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Tennis Tournaments: Structure, Configuration & Champions

TENNIS is one of the most popular sports worldwide. It has become one of the world’s richest sports, with incredible events where all you need for game are a tennis racket and a ball.

Tournaments are organized by gender and number of players. Common tournament configurations include men’s singles, women’s singles, and doubles, where two players play on each side of the net. At the present time, the Grand Slam tournaments are exceptional tour events that have mixed doubles contests. The majority of large tournaments seed players. But players may also be selected by their skill level.

What are they, the most prestigious Grand Slam tournaments?

The four Grand Slam tennis tournaments or simply the Majors are considered to be the most historically significant and prestigious world famous tennis occasions. Wimbledon , Australian Open, US Open and Roland Garros (the French Open). They are the most significant individual competitions in tennis, according to tradition, world ranging, public and media attention, the most ranking points and prize money. They are held annually at four different venues in Australia, France, the United Kingdom and the USA. The ITF regulates these only tournaments. Except for the Olympic Games, Davis Cup, Fed Cup and Hopman Cup.
The Australian Open and United States tournaments are played on hard courts. While Roland Garros is played on clay, and Wimbledon on grass. The Grand Slam Tennis tournaments have become mandatory for all the top tennis players of the world. If the player wins all four Grand Slams in a single year, he is regarded as Grand Slam winner. With the beginning of the Open era in 1968, all the Grand Slam tournaments also became Open tournaments, where both professional and amateur players can participate.

Another distinguishing feature is that in the four Grand Slam tournaments, the singles draws are limited to 128 players for each gender, more than any other professional championships.

Grand Slam men’s tournaments have best-of-five set matches while the women play best-of-three. Grand Slam tournaments are among the small number of events that last two weeks, the others being the Indian Wells Masters and the Miami Masters.

Grand Slam tournaments are held in conjunction with wheelchair tennis tournaments and junior tennis competitions. These tournaments also contain their own rules and traditions. For example, players at Wimbledon are required to wear predominantly white.

Current Grand Slam Champions

Wimbledon 2016 Champions: Serena Williams, Andy Murray,
Nicolas Mahut / Pierre Hugues-Herbert, Serena Williams / Venus Williams, Heather Watson / Henri Kontinen.

Australian Open 2016 Champions: Angelique Kerber, Novak Djokovic, Jamie Murray / Bruno Soares, Martina Hingis / Sania Mirza, Elena Vesnina / Bruno Soares.

Roland Garros 2016 Champions : Garbine Muguruza, Novak Djokovic, Feliciano Lopez /Marc Lopez , Caroline Garcia /Kristina Mladenovic, Leander Paes /Martina Hingis.

US Open 2016 Champions: Angelique Kerber, Stan Wawrinka , Bruno Soares / Jamie Murray, Bethanie Mattek-Sands / Lucie Šafářová, Laura Siegemund / Mate Pavić.

Men’s tournament structure

The men have nine Masters events with 1,000 points for the winner, and the next two tiers of ATP tournaments offer 500 and 250 points for winning respectively.

The ATP World Tour Masters 1000 is a group of nine annual tennis tournaments that are part of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tour. They are Miami Open, Indian Wells Masters, Monte-Carlo Masters, Italian Open, Canadian Open, Cincinnati Masters, Madrid Open, Paris Masters, Shanghai Masters.
A victory at one of these events is worth 1000 ranking points. After the four Grand Slam events and the ATP World Tour Finals are the most popular events in male tennis.
In 1990 the Masters series were initiated and since then the most (29) singles titles record is held by World No.1 Novak Djokovic. His one more record is six singles titles in one year.
As a team the Bryan Brothers, Bob and Mike, have won record 36 doubles titles, also each of them took all 9 titles during their careers, the same as Daniel Nestor did in doubles. In 2014 the Bryans have won six titles and in 2007 and 2013 five titles in a single year.
Yet there was no person, who could won all 9 titles during the career. Nevertheless Novak Djokovic has almost approached this cherished tennis player goal, winning 8 out of 9 titles. Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal are his close followers. They have 7 wins each.
In doubles, the Bryans have won 6 titles in a single year once (2014) and 5 titles in a single year twice (2007 and 2013).
In 1990 Hamilton Jordan created the top nine tournaments. “Super 9” , outside of the Grand Slam events.
As of 2011 six of the nine “1000” level tournaments represent joint ATP and WTA events.

