Here is a mildly complaining article on the state of Olympic tennis, also taken over by pro athletes to its ruination. This first comment is revealing:
Since the Olympics became a venue for professionals to show off their supreme talents, rather than a celebration of amateur athletics, there’s been a decided – however unscientifically sampled – hard-to-articulate sense that the Olympics just aren’t as fun or as compelling as they once were.
And while one can point to TV ratings or money made or extraordinary accomplishments achieved during the Games, there does indeed appear to be a lack of palpable, sustained interest among the general public.
The pro Olympics are not as much fun – it’s just another pro tournament. Tim Joyce also admits that pros in the Games has hurt the tennis calendar:
But there is a decidedly vocal minority – myself included – that feels the Olympics are an unnecessary intrusion into an already crowded tennis calendar. Granted, it’s only every four years that this occurs, but the hangover from the Olympics has a deleterious effect on the North American swing during August and can have a disruptive impact on the U.S. Open as well.
I suggest the dearth of US tennis talent may be directly due in part to the lack of amateurs in the Games that could show promise. It’s sort of sports imperialism again – except we are somewhat like Nigeria. It is too close to Wimbledon and the US Open.
Free up the Olympics! Bring back amateurs! Have a series of open tournaments to decide the finalists and then select the team! Let’s do the right thing!