The Biggest Tournaments in Tennis

The sporting schedule found in tennis is quite different from most other major sports. Operating within a tournament format, athletes progress through the season with their eye keenly fixated on the most illustrious championships with sizeable prizes. In terms of personal rankings, the Grand Slam tournaments provide an ample opportunity for a tennis player to improve their global ranking.

Inevitably, this creates an environment where certain tournaments are valued higher than others. We’ve gone to the trouble of briefly recapping some of the most historic tournaments in tennis while also chipping in a few interesting bits of trivia which may help you with your betting at Mr Green. You’ll also find snapshot profiles of legendary players and an overview of their achievements within a tournament.

Wimbledon

mrgreen wimbledon
Wimbledon is the pinnacle of the Grand Slam. A tournament that’s crossed over into the mainstream, it’s become a beacon for tourists across the world. It’s also one of the only sports that’s positioned itself successfully in a medium where the elites of our society and tennis purists can come together to witness a match.

Located in London, England, the tournament has been played at the All England Club since 1877. In recent years, the tournament has been pushed to early July after changes to the tennis calendar were made in the interest of protecting the stamina of athletes throughout a long and gruelling season.

As you’d expect of a tournament held in England, Wimbledon is governed by numerous traditions that go so far as to inform dress codes for players and fans. Interestingly, one of the most prevalent traditions carried over into the modern era is the ubiquity of strawberries and cream vendors spread across the ground. It’s estimated that in 2017 alone, more than 34 000 kg of strawberries were consumed by attendees. Talk about an appetite!

One thing that should be readily evident is the tournament’s popularity with sports bettors. The highest level of competition, coupled with numerous storylines, is the perfect cocktail of fun for any enthusiast. Head over to Mr. Green for the best odds for live betting.

Wimbledon history

One of the oldest sporting competitions in the world, Wimbledon is the envy of the tennis world and a beacon of pride for local residents. The acclaim of the tournament is firmly built on the competition’s pedigree exhibited across many editions of the event.

Of note, when compared to the other Grand Slams, Wimbledon is the only tournament still played on traditional grass. Again, this is another example of its adherence to tradition. As a grass court, Wimbledon is favoured by players who rely on agility and strategic placements. The great Pete Sampras is a fine example of a tennis player who came alive at Wimbledon.

Thankfully, one of the traditions that was eventually left in the past was the insistence of the tournament being a male-only competition. Ladies singles were introduced in 1884, 7 years after the creation of the tournament. However, a further 30 years was required before ladies doubles and mixed-doubles were added to the competition.

How Wimbledon is structured

Wimbledon has devised an ingenious, but immensely confusing, seeding structure to maximize the competitiveness of the tournament while also protecting the integrity of the player rankings.

Since 1975, the seeding of the tournament has been decided by a complex algorithm that leans heavily on ATP rankings and performance on grass courts. The seeds are initially created by adapting the ATP List of the Top 32. Players are then reseeded with new metrics applied that included performance on a grass court in the last two years. However, this format only applies to men. In the case of Women’s seeding, the draw is decided only by the WTA list. Amendments to the seeding format can be implemented to guarantee a balanced draw.

Player Spotlight: Roger Federer

One of the greatest athletes of the modern era, Roger Federer, is currently coming to the end of an illustrious career that’s included numerous awards and achievements. A giant at Wimbledon, Federer has always been a threat at the tournament with his style of play exceptionally dangerous on a grass court.

His trophy cabinet is exceptional and includes 20 Grand Slam titles (with 8 of them earned at Wimbledon), Gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and twice winner of the ATP Challenger Tour final (once in singles and once with doubles).

*Pre-1968, Grand Slams were for amateur players only. **In 1968 the Open Era was established 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, originally known as the U.S National Championship, is the current iteration of the legendary tennis tournament first played in 1881. Played at the Billie Jean center in Flushing Meadows, New York, it is the marquee tournament for American tennis fans.

The fourth and final Grand Slam tournament of any calendar year, it’s the last opportunity for top players to earn their keep and bring home a title. Like all of the Grand Slams, it’s also a great opportunity for local talent to build their profile through great showings in front of a global audience.

Of all the majors, the US Open is the only tournament that utilizes a tiebreaker when determining the winner in each of the five sets.

Head and shoulders above any other tennis tournament in the USA, like the Indian Wells Masters or the Miami Masters – two of the four Premier events – , the US Open is hotly contested and an opportunity for the greatest players test their mettle on the hardcourt during the tail end of the summer.

