SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Tim Mayotte and Robert Seguso completed a clean sweep of American first-round men's singles winners Wednesday in the reborn Olympic tennis competition, but both complained that the tennis format did not foster team spirit.
"I think it would be better if it had the Davis Cup format," Mayotte, the No. 2 seed, said after opening his quest for a gold medal with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Korea's Song Dong- Wook. "I think it would bring out more patriotism and nationalism."Mayotte said the emphasis on individual, rather than team, success weakened the attraction.
"The concept of a team medal is more appealing than an individual medal," he said. "The sense of playing for your country is not quite there in Seoul because your performance does not affect the outcome of the rest of the team."
Seguso, favorite for the gold medal in the men's doubles and a late addition to the singles draw, was even more critical of the way the first Olympic tennis tournament since 1924 is being conducted.
"I don't like the way it's run," Seguso said after his 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 first-round success over Nduka Odizor of Nigeria. "It should be more team orientated. It's great to have tennis back in the Olympics but it doesn't feel special on the court, and it should," Seguso said.
"I may have to play Brad Gilbert in the third round and I don't think I should have to meet another Ameican. It means we can only get a maximum of two medals in the event," he added.
Gilbert, the fifth seed, launched America's medal bid Tuesday with a straight sets victory over Michael Tauson of Denmark.
Contacted by The Associated Press, Thomas Hallberg, director of men's tennis for the International Tennis Federation, said all aspects of the Olympics tournament would be reviewed afterwards.
"We will be analyzing all the various input and making any changes accordingly," Hallberg said. "But let's see how it goes here first."
Despite his doubts about the format, Mayotte said he was thrilled to see tennis back in the Games.
"It's exciting for the sport. It has a rightful place in the Games because tennis was one of the original Olympic sports" in the modern era, he said.
The American had no trouble putting away Song, an inexperienced player ranked 550th in the world.
Mayotte, from Springfield, Mass., only dropped his serve once, in the middle of the final set, and overpoweredd the stylish but technically limited Korean with his bulldozing serve and volley game.
The Soviet Union's bid for a men's singles medal rested in the hands of its least experienced player after the elimination of Alexander Volkov.
Volkov went down 7-5, 6-4, 6-3 to Carl-Uwe Steeb of West Germany, following Andrei Chesnokov out of the tournament. Chesnokov, who was the eighth seed and the Soviets' biggest hope, lost on Tuesday.