The Biggest Tournaments in Tennis

As most tennis fans know, there are four major annual tournaments throughout the calendar year. These tournaments are the Grand Slams. Here you’ll find the sport’s brightest stars, playing for the most prestigious and lucrative prizes in front of various audiences from around the globe. In addition to the prestige and earnings potential, these tournaments offer players the greatest opportunities to earn ranking points which essentially ranks the best players in the world.

The top players train all year to ensure they are in peak form for these tournaments, so we’ll focus mostly on these. Besides that we will also give some attention to the Davis Cup, which is a national cup for men, and the Fed Cup, the equivalent for women.

Wimbledon

mrgreen wimbledon
Wimbledon, which gets its name from the location where it is played in a suburb of London, is the world’s oldest and most prestigious tennis event. First played in 1877, it’s the only one of the major tennis tournaments that is still played on a traditional grass court unlike the others which are played on a hard or clay court.

Starting in early July, Wimbledon attracts famous celebrities from all walks of life every year from the royal family to Emma Watson to Drake and Justin Timberlake. The front row has become a ‘who’s who’ of red carpet types from around the globe.

Since it is the oldest of all the Grand Slams, it makes sense that Wimbledon would also have the most tradition tied to it. Famously, strawberries and cream are the food of choice. In addition to having the strictest dress code (all players must wear 100% white clothing) Wimbledon is also known for having no sponsored advertising around its courts. It’s also popular among bettors who want to make things a bit more interesting by making a wager. At Mr. Green we offer both fixed odds and live betting for main tennis events such as Wimbledon.

Wimbledon history

The Wimbledon tournament is held in the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on the outskirts of London. This private club was founded in 1868 and was originally called The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in 1877 which happened only two years after they added lawn tennis in 1875 to the club. The club then fittingly held its first Lawn Tennis Championship which is now known as Wimbledon.

The rules that the players used for the very first game are still in use, with only a few minor changes made involving net height and the change in distance of the service line from the net.

The very first championship tournament consisted of just one event: gentlemen’s singles. Spencer Gore won that tournament and since then they’ve added a ladies singles, ladies and gentlemen’s doubles and mixed doubles.

How Wimbledon is structured

Wimbledon is a single-elimination tournament, much like the NCAA college basketball tournament (March Madness). While March Madness starts with 68 teams, Wimbledon starts with 128 of the world’s best players (gentlemen’s and ladies tournaments have 128 players each).

The top 32 players are given a bit of preferential treatment and the higher up the chain a player is, the better chance he/she is given by the tournament organizers. The top 32 are set up in match-ups so that no seeded player will face another seeded player for the first two rounds. As the tournament winds down, the higher ranked players are always pitted against the lowest ranked remaining players until there are two left to face off for the Championship Match.

Player spotlight: Serena Williams

Serena Williams is arguably one of the greatest female athletes of all time. The fact that she happens to be a tennis player is something the sport of tennis is lucky to have.

Serena Williams has won Wimbledon a total of 6 times, most recently in 2016 with multiple wins in all the Grand Slam tournaments, including 4 wins in the Australian Open, 2 wins in the French Open and 2 wins in the U.S. Open. Williams has a record of 187-33 in professional matches which equates to an ultra-impressive win percentage of 85%.

*Pre-1968, Grand Slams were restricted to amateur players. **The Open Era was established in 1968 when professionals were allowed to play alongside amateurs in major tournaments, including Grand Slams.

Record Era Player Number Years
Most men’s singles titles Pre-1968 William Renshaw 7 1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1889
Laurence Doherty 5 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906
Open Era Roger Federer 8 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2017
Pete Sampras 7 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000
Björn Borg 5 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980
Most women’s singles titles Pre-1968 Helen Wills Moody 8 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1932, 1933, 1935, 1938
Dorothea Lambert Chambers 7 1903, 1904, 1906, 1910, 1911, 1913, 1914
Martina Navratilova 9 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990

US Open

Mr Green US Open

Introduction

The US Open is one of the oldest tennis championship tournaments in the world. Dating back to 1881, the US Open has a long and rich history chock full of some of the most historic and memorable matches throughout the last century.

