Every year professional tennis players compete in singles, doubles and mixed categories to take first place in the rating. Performance in each of them can bring a different number of points; the more prestigious the class is, the higher the reward. Receiving the prize is another valid reason to perform well in the tournaments. There are several dozen significant tournaments and even smaller-scale competitions throughout the year that attract a large audience of tennis fans.
Impact of COVID-19 on sports events
In 2021, the organisers had to significantly alter the dates of many tournaments due to the unfavourable epidemiological situation in the world, and some competitions were cancelled altogether. In the coming year, COVID restrictions continue to impact the competition calendar.
The schedule is usually created in advance for the whole year so that athletes can plan their preparation, reaching their best shape during the most important tournaments of the Grand Slam series.
It starts in distant Australia
Preparation for the upcoming season begins already in November-December. Interestingly, female tennis players start training earlier than male ones due to an earlier end of the season of play. Most athletes prefer to have training camps in warm countries, where it is possible to organise outdoor preparation close to the playing conditions. Let us recall that the vast majority of ATP (male) and WTA (female) tournaments are held in the open air.
The first significant tournament of the year is the Australian Open, held in the second part of January. As a matter of fact, the athletes have no more than two weeks to restore their playing conditions at lower-status tournaments. The distinguishing characteristic of Australian winter is weather conditions (it’s hot and humid) and acclimatisation caused by the change of time zones. As a result, athletes choose different training models; some participate in the majors of the first week, then go to Australia to adapt to local time. Others prefer to start performances from the second week at local Australian tournaments.
Despite the geographical remoteness, the organisers of the Australian Open strive to be hospitable to their guests and recently even started to cover part of the travel costs to the participants of the qualification from the top 300 world players rating. As a result, the number of those who decide against going to the green continent is significantly lower.
To the USA or to the Arab sheikhs
After the performance in Australia, the athletes part ways and go in different directions. Some go to the Middle East, to the tournaments held in Doha and Dubai. The organisers try to attract the leading stars of world tennis to local courts with high prize money and usually succeed in doing so. To compare, in the first decade of February, there is St.Petersburg Open held in Russia, but this women’s tournament in the northern capital rarely attracts players from the top 5 of the WTA rating due to low prize money.
Significantly more tennis players go to the United States, where a few of the major Masters are held in Indian Wells and Miami. Here both the prize money and the world recognition of the tournament are appealing to the athletes. And winning both of the tournaments, dubbed the Sunshine Double, is a well-respected achievement in the world of professional tennis.
Roland-Garros and other ground tournaments
In America, the athletes play on hard courts at the beginning of the year, and then in spring, there’s a gradual shift to the clay courts. Europe became the centre of world tennis during this period, and the largest tournaments of the spring are held in Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid. They attract the best tennis players, both in male and female categories.
Rolland-Garros, one of the four Grand Slam tournaments, takes place in France at the end of May. Traditionally, the strongest players participate there. For a decade and a half, the favourite among male participants was the Spanish player Rafael Nadal, the “king of the ground”, but even so, the tournament always turns out to be unpredictable. The female part of the competition presents even more surprises annually.
Wimbledon and grass
At the beginning of summer, tennis competitions traditionally switch to grass courts, as this is the greenery time. The season of games on the grass does not exceed two months of all the existing options. Most of the tournaments during this period are taking place in Europe, as they have everything for maintaining courts with such a surface in proper condition.
The jewel of performances on grass is Wimbledon, one of the oldest significant tournaments among professional tennis players, held in the UK. The break between Roland-Garros and Wimbledon is just over two weeks, so the players who reached the final stages of the tournament in France often feel fatigued at the next Grand Slam tournament or spend a little time playing at a few less significant games to adjust to the new surface.
Autumn trip to the United States
Towards the end of summer, the athletes move to North America, where numerous tournaments take place on the hardcourt, the most common surface in professional tennis today. American tournaments are distinguished by high prize money for victories, so they attract leading players and, at the same time, start preparations for the US Open, the last stage of the Grand Slam quartet. The round begins at the end of August in New York when the weather is at its finest for playing tennis.
By September, most tennis players are in their best condition because they have already gotten into excellent physical shape but haven’t grown physically and emotionally tired from the season. As a result, they demonstrate a game of the highest class, which cannot but tempt fans.
Final straight in autumn
Starting from October and for the rest of the year, the most significant tournaments occur in Asian countries. The only tournament in other parts of the world worth mentioning is the October Kremlin Cup, held in Moscow. The history of this competition has been going on for more than 20 years, and its participants are traditionally the leading Russian players and other representatives of the top 20 ratings.
Our experts traditionally give predictions for matches of all major ATP / WTA tournaments, based on which you will be able to place more accurate tennis bets in leading bookmakers.
Quite many major tennis tournaments are held in China at the end of the year, including Wuhan, Beijing, Zhuhai, and Shanghai. But in 2022, they are all under threat of cancellation. It’s not just because of COVID-19; the Chinese authorities have cancelled all tournaments on their territory for security reasons. The story of the tennis player Peng Shuai in China has tensed the relations between the international tennis community and the Chinese authorities, who are accused of putting pressure on and restraining the athlete. As a result, the WTA refused to play in China in 2021; it is unknown whether relations will stabilise by the autumn of this year.
We should not forget the ATF Finals, the final tournament of the year with the participation of the leaders of the world. It is traditionally considered the closing competition of the year. And, of course, the Davis Cup. The team tournament has been held in an updated format since 2019, and its final games are held in November.