250 and 500 Series

The ATP World Tour 500 series is the third highest tier of men’s tennis tournament after the four Grand Slam tournaments, and the ATP World Tour Masters 1000.
The series includes 13 tournaments. With 500 rankings points awarded for the events’ singles champions. They are: Rotterdam Open, Rio Open, Mexican Open, Dubai Tennis Championships, Barcelona Open, Halle Open, Queen’s Club Championships, German Open, Washington Open, China Open, Japan Open, Vienna Open, Swiss Indoors.

Tournaments have various draws of 32, 48 and 56 for singles and 16 and 24 for doubles. It is mandatory for leading players to enter at least four 500 events. Including at least one after the US Open. If they play fewer than four, or fail to play in one after the US Open they get a “zero” score towards their world ranking for each one short.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal hold the record for most titles apiece, at 17. While Nenad Zimonjic holds the record for most doubles titles won with thirteen. Juan Martin del Potro, Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker hold the record for most titles won in one year with 4.

The ATP World Tour 250 series is the fourth tier of men’s tennis tournaments with 40 tournaments. Like the ATP World Tour Masters 1000, these events offer various amounts of prize money. And the numbers refer to the sum of ranking points gained by the tournament’s champion. The Dubai Tennis Championships offer the largest financial incentive to players, with total prize money of US$2,313,975 (2012).

Challenger Tour and Futures tournaments

Also the ATP operates the Challenger Tour as well as Futures tournaments. It is the lowest level of events. The Challengers are composed of near 150 events and, consequently, exhibits more varied diapason of countries hosting tournaments.
The most of players use the Challenger Series at the outset of their career to overrun their way up the rankings. For instance, Andre Agassi, between winning Grand Slam, plummeted to World No. 141 and used Challenger Series events for match experience and to progress reverse the rankings.
The Challenger Series offers prize funds of between US$25,000 and US$150,000.
Below the Challenger Tour are the Futures tournaments, approximately 530 Futures Tournaments are played each year.

Women’s tournament structure

The WTA Tour is represented by the Grand Slam tournaments and Premier Events, which form the most prestigious level of events on it. They offer the greatest rewards in terms of points and prize money. They include:
• Four “Premier Mandatory” events: BNP Paribas Open, Miami Open, Mutua Madrid Open, and China Open with prize money of $4.5 million.
• Five “Premier 5” events. Qatar Total Open, Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Cincinnati, Rogers Cup, and Wuhan Tennis Open with prize money of $2 million.
• Twelve “Premier” events. Brisbane International , Apia International Sydney, St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, Dubai Tennis Championships, Volvo Cars Open, Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Aegon Classic, Aegon International, Bank of the West Classic, Western & Southern Open , Connecticut Open, Toray Pan Pacific Open, and Kremlin Cup with prize money of $600,000 to $1,000,000.

The ranking points awarded to the winners of these tournaments are: “Premier Mandatory” 1000; “Premier 5” 900; and “Premier” 470. This compares to 2,000 points for winning a major. Up to 1,500 points for winning the WTA Tour Championships, and 280 for winning an International tournament. This system differs from that used for the men’s ATP rankings, but only slightly.

International events

The International Tournaments is a category for professional tennis tournaments of Women’s Tennis Association from the 2009 WTA Tour onwards, which replaced the previous Tier III and Tier IV categories.
Prize money for every event at $250,000. Except for the Shenzhen, Monterrey, Prague, Seoul and Tianjin $500,000.

There are 34 tournaments in 2016:

ASB Classic, Shenzhen Open, Hobart International, Taiwan Open, Rio Open, Abierto Mexicano TELCEL, Abierto Mexicano Afirme, BMW Malaysian Open, Katowice Open, Copa Colsanitas, Istanbul Cup, Marrakech Grand Prix, J&T Banka Prague Open, Internationaux de Strasbourg, Nurnberger Versicherungscup, Aegon Nottingham Open, Topshelf Open, Mallorca Open, BRD Bucharest Open, Gastein Ladies, Swedish Open, Citi Open, Brasil Tennis Cup, Jiangxi Open, Louisville International Open, Tournoi de Québec, Japan Women’s Open, Kia Korea Open , Guangzhou International Women’s Open, Tashkent Open, Tianjin Open, Hong Kong Open, Generali ladies Linz, BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open.

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