in 2012 after completing an outstanding college tennis career at the University of Southern California, winning the 2011 and 2012 NCAA singles championships and leading the Trojans to team titles all four years he played for the school. Following USC, Johnson reached the third round of the 2012 US Open, becoming the first reigning NCAA champion to advance to the third round of the men’s singles since Sargis Sargisian in 1995. He is ranked No. 25 in the world.
Sock, 23, is making his Olympic debut. He reached the final of the ATP events in Auckland and Houston earlier this year and reached a career-high No. 22 in the world this January. Sock won his first ATP singles title in 2015 in Houston and his career-best Grand Slam result came when he reached the fourth round of the 2015 French Open. Sock also has thrived in doubles, winning the 2014 Wimbledon doubles title and the 2015 Indian Wells crown with Vasek Pospisil and peaking at a career-high No. 6 in the doubles rankings in May 2015. He also reached the doubles quarterfinals of the 2015 French Open and 2016 Australian Open. Sock made his Davis Cup debut in September 2015 in the World Group Playoff in Uzbekistan, where he won both of his singles matches to keep the U.S. Davis Cup team in the World Group for 2016. Sock also competed in the Davis Cup first round this March in Australia and was named to the team for this year’s quarterfinal against Croatia. He is ranked No. 26 in the world.
Kudla, 23, is making his Olympic debut and was one of the last direct entries into the Olympics. Kudlaearned a wild card into Wimbledon in 2015 and reached the fourth round for his career-best Grand Slam singles result. In summer 2015, he reached the semifinals of the Emirates Airline US Open Series event in Atlanta (his best ATP result) and qualified for both Cincinnati and Montreal. This year, Kudla won his first-round match at the Australian Open and won matches at the ATP events in Indian Wells, Miami, Houston, and Madrid. Kudla holds six USTA Pro Circuit singles titles and four doubles titles. He was ranked No. 3 in the world junior rankings and reached the boys’ singles final at the 2010 US Open. He is ranked No. 102 in the world.
Baker, 31, used a protected ranking to compete in the Olympics this year. He has played on the professional tennis circuit since 2001 and has had numerous successes, but also numerous injuries. At the 2013 Australian Open, Baker retired in his second-round match due to a knee injury and played in just three more tournaments that year (the last being the US Open), having knee surgery in 2014. In 2012, Baker reached his first-ever ATP final in Nice, France, and advanced to the fourth round of Wimbledon. He also won three singles titles on the USTA Pro Circuit in 2012, including the $50,000 Challenger in Savannah, Ga., to climb nearly 400 spots in the ATP rankings and into the Top 60. Baker also was a standout junior, peaking at No. 2 in the ITF World Junior Rankings in 2003 after reaching the boys’ singles final at the French Open. He is ranked No. 546 in the world and used a protected ranking to make the Olympic team.
Bob and Mike Bryan, 38, will make their fourth consecutive Olympic appearance. The brothers captured a gold medal in men’s doubles at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, as well as a bronze medal in men’s doubles in 2008. Together, they own 16 Grand Slam men’s doubles titles. Bob has won seven mixed doubles titles, while Mike has won four mixed doubles titles, including the 2015 French Open with Mattek-Sands. The Bryans own a record 112 ATP World Tour doubles titles together and ended 2014 as the No. 1-ranked doubles team in the world for a record 10th time in 12 years. Bob and Mike are 24-4 together in doubles when playing for the U.S. Davis Cup team and are the all-time winningest doubles team in U.S. Davis Cup history. They also helped lead the U.S. to the 2007 Davis Cup title. Bob has one additional doubles win in Davis Cup with Mardy Fish in 2010. Mike has two additional doubles wins in Davis Cup in 2008 and 2012. Bob is ranked No. 3 in the world in doubles, while Mike is ranked No. 4.
Venus and Serena Williams are the last American women to win Olympic gold in tennis, with Serena winning the singles gold medal and the sisters capturing the gold in women’s doubles at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. 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. The U.S. has not won gold in mixed doubles since 1988.
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.
Team nominations were made by the USTA’s Olympic Oversight Committee and are subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Tennis Federation.