Men’s Tennis Tournaments
In principle, men’s tournaments at international level are organised by two associations. One is the “International Tennis Federation” (ITF) and the other the “Association of Tennis Professionals” (ATP). They ensure that all rules are observed on site.
The ATP is responsible for the majority of tennis tournaments worldwide. There are a total of eight different tournament categories in the men’s singles, which we have ranked according to their value.
ITF Future Tour
The beginning is the same for every professional tennis player. To be able to participate in major tennis tournaments at all, they must have a certain number of world ranking points in their account. However, it is impossible to have points if you have not yet played in tournaments. So how do you solve this problem?
In this case the Future Tour, organised by the ITF, comes into play. Futures are smaller tournaments that are designed to help players get their first world ranking points.
A tournament victory is rewarded with up to 20 points and a prize money of $15,000 – $20,000. Tennis players who have been successful in several Future tournaments and therefore have enough points can move up to the next class.
Exception: There are some tennis tournaments where the organizer awards wildcards. These are invitations to players who would not actually be eligible to participate. This is another way to get directly into the main draw of a larger tennis tournament.
ATP Challenger Tour
In contrast to the Futures, Challenger tournaments are managed by the ATP. Thus they serve as a transition from the ITF Tour to the ATP Tour. The big advantage of these tournaments is that a hotel room with meals is provided free of charge for each player.
In addition, up to 125 ranking points can be earned here. In the best case, the winner can look forward to an additional prize money of $200,000.
ATP Tour 250
If a player has also collected a sufficient number of points on the Challenger Tour, he is able to start in an ATP Tour 250 tournament. As the name suggests, the winner will receive 250 world ranking points credited to his account. The prize money is also worth at least $400,000.
If you are defeated in a previous round, you will still not go away empty-handed. For example, the semi-finalist receives 90 points and the quarter-finalist 45 points.
In general, the competition in these tournaments is much higher, so some players have to qualify first. There the best players are then determined after one or two matches. Depending on the tournament, the organizer determins either 28, 32 or 48 entries in the main draw.
ATP Tour 500
The winner of an ATP Tour 500 tournament receives twice as many points as in a 250 event. The world ranking points of the other rounds are adjusted in the same way.
Furthermore, players will receive 10 world ranking points for each match won in the qualification round. The main draw consists of 32 or 48 players. Financially speaking, there is a prize money of about $500,000.
Currently, the ATP Tour 500 consists of 13 tournaments on several continents. This number may vary depending on the year, as the ATP may add new tournaments or remove existing tournaments from the series.
ATP World Tour Masters 1000
Even more exclusive are the tournaments of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000, with only nine Masters tournaments being played per season. Four of them are held in North America, four in Europe and one in Asia.
In these tournaments up to 96 players compete against each other at the beginning. In a period of 7-10 days the winner is determined. At the end, the winner will receive 1000 ranking points along with more than $1,000,000 in prize money.
The ATP Finals, formerly the Tennis Masters Cup, are held at the end of each men’s season. In general, they are the most important event on the ATP Tour. This tournament is always held in November in London.
At this last tournament the eight best tennis players of the season meet. In the first step the players are divided into two groups. After that, the two best players from each group will be chosen from among the four players. These then advance to the semi-finals, where they meet the two winners of the other group.
Finally, the winner can look forward to 1500 ranking points plus a bonus of $1,500,000.
The most famous tennis tournaments are probably the Grand Slams. At these tournaments, the ITF is again responsible for their organisation. Basically, we distinguish between four Grand Slam tournaments in tennis:
- Australian Open
- French Open (Roland Garros)
- US Open
These Grand Slams surpass the other tournaments in almost every aspect. They are by far the most prestigious and largest tournaments in the world of tennis. The main draw alone contains 128 players. Players who do not make it directly to the main draw have to go through three qualification rounds.
Grand Slams last a total of two weeks, which also sets a record for the longest tennis tournament. In this case, the prize money for the winner is $3,500,000. He also moves up the world rankings by 2000 points.
The Davis Cup is considered the most important team competition in tennis. The International Tennis Federation is also involved here. Basically, 16 national teams compete against each other in this competition to win the cup in the end.
The nations play five rubbers per match. More precisely, that means four singles and two doubles. The team that first wins three rubbers will then advance one round.
The Davis Cup has the special feature that it is played over a very long period of time, namely several months. Finally, the final takes place at the end of November. Another exception is that no world ranking points are distributed at this tournament.