The US Open currently takes place in Queens, New York at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and is the last of the four Grand Slam tournaments, taking place from the last Monday in August through until Labor Day weekend in early September. All revenue from TV, ticket sales and sponsorships generated by the US Open is used by the USTA (United States Tennis Association) to develop tennis within the United States.

US Open history

The US Open tournament began in 1881 and although it’s been played in New York for over a century, it actually started in Rhode Island at the Newport Casino in Newport Rhode Island. This was a members-only club and the matches were played on a grass court. Richard Sears won the very first men’s singles tournament and would go on to win six more consecutive tournaments from there. His seven singled titles tie him with William Larned and Bill Tilden for most singles titles and is a record that still stands well over a century later.

The US Open was played on grass from 1881-1974, clay from 1975-1977 and has been played on a hard court since 1978. As the United States’ premier tennis event the US Open awarded over $53 million in prize money in 2018.

Whether you’re wagering on tennis in the States or internationally, Mr. Green has made wagering on tennis much simpler for everyone from the novice fan to the expert with comprehensive tennis betting strategies. These strategies are set up to give you a distinct advantage when wagering on any of the major tennis tournaments worldwide.

How the US Open is structured

The US Open has five divisions of championship tournament: singles (one for men, one for women) doubles (one for men, one for women) and mixed doubles. In addition, events for juniors, seniors, and wheelchair players are being held.

The US Open has two unique features compared with other Grand Slam tournaments. Firstly, it is the only one that applies tiebreakers to each set of a singles match. Secondly, it features 16 qualifiers in the women’s singles competition, as opposed to the standard 12.

Player spotlight: Jimmy Connors

When it comes to great names playing in the men’s US Open, the names: McEnroe, Sampras, Federer and more recently, Djokovic probably come to mind. However, Jimmy Connors was arguably the greatest player to compete in the US Open. Connors competed five years in a row in this event, namely from 1974-1978. Three of those titles he actually won, which is a feat on itself, but becomes even more impressive when you know that all three were played on a different surface: grass, hard court and clay. He is the only player to achieve such a feat in a short time period. Connors won his final US Open in 1983 when he ended the year ranked third after battling throughout the year for top honors with John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl.

Despite retiring from the sport in 1996, Connors still holds three major records: 109 ATP titles (including 8 majors), 1,535 matches played and 1,256 match wins.

US Open records as of 2019

Record Era Player Number Years
Most men’s singles titles Pre-1968 Richard Sears 7 1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1887
William Larned 7 1901, 1902, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911
Bill Tilden 7 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1929
Open Era Jimmy Connors 5 1974, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1983
Pete Sampras 5 1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2002
Roger Federer 5 2004, 2005, 2006 , 2007, 2008
Most women’s singles titles Pre-1968 Molla Mallory 8 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1926
Open Era Chris Evert 6 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982
Serena Williams 6 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014

Australian Open

Mr Green Australian Open

Once known as the Australasian Championships, the Australian Open is now the Southern Hemisphere’s largest annual sporting event. The tournament of many names, it’s also known as the “Grand Slam of Asia/Pacific” and “the happy slam”.

The Australian Open is attended more than any of the other Grand Slams (the 2019 event attracted over 780,000 fans). It featured indoor play in extreme heat or wet weather before any other Grand Slam, with its three primary courts being the Melbourne Arena, the Rod Laver Arena, and the Margaret Court Arena.

Australian Open history

The Australian Open is the first of the four Grand Slam tournaments played throughout the year and takes place during the last two weeks in January each year in Melbourne Australia. The Australian Open features a wide range of events such as men’s and women’s singles, men’s, women’s and mixed doubles, junior championships and wheelchair competitions.

The Australian open was first played in 1905 when it was played outdoors on grass. Currently it is played outdoors on a hard court. The Australian Open attracts a large audience for live matches, second only to the US Open in that regard. This championship attracts a large number of celebrities each year, ranging from Rose Byrne to Lleyton Hewett and Nicole Kidman. Early this year the total prize money awarded to its participants was a whopping $62,500,000.

How the Australian Open is structured

The championship features men’s and women’s singles; women’s and men’s mixed doubles; junior championships; wheelchair events and events for legends of the sport as well.

