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The BBC's Iain Carter
"The Olympics are on a par with the grand-slam tournaments"
 real 28k

Thursday, 13 January, 2000, 12:38 GMT
Tour points for Olympics agreed

Tour points are likely to pull in big name players


Medals and tour points will be up for grabs in the Sydney 2000 Olympics men's tennis under a new deal which could extend to the women's event.

The agreement between the International Tennis Federation and the Association of Tennis Professionals, with the consent of the International Olympic Committee, was sealed following months of negotiations.


Tim Henman and Neil Broad 1996: Tim Henman and Neil Broad win silver
ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti said: "This agreement is a major breakthrough for Olympic tennis and highlights that the Olympic tennis event has an important position on the tennis calendar."

Talks are still in progress to strike a similar deal with the women's tour.

The number of men permitted to compete in the singles for each nation will now be raised from three to four to accomodate big names like American Pete Sampras, who says he wants to concentrate on regaining his world number one slot.

ATP chief executive Mark Miles said additional points for the Olympics will be particularly valuable at the end of the season when the Champions' Race - the name for the new ranking system - is coming to a head.

The gold medal will earn a player 80 points - 20 less than allocated for winning a Tennis Master Series tournament. Silver wins 56 points and bronze 41.

The top-48 direct acceptances for the Olympics' 64-man draw will be based on ATP rankings. Eight of the 16 remaining wild card places will also be based on rankings as they stand after Wimbledon in July.

Countries will be able to enter a doubles team if it is ranked in the top 20.

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See also:
04 Jan 00 |  Tennis
Hingis threatens pay boycott
09 Dec 99 |  Tennis
Tennis reinvents itself
07 Jan 00 |  Tennis
Henman falls in Adelaide
Links to other Tennis stories are at the foot of the page.