US Open history

The first US Open took place in 1881. However, initially, only men were allowed to take part in both singles and doubles tournaments. In 1887 the women’s singles tournament was added. Two years later, the first mixed doubles and women’s doubles events took place.

The US Open and The Australian Open are the only two Grand Slams that are played on hardcourts. Mostly the norm throughout tournaments across the world, this has a knock-on effect, thereby making both the Australian and US Open a great scouting ground for the next generation of stars. If there was any event to pay attention to, from a betting perspective, both of the above mentioned have a lot to offer bettors. Here, at Mr Green, we can provide you with all the information on tennis betting strategies you’d need to get a head start on the competition.

How the US Open is structured

The five primary championships at the US Open are:

  • men’s singles
  • women’s singles
  • men and women doubles
  • mixed doubles

Like all Grand Slams, a whole host of auxiliary competitions take place at the tournament across a variety of age groups and capabilities. The junior events are a great opportunity to get a headstart on scouting the next generation of players while also generating a large amount of data and analytics for predictive models. Many sharps use junior tournaments as testing opportunities for their biases and assumptions.

Seedings in the tournament are decided through a mixture of rankings from the ATP and WTA rankings, a qualification round, and play-in wildcard slots determined by recent form and a selection committee from the US Open.

Player spotlight: Jimmy Connors

Easily the most recognized figure in American tennis, Jimmy Connors is the king of the US Open and arguably the tournament’s greatest performer. Connors is the only player in US Open history to win titles playing on three different surfaces.

Another American great, John McEnroe, had a fierce and competitive rivalry with Jimmy Connors. The two Americans had many fiery and spirited affairs with their rivalry entering public discourse after numerous public run-ins and altercations on and off the tennis court. Inevitably, McEnroe paid tribute to Connors and thanked him for everything he did for US tennis and fans across the world.

If you’re interested, Connors vs McEnroe at Wimbledon 1980 is one of the greatest tennis matches you’ll ever see between two players on a grass court. Well worth the watch.

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

The Australian Open is the largest annual sporting event in the Southern Hemisphere. As the only Grand Slam tournament in the Oceanic/Asian region, the Australian Open draws in countless fans from numerous countries in the surrounding area. In 2019 alone, the Australian Open had more than 780,000 people attending the tournament.

The first Grand Slam competition in the calendar year, the Australian Open is held in January and is contested by top players in both the ATP and WTA rankings.

As the tournament is located in the southern hemisphere, indoor playing courts have been used to mitigate the risk of players competing in extreme heat during the summer.

Australian Open history

The newest of all of the Grand Slams, the Australian Open was first held in Melbourne in 1905. The last open to include events for women, a knock-on effect of a later inception date, Women’s tournaments were introduced to the competition in 1922. Svetlana Kuznetsova and Francesca Schiavone made history in 2011 after they competed for four hours straight in the longest recorded women’s tennis match in the history of all Grand Slams.

Not to be outdone, just one year later, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic played in a match that went nearly six hours and set a new record for a men’s match in a Grand Slam. Djokovic was the eventual winner. However, the more pressing question is surely what’s in the water over in Melbourne!

How the Australian Open is structured

The seeding structure used to determine matchups at the beginning of the tournament is accomplished through an assessment of player rankings in the ATP and WTA, respectively, while also holding spots earned through qualification rounds and wild card entries.

Matches are finely scheduled to coordinate between the men’s and women’s competition with the finals of the tournaments occurring on the weekend. The women’s final is played on Saturday while the men’s takes place on Sunday.

Rapid fans and casuals alike can draw great entertainment and enthusiasm from the matches played and the spectacle of the event. Add in sports bettors, and the excitement of the tournament really starts to heat up and match the summer weather of Melbourne. Play your way through the tournament at Mr Green and have a read through our betting strategy guide for further information.

Player spotlight: Novak Djokovic

Serbian by birth, Novak Djokovic might be an Aussie once his career comes to an end. Boasting an impressive 8 Australian Open titles, Djokovic is no stranger to the heat of the moment, pun intended, and the astonishing focus and stamina to will himself to seven championships.