Typical of all the Grand Slams, the men’s final is regarded as the most closely watched event among both spectators and bettors. If you’re a bettor and are looking to spice up your tournament experience, why not read up on some betting strategies at Mr. Green before you place your next bet.

Player spotlight: Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic is the player who has won The Australian Open the most times ever: seven times. Earlier this year, Djokovic seized sole ownership of the men’s singles record at Melbourne Park by defeating Rafael Nadal for his seventh single’s title which put him ahead of Roy Emerson.

That victory made Djokovic the second richest tennis player in the world, just behind Roger Federer, and added to a robust resume which (in addition to his seven Australian Open titles) already includes: four Wimbledon titles, three US Open titles and one French Open title. Djokovic is the only male player to ever have won all nine of the Masters 1000 tournaments. An incredible feat.

Australian Open records as of 2019

Record Era Player Number Years
Most men’s singles titles Pre-1969 Roy Emerson 6 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967
Open Era Novak Djokovic 7 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019
Most women’s singles titles Pre-1969 Margaret Court 7 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966
Open Era Serena Williams 7 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017

French Open

Mr Green French Open

The French Open, which is also known as Roland-Garros (the famous French Aviator) is the second of the annual Grand Slam tournaments, taking place between the end of May and the beginning of June in Paris, France. It is the only one of the Grand Slam tournaments to take place on a clay tennis court which is one aspect that makes this tournament so physically demanding. In addition to the challenging playing surface, players play best-of-five sets of men’s singles matches with no tie-break in the final set.

French Open history

The French Open was founded in 1891 in Paris, France where it was originally billed as the “Championnat de France” which translates to The French Championships. The very first time it was played, the French Open took place on a sandy bed of rubble. Since then, clay has become the preferred surface which many players agree, makes the French Open so challenging.

Due to the fact that many players find it harder to play this tournament than they do others, many players consider this the most difficult step in the process of sweeping the Grand Slams.

Probably the most progressive of all the Grand Slam tournaments, the French Open was the first championship tournament where professionals and amateurs were allowed to compete together. It was also the very first championship where, in 2007, women and men received the same prize money.

How the French Open is structured

The structuring of the French Open isn’t very different from how the other Grand Slam tournaments are structured. The most unique aspect of the French Open is the clay court. Clay courts are considered “slow” because the balls bounce relatively high and lose most of their speed when hitting the clay which makes it more difficult for players to deliver difficult shots. Clay court players use top-spins to throw off opponents and can run and slide more than they could on a hard or grass court.

There are certain players who excel on a particular surface. Having the knowledge about who the clay-court-specialists are is just another example of using Mr. Green betting strategies that can earn you money in the long run. You could even make use Mr. Green’s free bet offer if you think you know which player will conquer the clay at the next event.

Player spotlight: Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal is the quintessential example of a clay-court-expert. Among Nadal’s 17 Grand Slam single’s titles, Nadal has won a record breaking eleven French Open titles, three US Open titles, two Wimbledon titles and one Australian Open title.

In total, Nadal has won 80 titles throughout his career overall including 57 on clay courts. Nadal owns an 81-match win streak on clay courts which is the longest single surface win streak in the modern era. An impressive feat to say the least.

French Open records as of 2019

Record Era Player Number Years
Most men’s singles titles Pre-1925 Max Decugis 8 1903, 1904, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1912, 1913, 1914
1925-68 Henri Cochet 4 1926, 1928, 1930, 1932
Open Era Rafael Nadal 11 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018
Pre-1968 Suzanne Lenglen 6 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1925, 1926
Open Era Chris Evert 7 1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986

Davis Cup

Mr Green Davis Cup

The Davis Cup began in 1900 and was founded by Dwight Davis as a head to head competition between the United States and Great Britain. It is currently the world’s largest international team competition in tennis with 133 Nations competing in 2019. Some have described the Davis Cup as an annual “Olympics of Tennis” since it’s become such an international affair. One thing is for sure, the Davis Cup is one of the most exciting tennis exhibitions the sport has to offer.

Davis Cup history

In 1900 the Davis Cup began as a competition between only Great Britain and The United States. Back then, Great Britain was regarded as the world’s leading tennis power so American collegian: Dwight Davis decided to challenge Great Britain’s best tennis players to take a trip across the Atlantic to compete against his Harvard team. Davis won the support of the U.S.

