How Do You Qualify To Compete In Tennis For The Olympics?

Olympic Tennis Qualification

Like all Olympic sports the qualifying procedure for tennis competition is regulated by the governing body. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) and its major men’s and women’s leagues (ATP and WTA) control Olympic qualifying, mostly by awarding world ranking points. Keep reading to learn how to qualify for the Olympics in tennis.

Men’s and Women’s Singles

What is Singles in Tennis

Olympic singles tennis consists of a tournament of 64 athletes. In Olympic singles tennis, there must be at least one player from the host country of the current Olympics and one player from each continent.

These are the qualifications you must possess to be considered to play Olympic tennis for your country in singles:

  • Be among the top 56 ITF-ranked players worldwide
  • Be a previous gold medalist or Grand Slam Champion
  • Have won a recent continental tournament such as the Pan-American Games or the European Championships

Men’s and Women’s Doubles

​​What Is Doubles In Tennis

Olympic doubles tennis consists of 32 teams of two people each. There must be one team from the host country of the current Olympics. The first ten slots are given to the top 10 ITF-ranked doubles players and their partners. The remaining slots are filled based on the combined ITF doubles rankings of both players on the team. To qualify, both players must be ranked inside the top 300 in ITF doubles rankings.

Mixed Doubles

What Is Mixed Doubles Tennis

The Olympic mixed doubles tennis event consists of 16 teams of two. Only athletes who are qualified for singles or doubles competition may participate in the mixed doubles event. One mixed doubles team is permitted per country, and qualification is determined by the combined ITF rankings of the partners.

Number of Qualifiers for Olympic Tennis

In the Olympics, there are two different tournaments for both men and women: the singles and the doubles. In the singles, 64 individuals compete for the gold medal. In the doubles, 32 teams made of two players each compete to get onto the podium. In mixed doubles, 16 teams of two compete. Each country can send a maximum of 12 players total to the Olympics in tennis.

Tennis Rankings

Olympic qualification is mainly based on a player’s world ranking. There are two governing bodies in tennis: the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Each week, both organizations rank the world’s best tennis players based on a points system. A player gets points by finishing highly in major tournaments, like the Australian Open or the Pan-American Games.

Olympic Singles Tennis Qualification

The top 56 ranked competitors in the ATP and WTA are selected for the men’s and women’s tournaments. Six of the remaining spots in each category are reserved to make sure that each continent is represented in the Olympics. These spots are filled by winners of tournaments like the Pan-American Games and the European Championships.

One spot is saved for either an Olympic Gold Medalist or a Grand-Slam champion that failed to qualify by being ranked in the top 56 worldwide. The last spot is reserved for the host country to select a competitor.

Olympic Doubles Tennis Qualification

The top 10 ranked ATP and WTA players automatically qualify for the doubles competition, and each player chooses a partner from the same country. The host country automatically gets to select a team to compete. The remainder of the bracket is filled by the next-ranked competitors and their partners of choice.


How do you qualify for Olympic tennis?

The top 56 ITF-ranked players worldwide automatically qualify for Olympic tennis competition. The remaining six spots are filled by winners of continental competitions such as the Pan-American Games and Olympic or Grand Slam champions that are not already qualified through rankings. Players qualify for doubles tennis by having the highest ITF doubles rankings, with the top 10 ranked individual players given preference and the remaining slots filled based on the combined ranking of both players.

How many players qualify for Olympic tennis?

64 players qualify for Olympic tennis in men’s singles and doubles and women’s singles and doubles; 32 players qualify for mixed doubles. There are a total of 172 player quotas, and the actual number of athletes depends on the number of players competing in multiple events. Each competing nation is limited to four players in each singles competition, two teams in the men’s and women’s doubles competitions, and one team in the mixed doubles event.