Brief Introduction to Tennis
Derived from an 11th-century French game known as jeu de paume, the modern version of tennis began to take shape in England during the late 19th century. Today, it is a highly athletic and demanding sport with men’s and women’s professional leagues known as the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Tour and Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour, respectively.
While some grand slam events are more than 100 years old, the ATP Tour didn’t become the official governing body of men’s tennis until 1990. Jack Kramer, Cliff Drysdale, and Donald Dell launched the ATP in 1972, but the men’s circuit was managed by the Men’s International Professional Tennis Council until 1989.
The WTA, meanwhile, was created by legendary tennis star Billie Jean King in 1973, at which point it only had nine players. Today, both men and women compete for millions of dollars in Premier tournaments, four Grand Slams, various international events, and the year-ending ATP and WTA Finals.
History of Tennis Schedule
The “Open” tennis era didn’t begin until 1968, prior to which only amateur players could compete in national championships and the four Grand Slam tournaments. By 1970, the Grand Slams and other major tournaments joined forces to become the Grand Prix unified circuit for professionals.
The annual tournament schedule for male and female tennis fluctuates year to year, but the Grand Slam events (the Australian Open, Wimbledon, French Open, and U.S. Open) are generally held around the same time every year. Both the ATP and WTA Tours make calendar changes every year, but the biggest changes in the modern era came in 2009.
That year, the ATP Tour awarded eight new venues “1000” status, meaning they would serve as the premier tournaments outside of the four Grand Slams. Those events are Indian Wells, Cincinnati, Miami, Rome, Madrid, Canada, Shanghai, and Paris.
Main Events on Tennis Schedule
The first Grand Slam of the year takes place down under in Australia. The Australian Open is usually held in January at Melbourne Park.
There’s a three-month break from Grand Slams following the Australian Open. The French Open, also known as Roland Garros, takes place in Paris during a two-week period in mid-May and sometimes runs until early June. Wimbledon, held at the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club in London, takes place during the last week of June and into July.
The U.S. Open, held in late August and early September at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, marks the end of the Grand Slam calendar.
The ATP and WTA Finals take place in November and feature the top eight male and female singles players and the top eight doubles teams. These events are usually the best for betting as they attract the top players. Betting guides can help.
Tennis Main Venues
Each of the four Grand Slam venues are iconic in its own right, but the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club is the most storied tennis venue in the world. The venue, founded in 1868, is the only of the four grand slam hosts to feature grass courts. Wimbledon finals and other marquee matches throughout the tournament are played on Centre Court, which also hosted matches at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
In the US, there’s no better tennis venue than the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The 33-court venue has hosted the U.S. Open since 1978 and features the third largest tennis stadium in the world, including the 23,200-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium.
After Covid-19 Details
Like every other sport, both the ATP and WTA Tours had to alter their schedules considerably in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus. Indian Wells, one of the premier non-Grand Slam events, was postponed on March 9, 2020, and eventually canceled.
Tournaments were suspended from April through July in 2020, with the Cincinnati Masters in August marking the return of both the ATP and WTA Tours. The U.S. Open went ahead as scheduled, while the French Open took place in late September instead of May. Wimbledon was canceled.
Some events in Asia were canceled in 2021.
Tennis Schedule Frequently Asked Questions
There are nine ATP/WTA Tour Masters 1000 tournaments and other lesser events that fall under ATP/WTA Tour 500 and ATP/WTA 250. There are also four Grand Slams and the ATP/WTA Finals.
Australian Open, Wimbledon, French Open, and U.S. Open
The Davis Cup is an international team event in which the 18 best national teams compete in an annual competition to determine the best tennis country. It usually begins in February and culminates with the championship in November.