National Lawn Tennis Association and allegedly personally spent $750 on the creation of an elegant silver trophy bowl which was to be awarded to the winners. Davis created a three-day format for the event which still exists to this day.

How the Davis Cup is structured

Dwight Davis devised a three-day structure to the Davis Cup: two singles matches on days one and three with a doubles match on day 2. Starting in 2019, the Davis Cup has undertaken a new format which involves ties played in February, April, September and November. The new format will involve a qualifying round in February in which 24 teams will take part in home and away matches.

The 12 winners of those matches will earn a place in the final and will join the four semifinalists from the previous year who qualify without having to play in February and two wildcards are announced before the draw of the qualifying round. The finals are held in a round-robin style format with the countries divided into six groups and each qualifying round consisting of three matches (two singles and one double of best of three sets).

Davis Cup records as of 2019

Country Number of titles First title Last title
United States 9 1972 2007
Sweden 7 1975 1998
Australia 6 1973 2003
Spain 5 2000 2011
France 4 1991 2017
Germany 3 1988 1993
Czech Republic / Czechoslovakia 3 1980 2013
Russia 2 2002 2006
Croatia 2 2005 2018
South Africa 1 1974
Italy 1 1976
Serbia 1 2010
Switzerland 1 2014
Great Britain 1 2015
Argentina 1 2016

Fed Cup

Mr Green Fed Cup

The concept of the Fed Cup was created in 1919 by Mrs. Hazel Wightman who came up with the idea of a competition for women’s team tennis. The idea was initially rejected but Mrs. Wightman didn’t stop there. Instead she moved forward and presented a trophy in 1923 for an annual competition between the United States and Great Britain who, at the time, were the strongest nations when it came to the sport of tennis.

Nell Hopman, the wife of a famous Australian tennis star Harry Hopman (whose name lives on in the Hopman Cup – a mixed-gender, indoor competition that is held each year in Australia), took that idea and presented it to the International Tennis Federation demonstrating that the support for an event like this would be overwhelming. The ITF launched the Federation Cup in 1963. This event which was, and still is, open to all nations has proven to be an emphatic success.

Fed Cup history

The very first Fed Cup (originally the Federation Cup) took place in 1963 and was played over one week in a different locale each year. The competition attracted teams from 16 different countries from around the globe and was well supported by the top tennis players worldwide. The first event took place in London and the final match was between Australia and the United States with the Americans emerging victorious. Since that victory, the Americans have racked up a total of 17 overall titles. Australia ranks second with 7 titles.

How the Fed Cup is structured

After seeing the success of the Davis Cup, the powers that be decided to give the Fed Cup a similar format so in 1995, the Fed Cup changed its rules to allow women to play for their country on home soil. The current format which was introduced in 2005 incorporates two “8-Nation-world-groups” each playing home-and-away over three weekends throughout the year. The remaining nations are divided into three regional zones depending on location. The countries listed in “World Group I” compete for top honors.

Fed Cup records as of 2019

Country Number of titles First title Last title
United States 18 1963 2017
Czech Republic / Czechoslovakia 11 1975 2018
Australia 7 1964 1974
Spain 5 1991 1998
Soviet Union / Russia 4 2004 2008
Italy 4 2006 2013
Germany / West Germany 2 1966 2014
France 2 1997 2003
South Africa 1 1972
Belgium 1 2001
Slovakia 1 2002

Conclusion

In a sports world full of so many entertaining events and competitions, tennis is a sport that has not only withstood the test of time but has flourished. Events like Wimbledon and the US Open which started in the 1800’s have become even more popular today as evidenced by the throngs of fans attending these events and the gaggles of celebrities fighting for front seats at the best matches.

Smaller events like the Indian Wells Masters in California, the Hopman Cup in Australia, the Challenger Tour, the WTA Premier events, the Masters 1000 or the Miami Masters offer opportunities aplenty to key-in on some of the players who haven’t made it to the main stage yet.

With so many international matches happening throughout the year, a shrewd handicapper can find opportunity where others might not be looking. From players who specialize in playing on clay to players who do better when they play in front of their home crowd, knowledge is always power.

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