The men’s professional tennis tour was renamed in January 2009, to the ATP World Tour. Despite this re-branding, the men’s tour is more commonly referred to by its former name, The ATP Tour.
Constant name changing and repackaging by the ATP only serves to leave tennis followers even more confused about the men’s professional tour and how the annual tournament calendar works.
In The Tour: Explained, we will explore the men’s and women’s professional tennis tours and make it easier for our readers to understand exactly how the tours work.
ATP stands for the Association of Tennis Professionals. The ATP World Tour is the governing body of 5 categories of tournaments in which men’s ranking points are offered. The new names are:
- ATP World Tour Masters 1000;
- ATP World Tour 500;
- ATP World Tour 250;
- ATP Challenger Series; and
- ATP World Tour Finals.
There are 9 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events each year. Prior to 2009 these events were known as the Masters Series tournaments.
The ATP World Tour 500 and ATP World Tour 250 events were previously called the International Series Gold and International Series tournaments. This year there are 11 ATP World Tour 500 events and 40 ATP World Tour 250 events.
There are 115 ATP Challenger Series tournaments in 2009. The ATP World Tour Finals were called the Masters Cup and it is the year-end championship. Only the top 8 ranked male players for the calendar year qualify for this event which is governed by both the ATP and the ITF.
The ITF is the International Tennis Federation. The ITF is the governing body for the 2 other categories of tournaments which are known as Grand Slam events and Futures tournaments.
There are 4 Grand Slam tournaments per year, which offer 2000 ranking points to the winner. This is the highest number of ranking points that can be won in any tournament. There are 420 Futures events this year and these offer the least points of all tournament categories.
The ATP World Tour Masters 1000, ATP World Tour 500 and ATP World Tour 250 are so named as a reflection of the ranking points that the winner of that event can earn. For example, the winner of an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament will earn 1000 point. The winner of an ATP World Tour 500 event will earn 500 points, with 250 points going to the winner of the ATP World Tour 250 event.
The ATP World Tour Finals winner earns between 1100 and 1500 ranking points depending on how many wins they achieve in the tournament. 1500 ATP ranking points are awarded if the winner remains undefeated.
The ATP Challenger Series tournaments can earn the winner between 75 and 125 ranking points. Futures tournaments earn between 17 and 33 ranking points for the winner.
Pictured above is Novak Djokovic when he won the final of the 2008 year-end championships in Shanghai.
Please comment if any of the above needs further explanation. The aim is to make it easy for everybody to understand the tour!
Today’s POST is dedicated to Ilie Nastase. Nastase was born on this day in 1946 and won 2 Grand Slam singles titles – the 1972 US Open and the 1973 French Open at Roland Garros. His highest ranking of No.1 was first achieved on August 23, 1973.
© OnCourtAdvantage.com 2009