Tennis is one of the most competitive individual games in sports. It is a popular sport that has been around for many years now, and it has gained popularity year after year. Tennis brings many key players competing to win some of the most prestigious titles and awards.
There are several major annual tennis tournaments for both men and women that attract hundreds, if not thousands, of players and spectators from all over the globe. These seasonal matches are an excellent sensation for tennis fans and are a significant ticket seller as fans strive for the opportunity to see their favorite players in action.
With this game being held on various continents worldwide, you might need to know a number of the major tournaments. Herein you will find details about major tennis tournaments in the world. Read on to find out more.
Table of Contents
Major Tennis Tournaments in the World
There are over 140 professional tennis tournaments annually, with half that number going for men’s professional tennis tournaments and the remaining half for women’s professional tennis tournaments. Some of the most renowned tennis tournaments in the world include:
- US Open held from the end of August to the beginning of September
- Wimbledon held from the end of June to the beginning of July
- Australia Open held from the end of January to the beginning of February
- French Open held from late May to mid June
- Nitto WTA Finals held in November
- BNP Paribas Open
- ATP finals held in November
- The Olympics Summer Games Tennis Tournaments held once every four years in the Olympic tournament games
These major tennis tournaments can be divided into two major categories; the Grand Slam Tennis Tournaments and Professional Tennis Tournaments.
The Grand Slam Tournaments include the Wimbledon, French Open, US Open, and Australian Open. On the other end, the Professional Tennis Tournaments consist of the Summer Games Tennis Tournaments, ATP Finals, WTA Finals, and BNP Paribas Open.
These tournaments are highly valued and attract great spectators, celebrated players, sponsors, and more.
Grand Slam Tennis Tournaments
This category consists of some of the strongest and prestigious games. They are also called the majors. This is because they come along with the highest-ranking points compared to the professionals. The top-notch players featured in this category include Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Roy Emerson, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Steffi Graf, and Hellen Wills.
These tournaments include:
1. Wimbledon – London, England
It is wise to begin the list with the top tennis tournaments, the Grand Slam Tennis events. And the top of this list is the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament.
Wimbledon is an All-England Club Event held annually for over two weeks from the end of June to the beginning of July in London. The top tennis professional tournament dates back to 1877 when it was first held on the grass lawns of London’s prestigious All England Club in England.
To date, the Wimbledon Grand Slam Tennis Tournament is still held on grass courts, which makes this one of the most outstanding traditions of this mega tournament. Other traditions associated with this grand event include the renowned all-white dressing code, fresh strawberries and cream, and many key appearances, among them the Royal Family and other celebrities.
The Wimbledon tournament is the most iconic event of all the major tennis tournaments in the Grand Slam category. Furthermore, the event attracts a lot of iconic tennis players from all over the world. These top-rated players often give spectacular matches in the famous All England Club’s famous court.
2. US Open – National Tennis Center, New York, USA
The US Open is usually the closing Grand Slam event of the tennis season, taking place in late August to the beginning of September, making it one of the best ways of wrapping up summer.
It is also the most famous US professional tennis tournament that attracts thousands of spectators from the US and other parts of the world. The event holds one of the most significant attendance records, wherein in 2018, it boasted over 800,000 fans in attendance.
The US Open tournament dates back to 1881, initially played as the US National Tennis Championship. What makes this tournament one of the most iconic events in the tennis world is the different and distinct atmosphere compared to other Grand Slams. It offers an exuberant, fun, and lively New York City experience for the attendees.
Held in the US National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows, New York, this top tournament attracts a large audience from Manhattan and people from all over the country and other parts of the world.
New York, at that time, offered fantastic entertainment, dining, and shopping experiences, making it a perfect venue to be for both the tournament and off-tournament fun and recreation experiences. Additionally, just like Wimbledon, you will spot several celebrities during the event.
3. Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia
The Australian Open is usually the first event on the seasonal calendar of the four Grand Slam Tennis Tournament events. Consequently, it is one of the most anticipated events, with most tennis fans from all over the globe terming it a bucket list event.
The tournament has been the largest annual sports event in the entire Southern Hemisphere since 1988. It’s held in Melbourne Park and dates back to 1905, when the first tennis tournament was held.
Australia Open is a hard-court surface event that Novak Djokovic has dominated over the last few years. Djokovic has won the tournament since 2008 by winning the top spot eight times, which gives him the most single-title record at this event.
4. French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France
Being a unique major tennis tournament, the French Open is the only Grand Slam Tournament held on clay courts. Clay is considered to be a hard tennis playing surface because it slows ball movement. However, some players, such as Rafael Nadal, seem to do best on clay courts. Nadal has won twelve French Open Championships titles.
The French Open dates back to 1893, when the first tennis tournament was held. This event pays homage to thousands of memorable events and moments. It is cherished and carries a long line of traditions, cultures, and celebrity sightings.
