With the addition of mixed doubles, a tennis player can certainly win 3 gold medals in one Olympic games. However, we found out in 2008 that 8 gold medals is the apex of Olympic achievements. Of course, I will ignore that swimming gives multiple medals for covering the same distance with different techniques and has a lot more relays than say track and field does. After all, who wants to see Usain Bolt backpedal or skip for 100M?
It would take too much training to win medals in both tennis and another racquet sport unless paddle tennis became an Olympic sport
So here is my improbable path for Roger, Novak, Andy or Serena to achieve 8 gold medals. The given player would have to sweep the 3 tennis events. Badminton has singles, doubles and mixed doubles events as well. This would get a racquet maestro to 6 gold medals. Table Tennis has singles and doubles events but does not have mixed doubles. This is likely the path of least resistance for a tennis player to win 8 gold medals. It is the easiest path and also quite impossible even if the schedule would allow for an athlete to compete in all 8 of the events I listed. Of course, maybe a tennis player could be added to a dominant sailing team or maybe fence his or her way to another gold medal. Handball is another possible candidate as one of the early names for tennis was jeu de paume (game of the palm).
Tennis could add a Triple Crown to go along with the Grand Slam
It is impossible for a tennis player to get to 8 or even to 4 gold medals in single Olympic games, but I would love to see a tennis player win 3 gold medals. For this to happen, it would likely need to be a dominating player on the women’s tour. If mixed doubles had been around in 2000 when Venus won 2 golds, why couldn’t she have picked up 3? Serena Williams may win 3 golds in 2012, but the last I heard she was leaning toward not playing mixed doubles. For the men, Stefan Edberg won bronze in singles and doubles in 1988, but he had the doubles acumen to make a triple gold possible if things broke his way. Had Federer convinced Martina Hingis to play in the 2012 games, he would have had a slight chance at pulling off 3 gold medals.