Sydney 2000 Olympics: Celebrating the 20-year anniversary
With today marking 20 years since the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games began, we take a look back at how the Australian tennis team fared across that memorable fortnight.
The Sydney 2000 Olympic Games are one of the most magical fortnights in Australian sporting history.
The event, held from 15 September to 1 October 2000, captivated the world. Millions of fans watched as 10,651 athletes from 199 countries competed across 28 sports.
For a team of 10 Australian tennis players, the opportunity to contest the Olympics at home is an experience they will never forget.
To mark the 20th anniversary, we look back on the results of the Australian team …
Mark Philippoussis was the top-performing Australian, with the No.11 seed advancing to the third round. Fifth-seeded Russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov ended his winning run.
Kafelnikov went on to win the singles gold medal, with Germany’s Tommy Haas earning silver and France’s Arnaud Di Pasquale claiming bronze.
Lleyton Hewitt was the No.4 seed in the draw, but the 19-year-old suffered a shock opening-round loss to Max Mirnyi. Hewitt had won the US Open men’s doubles title alongside the Belarusian a few weeks earlier.
|Mark Philippoussis||Lost in third round to Russia’s Yevgeny Kafelnikov|
|Pat Rafter||Lost in second round to Canada’s Daniel Nestor|
|Lleyton Hewitt||Lost in first round to Belarus’s Max Mirnyi|
|Andrew Ilie||Lost in first round to Spain’s Fernando Vicente|
Jelena Dokic almost became the first Australian tennis player to win a singles Olympic medal. The 17-year-old defeated two seeded players to advance to the semifinals, where she lost to 10th-seeded Russian Elena Dementieva 2-6 6-4 6-4.
In the bronze medal play-off, American Monica Seles defeated Dokic 6-1 6-4.
American Venus Williams defeated Dementieva in the final to claim the gold medal.
|Jelena Dokic||Lost bronze medal play-off to American Monica Seles|
|Nicole Pratt||Lost in second round to France’s Nathalie Dechy|
|Alicia Molik||Lost in first round to Austria’s Barbara Schett|
In their final tournament together, Australia’s beloved combination of Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde claimed a silver medal.
The Woodies were defending their Atlanta 1996 gold medal, but lost to Canadian duo Sebastien Lareau and Daniel Nestor 5-7 6-4 6-4 7-6(2) in the final.
“We didn’t win, but we won anyway” said the retiring Woodforde, overwhelmed by a standing ovation received from an 8000-strong crowd after the final.
“Our partnership will always be gold.”
Spanish duo Alex Corretja and Albert Costa claimed the bronze medal.
|Todd Woodbridge/Mark Woodforde||Lost in final to Canada’s Sebastien Lareau/Daniel Nestor|
Sixth seeds Jelena Dokic and Rennae Stubbs were the only Australian team in the women’s doubles competition.
After winning their opening round without losing a game, they lost in three sets in the second round to Kristie Boogert and Miriam Oremans. The Netherlands pair went on to claim the silver medal.
American sisters Venus and Serena Williams won gold, with Belgians Els Callens and Dominque Van Roost taking bronze.
|Jelena Dokic/Rennae Stubbs||Lost in second round to Netherland’s Kristie Boogert/Miriam Oremans|