Besides the incredible tennis tournaments, the French Open is an incredible event to visit because it offers a fantastic off-tennis experience for anyone who attends – the incredible city of Paris. Deemed as one of the most prestigious and beautiful cities globally, Paris offers excellent food, charming cafes and hotels, beautiful sceneries, and meticulous architecture.
When you combine the wonderful Paris city experiences with the fantastic French Open Tennis Tournaments, this might be one of the best tennis tournament experiences in the world. The event is typically held from late May to mid-June.
Professional Tennis Tournaments
Being the second category of the major tennis tournament expect BNP, ATA, among others. Let’s get to it. The common ones include:
1. The Olympics Summer Games Tennis Tournament 2020 Event Help in Ariake Tennis Park, Tokyo, Japan
The Olympic Summer Games Tennis Tournament is a unique event that happens every once in 4 years. It is a major tennis event that attracts the world’s top players in tennis from all over the world. Furthermore, it allows fans to enjoy notable atmospheres and scenes from different cities worldwide because the tournament is held in various venues.
The initial Summer Games Tournament was held in 1896. Still, it didn’t last long because it was dropped in 1924 after a conflict between the International Olympics Committee and the International Lawn Tennis Federation. However, it was reinstated in 1988 and has stuck around since then. Consequently, the tournament happened in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020.
Summer Games Tennis Tournaments bring together tennis players that are considered legends in the domains and countries. It makes this one tournament to look forward to because stars such as Nadal, Djokovic, Serena, and Venus Williams, among others, play in these tournaments.
2. BNP Paribas Open – Indian Well Tennis Garden, Indian Wells, Palm Spring, California USA)
This is another major tournament in the tennis sporting world. It attracts the world’s top talent in tennis, with notable international players performing in this match, and brings together fans in hundreds of thousands. In 2019, the event set an all-time high attendance record of 473,372 fans who enjoyed the annual tournament.
Besides tennis, the event boasts a lot of other interesting factors, such as a beautiful location. Based in Indian Wells, Palm Springs, California, the tennis tournament is usually termed the ‘Tennis Paradise’ because of the prestigious location.
Indian Wells is a renowned tourist destination that boasts opulent hotels and resorts, great dining and shopping areas, luxurious spas and joints, unique sceneries, and incredible weather. All these factors make the event the perfect late winter getaway destination for most people.
BNP Paribas holds a fair share of its traditions and thousands of memories. And like most major tennis tournaments, notable celebrity sightings range from players to fans. It is the perfect getaway for tennis fans looking to enjoy their late winter with some spectacular tennis action.
3. ATP Finals – O2 Stadium, London, England
Next on the list is the ATP finals, one of the year’s top and most notable professional tennis tournament events. ATP is an acronym for the Association of Tennis Professionals. The ATP Finals event dates back to 1970 when it was first held, although by a different name.
Generally, the event has held several different versions and names over the years as it adapts and transforms into a fantastic tennis experience today. Since 2009, the event has been held in London’s 02 stadia but has since moved to Turin, Italy.
The ATP Finals are unique and extraordinary because the event follows a different organizational format from the Grand Slam events. It uses the bracket system/knock out using a group stage knock out format. Thus, each group contains four players who play against each other, with a knockout upon defeat.
Each group plays using this format until only two players are left after the knockout. The two players then proceed to the semi-finals, where they play against other members of different groups using the knockout format. That goes on until the final championship match, where the last two remaining players play each other off battling for the championship.
The ATP finals are an incredible event that packs much action throughout up until the final championship match, sparking the most excitement. Fans cheer for their favorite players, which is engaging and appealing. It is one event to anticipate due to the action, fun, and fantastic European atmosphere and culture.
4. WTA Finals – Shenzhen Bay Sports Center, Shenzhen, China
Closing off the professional tennis tournament category is the WTA tournament, a major professional tournament for women. WTA stands for Women’s Tennis Association, a grand tennis tournament event that finishes the professional tennis women’s season.
The WTA Finals event typically shifts venues by awarding hosting duties to different cities for a specific period. Shenzhen, China, is the current holder of the hosting responsibilities until 2028 after succeeding Singapore in 2019.
WTA Finals resemble the ATP playing format in that they operate in a group stage format (round-robin), which is then succeeded by the semi-finals, then the finals. The finals, the championship title match, have awards such as the WTA championship award and prize money.
In the 2019 Finals, WTA broke the world record by offering the most significant prize money award in sports history. There was a possible amount of $4.75 million for the leading player. However, there were conditions for the price, which included going undefeated in the tournament. Ashleigh Barty, the singles champion, bagged $4.42 million from the event.
