A record-breaking 79 countries won medals at the Centennial Olympic Games held in Atlanta, Georgia in 1996. Some 53 countries won gold medals. Bill Clinton opened the summer Games. In tennis, there were 64 players each in men's and women's singles (total 6 rounds of competition); 32 teams each in men's and women's doubles (5 rounds of competition) and 16 teams in mixed doubles (4 rounds of competition). 

Stone Mountain Tennis Center, located 16 miles east of downtown Atlanta, comprised some 15 courts with the stadium court contained 12,000 seats hosted the event. The men's final was played in 102 degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity. David Haggerty of the International Tennis Federation told Associated Press in 2016, "If you look at what's happened from '88 to now, our sport has really become even more international because of the Olympic movement." 

Tennis coach Jay Berger added, "When it first starts, people don't know what to expect. And I think golf is having this a little bit, in its infancy. They don't know what the meaning is going to be. But you look at the draw for the tennis, the very top players want to play. I've seen those top players cry for joy at having won a bronze medal. And I've seen players cry because they lost a medal. When you get down to it, the Olympics kind of transfer to any sport, really." 

The 1996 Olympic Games used a computerized draw for tennis. 'Associated Press' reported, "The US Tennis Association selected players for singles based on computer rankings of April 29 (1996). Jennifer Capriati (ranked 109 at the time) and Mary Joe Fernandez (ranked 14 at the time) both won gold medals in 1992 were left off the Olympic list, eliminated from the Olympics by a computer. The USTA failed in its bid to get Capriati an exemption so she could defend her medal as an extra American entry. Monica Seles, who became an American citizen in 1994, made the squad." 

'The New York Times' reported, "Billie Jean King, the women's coach, said she wanted wild-card invitations for two gold medalists from 1992 - Jennifer Capriati (singles) and Mary Joe Fernandez (doubles) - but the International Tennis Federation said no. Nations will be limited to three players in each singles draw and one team in each doubles draw." However Mary Jo Fernandez was eventually "added to play doubles after pressure from American tennis officials. It wasn't until Chanda Rubin withdrew with a wrist injury that Fernandez slipped into singles competition as a last-minute singles replacement." 

It was reported, "From the 2004 Athens Olympics till the 2012 London Olympics, results from the Olympics was counted towards both the ATP and WTA world rankings for that calendar year. However, no points will be awarded for the 2016 Rio Olympics." Andre Agassi spoke to ASAP Sports in July 1996, "Well, you know, I mean, really, I think any athlete feels like you want to beat anybody to win this tournament. 

"And if you get a bad draw, good draw, you don't feel good about it one way or another unless you go out there and win the match. So to me, it is - winning the match is most important here. But I do feel like, you know, they have taken extra care to make sure that no Americans are playing each other in the quarterfinals or none of the same countries, as far as the seeds go. They made some adjustments there in the draw, which I think is appropriate. It is kind of tough to play a medal match with a guy from your own country - if you lose, you don't get one. So I have no problem with it. I mean, it's tough first rounds, certainly, against Jonas (Bjorkman) today (7-6, 7-6)." 

Monica Seles defeated Gabriela Sabatini in the 3rd round but fell to Jana Novotna in the quarterfinals. "You know, it was tense, exciting out there," Jana Novotna told the press. "When I got to 5-5 in the third, I was walking around back there (behind the baseline) and the crowd was yelling 'USA, USA' so loud. I was getting goose bumps, like I was watching it on TV and then I realize . . . I am playing her. It's me out there! So, I have to get back into the match."

Jana Novotna and Mary Joe Fernandez played "to decide the bronze medalist in singles, an award, that in previous years was earned by both losing semifinalists." Jana Novotna made the comment, ''A pity, isn't it, to work this hard and still have to play again for a bronze but actually it's the way it should be.'' Of her 7-5, 3-6, 8-6 win against Monica Seles, Jana Novotna believed, "It was huge; it was good tennis.

"I would say that in general for tennis players the Grand Slams are the most important ones. But of course there's something special in another way because on this occasion you don't represent only yourself but you represent your country, as well. And you have to realize that I was playing against everybody today ... It feels like a Fed Cup, that you are playing against a home team and a regular tournament you get more supporters on your side but I was coming into this match with this attitude knowing that everybody will be probably for Monica or everybody will be pretty loud or even there may be some close calls but, you know, I had no problem with it at all."

Interviewer: Did you consider to stay in the Olympic Village?

Andre Agassi: Well, certainly, in preparing for the tournament you have to make those decisions. And being a tennis player, traveling your whole life as an individual and doing things the way I wanted, I felt my main duty was to give myself the best shot to win. And I didn't want to stick myself in an arena that I may end up not being used to or comfortable with, so I chose not to. I chose to prepare myself the way I do all the events all year round, 52 weeks a year for the last ten years (since 1986).

Interviewer: Do you feel you are missing anything not being in the village?

Andre Agassi: Yeah, I think there is a part of it that you don't get to experience that would be probably quite enjoyable, you know, but I don't know, I feel my biggest responsibilities here is to do everything I can to win a medal. And you got to make decisions that, unfortunately, at times are uneducated, and I don't know what it is like. I don't know how I would respond to being far away from the venue. I am a lot closer out here, and it is really, really just the choice that I made.

In the women's singles, Lindsay Davenport defeated Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1 hour and 35 minutes to win the Olympic gold medal. 'The Los Angeles Times' noted, "Once the gold medal was hers, Davenport couldn't take her fingers off it - stopping just short of biting the glittering prize to make certain it was real." Lindsay Davenport told the press, "There was a long time where I didn't think I was going to make this (US Olympic) team because we had so many highly ranked players ahead of me."

By 1996, a roll call of Olympic tennis champions since the sport regained its full medal status included Lindsay Davenport and Andre Agassi. Speaking to 'ESPN' in 2016, Andre Agassi stated, "Olympics is in its own category. How somebody perceives the challenge or importance of the Olympics is kind of their business. I just look at that medal and say, 'I wish every person in the history of our game who was great at what he did had one.' It has this power. That's why some athletes who have one carry it around with them. Because so many people just want to see it. Some display it. Others hide it or put it in a safety deposit box so it can't get lost or stolen."

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