i guess it's just to cover all eventualities.
there might be times when competitors of the same country face each other across the net.
i'm not sure about (lawn) tennis, but (table) tennis comes to mind.
i think there are more than one olympic instance when PRC has won gold, silver, and bronze; and South Korea doing the same.
in badminton as well either China or Indonesia has repeatedly have both players facing each other either in gold & silver contentions, or making clean sweeps across the board.
also it is probably to anticipate those "without nationality". If Guor Marial can run under the Olympic Flag, maybe by some convoluted logic, there might be, one day, a tennis player who will play "without nationality" (very very little probability of happening, but theoretically it can happen).
and while the individual must be applauded for their achievements (gold for Mr. So And So, world record by Ms This Andthat), lest people forget that this is ultimately a "for the Country": there's the flag raising ceremony at the end (which is absent in "normal" tournaments). which can be one of the most touching part of the whole ceremony.
P.S. I'm sure though, some umpires secretly would prefer to call nation-names rather than personal names (sometimes can be tonguetwistery at best, others only draw a lot of neg-comments about how umpires or game callers butcher exotic player names)
Last edited by opiate : 07-30-2012 at 05:35 AM.