Other Key Tennis Tournaments
Apart from the tournaments mentioned above, there are more you would want to know. They include:
1. Miami Open (Hard Room Stadium – Miami Gardens, Florida, USA)
Miami Open is a part of the ATP and WTA tennis tournaments held annually at Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Garden, Florida, in March and April. It was first held in Delray Beach, Florida, in 1985 and has moved to different locations within Miami until it was moved to Miami Garden’s Rock-Hard Stadium in 2019.
It is the second event, after Indian Well Masters, of the ‘Sunshine Double,’ a tennis tournament series event of a couple of consecutive hard-court tennis tournaments in the US held at the start of a season. The Sunshine Doubles are the only tournaments away from the majors that draw play extensions beyond eight days.
Additionally, it is one of a few majors with single main draws for men and women exceeding 64 players. Typically, the event draws 96 men and 86 women who compete in the singles, while the double constitutes 32 teams. The Miami Open lasts for 12 days.
The event holds many traditions, with the Crandon Park’s Tennis Center, Key Biscayne being the historical hosting center from 1987 to 2018. Furthermore, the tournament attracts hundreds of thousands of fans each year. The all-time high record was in 2010 where a record number of over 300,000 fans attended to cheer their favorite players.
Miami Open is an outdoor event held on hard surface courts (Laykold) and involves men in the 1000 Masters and women in the WTA 1000 category from the ATP AND WTA tournaments. The prize money for men is $4.299 million, while the women’s category has $3.26 million.
2. Canadian Open – Aviva Center, Toronto and IGA Stadium Montreal
Canadian Open or the Canadian Masters is a yearly tennis tournament held in Canada. Recently, it has been branded ‘the National Bank Open presented by Rogers’ due to sponsorship reasons.
The Canadian Open dates back 140 years ago when it was initially held in 1881. It is the second oldest tennis tournament in the history of tennis, coming second after Wimbledon. The tournament is an outdoor event held on a hard surface, which entails masters 1000 for men from the ATP tour and WTA 1000 for women from the ATP tour.
Before 2011, the men’s and women’s events were held in two different weeks between July and August, but now, they are held during one week in August. In addition, the locations of the Canadian Open alternate yearly between Toronto and Montreal, with men’s events being held in Montreal during even-numbered years, and women’s events are in Toronto. They then alternate yearly.
The event is held at Aviva Center in Toronto, while in Montreal, it is held in IGA stadium.
3. Italian Open – Foro Italico
Italian Open is an annual tennis tournament held in the city of Rome, Italy. It dates 91 years ago when it was first held in 1930 as the Italian International Championships. It is an outdoor event for men (ATP Masters 1000 category) and women (WTA Premium 1000) and is played on clay surfaces.
The tournament is one of the most crucial clay tennis tournaments and the second one after the French Open Grand Slam. The Italian Open is held in the second week of May and is currently dominated by Rafael Nadal, the singles clay tennis tournament world champion.
4. Dubai Tennis Tournament – Dubai Open
Dubai Tennis Tournament, also known as the Dubai open, is a professional tennis tournament event organized and owned by the Dubai Duty-Free. It is held annually in Dubai, United Arab Emirate, as an outdoor hard-court event at the end of February. The events involve both men’s and women’s events, all from the ATP and WTA tours, respectively.
The Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Tournament was founded in 1993 in Dubai. It falls under the sponsorship of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice president, the ruler of Dubai, and the prime minister.
It is held in the Aviation Club Tennis Center and includes both men’s and women’s singles and doubles events from the Masters 500 ATP and WTA 1000 category. The prize money for these events is $1.835 million as of 2021.
Which is The Most Prominent Tennis Tournament in the World?
Although all the top tennis tournament games attract many vital players, spectators, and the media, some tournaments are deemed more prestigious. Of the two major tennis tournament categories, the Grand Slam Tournaments of Professional Tennis tend to attract more attention, and they are considered the most prestigious tournaments in the world.
When it comes to the individual tennis tournaments, it is also important to note that Wimbledon has been voted to be the most prominent tournament of all since it happens to attract more attention. It also attracts the most prestigious players in the world.
However, other tennis tournaments such as the US Open and French Opens tend to attract many people as well. When those events are combined with the unique atmosphere, cities, sceneries, local culture, and general experience, they are also deemed prestigious.
The two events would rank the second and third most prestigious tennis tournament events, respectively.
What Are the Total Number of Tournaments Played in a Year?
Major global tournaments are more than 70 each year for both men and women, with ATP (Association of Tennis Profession) conducting those of men and WTA (Women Tennis Association) conducting Women tournaments.
Just like other sports, tennis is another big game. It is known to attract millions of fans to events every year. Tennis tournaments make the sport even more exciting, with a single event bringing together the world’s top tennis players, fans, and even celebrities. They all come to enjoy the thrilling competitiveness of the game.
Players who engage in the tournaments and events mentioned in this article are the world’s best and undergo rigorous competition to get here. At this moment, you are well conversant with the top tennis games in the world and where they are commonly held.