Here’s a small collection of his career achievements:

  • 17 Grand Slam titles
  • 13 ATP Tour 500 titles
  • 34 ATP Tour Masters 1000 titles
  • 5 ATP Finals Titles
  • Only male tennis player to win 9 Masters 1000 events

Most notably, all of these achievements were completed in an era where both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are at the height of their playing careers. Djokovic is undoubtedly a titan in the sport.

His impressive playing career is only matched by his noteworthy humanitarian work. The Novak Djokovic Foundation has spearheaded charity missions across the world with focused aid work aimed at improving the education standards of less fortunate children across the world.

Australian Open records as of 2020

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 8 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020
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 second of the four Grand Slams, the French Open is a 14-day tournament that takes place in Paris, France, at the Stade Roland-Garros during the month of May.

The French Open is played on a Clay court, thereby attracting a crowd of players who possess a high level of technical skill coupled with a well-worked defensive scheme that breaks the mental fortitude of an opponent over time. Clay court specialists are considered one-trick ponies in the tennis world, with very few finding success outside of the unique playing surfaces.

The combination of technique and stamina is further compounded by the lack of tiebreakers in the championships seven rounds, best of five singles format. Moreover, the French Open stresses both the mental and physical capabilities of players in match format that favours excellence in every waking moment of gameplay.

French Open history

Founded in 1891, as a national competition, the French Open accepts amateur players who display the requisite level of skill to play against a field of professional players. Immediately popular domestically, it wasn’t until 1925 that the French Open gained international acclaim as a marquee event. In 2007, it became the first championship in tennis to offer equal prize winnings for men and women.

The French Open is an annual tournament played during the summer months of May and June. As mentioned, the tournament is noteworthy for its clay courts and playing style that always manages to confound the best players in the world. It’s become known as the tournament of upsets, a fact that will resonate with bettors looking for value in yet to be tapped betting markets. Head over to Mr Green and claim a free bet offer and try your luck at an event when the French Open rolls around in May.

How the French Open is structured

The structure of the French Open follows the same elaborate format utilized by the other Grand Slam championships. In this insistence, however, seeding isn’t greatly affected or determined by their success on clay courts. This commitment to objectivity provides the tournament with a greater amount of variance in the earlier rounds.
One of the greatest influences on the structure of the tournament is simply the clay courts. After the conclusion of the Australian Open, players in the top 25 of both the ATP and WTA rankings immediately begin training for the clay courts of Paris. The unique surface demands a slower playing style that demands perfect concentration and precise positioning for successful shots that utilize topspins. The difficulties of playing on clay courts have been the downfall of countless tennis players looking to complete a career slam during their playing career.
One thing Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe could agree on are their relative lack of success at the French Open. The two Americans both failed in their attempts to complete a career slam. Best not to bringing this up if you see them in passing.

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 12 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019
Pre-1968 Suzanne Lenglen 6 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1925, 1926
Open Era Chris Evert 7 1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986

Canadian Open

Mr Green Canadian Open

While it isn’t a Grand Slam tournament, the Canadian Open has a puncher’s chance of being included in a list of the most prolific championships in the world of tennis.

The Canadian Open is the third oldest tennis competition in this world. After Wimbledon and the US Open, the Canadian Open is the third longest-running championship in tennis. On the men’s side, the tournament is a Masters 1000 event on the ATP Tour. On the women’s side, the tournament is Premier 5 event on the WTA Tour.

The tournament is played in late July/early August and serves as a palate cleanser for players after Wimbledon. Early dropouts from the tournament look to the Canadian Open as a strategic opportunity to build momentum towards the US Open at the end of August.

Canadian Open history

The Canadian Open was founded in 1881, where it was first contested at the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. A women’s tournament was introduced a year later. In 1968, the tournament was renamed the Canadian Open, originally operating as the Canadian National Championship.

In recent years, the tournament has sadly featured few Canadians in the later rounds of the competitions. Like most tennis championships in the world today, the tournament has been dominated by the big 4 of world tennis, and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.

The current men’s champion is Rafael Nadal.

How the Canadian Open is structured

The structure of the Canadian Open differs slightly from the four Grand Slam championships. As the Canadian Open is an event in both the ATP and WTA tours, players competing within a calendar year are expected to attend the tournament or risk their global rankings being negatively effected through deductions.

Initially a contentious issue because of the tournaments close proximity to both Wimbledon and the US Open, top-10 ranked players routinely forfeited their position with an eye towards the US Open in late August. The WTA went so far as to mandate that players ranked in the top-10 must attend the competition or forfeit their position within the top-10.

