As previously discussed, the ATP and ITF are the governing bodies of the ATP World Tour. Together they are responsible for managing and staging the events that make up the 7 categories of tournaments each year.
To recap, these categories are:
- The Grand Slams;
- ATP World Tour Finals;
- ATP World Tour Masters 1000;
- ATP World Tour 500;
- ATP World Tour 250;
- Challenger events; and
- Futures events.
These events form the basis of the annual tournament calendar and are vital in determining the overall rankings of the men’s professional tennis players.
In this post we will concentrate on the top 3 categories of events; The Grand Slams, the ATP World Tour Finals and ATP World Tour Masters 1000. Each year there are 4 Grand Slam events, 9 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events and 1 ATP World Tour Finals event. Together, these 14 events are the most important singles events that a male tennis professional can play.
The 4 Grand Slam tournaments in calendar order are:
- The Australian Open (Hard court);
- Roland Garros – often called the French Open (Clay court);
- Wimbledon (Grass court); and
- The US Open (Hard court).
The 9 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in calendar order are:
- Indian Wells, California, USA (Hard court);
- Miami, Florida, USA (Hard court);
- Monte Carlo, Monaco (Clay);
- Rome, Italy (Clay);
- Madrid, Spain (Clay);
- Montreal/Toronto, Canada* (Hard court);
- Cincinnati, Ohio, USA (Hard court);
- Shanghai, China (Hard court); and
- Paris, France (Hard court).
* For the years falling on an odd number, for example 2009, the men play in Montreal and in the even numbered years they play in Toronto (e.g. in 2010).
This year the ATP World Tour Finals event will be held from November 22 to 29 in London, England. It is the pinnacle of the tennis calendar, as the year end world No.1 ranking can be determined at this tournament. The event is structured so that players need to qualify for the 8 spots in the draw, in effect creating a race to the end of year finals.
Each year is termed a tennis season. The player, who finishes with the world No.1 ranking after the final match at the ATP World Tour Finals is played is declared the champion for that season.
Who do you think will be crowned the 2009 ATP World Tour Champion?
Please comment if any of the above needs further explanation. The aim is to make it easy for everybody to understand the tour!
© OnCourtAdvantage.com 2009