Canadian Open records as of 2019

Record Player Number Years
Most men’s singles titles Ivan Lendl 6 1980, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1988, 1989
Charles Smith Hyman 5 1884, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1889
Rafael Nadal 5 2005, 2008, 2013, 2018, 2019
Most women’s singles titles Lois Moyes Bickle 10 1906, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1913, 1914, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1924
Violet Summerhayes 5 1899, 1900, 1901, 1903, 1904

Davis Cup

Mr Green Davis Cup

The Davis Cup is an annual global men’s team tennis competition operated by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The ITF has dubbed the tournament the “World Cup of Tennis” with the winners being awarded the title of world champions.

Davis Cup history

The US and Great Britain have a long and rich history of collaboration and competition. While most competitions nowadays go the way of the US, in 1900, the Davis Cup was established to determine the best tennis playing nation of the two.

A few other noteworthy editions were played before the creation of the Davis, most notably between England and Ireland, but lacked the attractiveness of competition between two nations separated by the Atlantic.

Currently, more than 135 countries have featured in the tournament. The most successful nations to date are the US, with 32 titles, followed by Australia with 28 titles.

How the Davis Cup is structured

After a hard-fought qualifying cycle, the World Group competition features 16 countries that are separated into eight first-round ties. The winners continue on into a quarter-final format that follows the trajectory of any round-robin tournament.

A tie is played across five matches, more commonly known as rubbers, over a three day period. On the third day of competition, the last two rubbers are played out in reverse singles, where contestants from the first day of competition swap opponents. The first team to win three matches or more automatically moves on to the next round.

An amendment added in 2011 eliminates the second reverse singles match on the third day of competition if the first match features a lead of 3 sets to 1 with a minimum of four sets played. This makes the first match on day 3 a tension-filled affair as it effectively presents itself as a winner takes all event. If the above requirements are not met, the remaining rubbers are played out.

Davis Cup records as of 2019 (since 1972)

Country Number of titles First title Last title
United States 9 1972 2007
Sweden 7 1975 1998
Australia 6 1973 2003
Spain 6 2000 2019
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

Like the Davis Cup, the Fed Cup is a global team tennis competition operated by the International Tennis Federation. Created on the ITF’s 50th anniversary, the tournament was originally known as the Federation cup before being shortened to the Fed Cup. An annual tournament, the Fed Cup is the largest competition in the world that features women. Another popular but smaller tournament for ladies’ tennis players is the mixed-gender Hopman Cup, which takes place in Australia.

The US, Australia, and the Czech Republic are the only countries to have won a Davis Cup and Fed Cup in the same calendar year.

Fed Cup history

10 years before World War I, American tennis player Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman was determined to see an annual team tennis competition for women at an international level. Wightman herself was a notable athlete, considered by some as the best women’s tennis player in the era leading up to the Great War. Her idea, unfortunately, fall to deaf ears at the time. Nevertheless, the Wightman Cup, named in her honour, was established by the USLTA as an annual team tennis competition that featured teams from the US and Great Britain.

Following the gains made by Wightman, in 1962, Mary Hardwick Hare presented a well-researched brief to the ITF that built on Wightman’s idea for a women’s team tennis competition. One year later, on the 50th anniversary of the ITF, the Federation Cup was created.

How the Fed Cup is structured

Operating under format similar to the Davis Cup, the Fed Cup has undergone countless changes and revisions in an attempt to grow the profile of the tournament.

While cumbersome initially, the many changes to the competition have led to the Fed Cup being in pole position for 2019 when compared to the Davis Cup. It’s only a matter of time before the Davis Cup adopts a similar standardized league format.

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 3 1997 2019
South Africa 1 1972
Belgium 1 2001
Slovakia 1 2002

Conclusion

If it wasn’t clear already, Tennis is a global sport that features some of the most recognized stars and athletes in the world. A mixture of grace and style, the kinetic pace of the match is engrossing for both casuals and diehards alike.

In the case of sports bettors, if you’re looking to expand your gaming outside of major betting markets, Tennis provides a great opportunity for a wide variety of markets that aren’t commonly found in Football and Basketball. Moreover, if you’re wagering on sports in North America during the day, you’ll be excited to learn that a number of Tennis matches and tournaments are available in Europe and Asia daily.

Head over to Mr. Green and begin your love affair with Tennis!