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5 Must See Tennis Tournaments
5 Must See Tennis Tournaments

What a great time to be a tennis fan! The Australian Open just finished a while ago, Wimbledon is almost around the corner. Are you ready to tick off some of the best tennis tournaments off your Bucket List? Let us help you with some suggestions and Must-see, not to miss on tennis events for this yeas as well as the upcoming one.

5 Must See Tennis Tournaments

1. Wimbledon – London (Grand Slam Event)

The very first Wimbledon Championship took place on June 9th, 1877 in Worple Road, Wimbledon. The tournaments was advertised as “a lawn tennis meeting, open to all amateurs”. Women were not allowed to take part until 1884. During the first “meeting” 22 men showed up, cheered by a crowd of 200 people. During those early games, they used wooden rackets and hand-sewn flannel balls. After opening the tournament to both sexes in 1884, Lottie Dod, made a remarkable appearance on the court, and up to this date she is the youngest unbeaten woman to win the title at the age of 15.

The tournament becomes popular a few years later – 1889, when William Renshaw rises up with his seven consecutive victories at Wimbledon. By the early 1990s, the Wimbledon Championships earn international recognition. In 1905, May Sutton, United Stated, wins the championship in Ladies’ Singles, making Wimbledon the first overseas championship.

Wimbledon is also one of the most strict tournament when it comes to dress code. All players must be dressed up entirely in white. If not, they might be asked to change prior to the beginning of the tournament. Roger Federer for example, was asked to do so in 2013, when he wore shoes that have orange soles. Another interesting fact about Wimbledon is that it hosted the longest game – 11 hours in 2010 , when United States player John Isner defeated French player Nicolas Mahut.

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5 Must See Tennis Tournaments

Photo from Whoisjohngalt

2. US Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium – Flushing Meadows, NY (Grand Slam Event)

It is the fourth and final of the 4 major events. Combined they form the Annual Grand Slam of tennis. The tournament takes place annually – late August and early September for two weeks period. Since 1978, the tournament takes place at the National Tennis Center (USTA), Flushing Meadows Queens N.Y. , played on acrylic hard courts.

The tournament started developing in the early 1881, growing from the U.S. National Championship. It started as men’s singles and doubles competition. At this time, the tournament was open only to those who were members of the U.S. National Lawn Tennis Association ( USLTA ) – known as USTA nowadays. A few years later, in 1887, the event started expanding by including women’s singles and in 1889 – women’s doubles and mixed doubles in 1892. The U.S. Open was established as a name and a tournament in 1968, when all five tournaments were hosted at the same place for the first time. Throughout the years the tournament has been played on different surfaces – grass, clay and concrete.

3. French Open at Roland Garros – Paris (Grand Slam event)

The story dates form early 1891, when the “French Clay-Court Championships” were created. The official name of the tournament is Les Internationaux De France De Roland-Garros. When the tournament was first established, it was only open to people who are part of French clubs only. The first time a international players was allowed on the court was in 1925 – the year when The French Open was born. The tournament was named after a famous French pilot – Roland Garros.

The only time the event has been canceled is during the Second World War between 1939 – 1945. After the war more international players also started to dominate the court and win titles. First international players to win the tournament were from the United States, followed by the representatives from Australia.

Up to this day, the French Open is the only Slam that is still played on clay. The grounds still remember tennis players like Rafael Nadal who holds 9 French Open titles and Björn Borg with 6, 4 of which between 1978 – 1981.

5 Must See Tennis Tournaments

Photograph by P. Alejandro Díaz

4. The Indian Wells Tennis Masters

Also known as BNP Paribas Open and the WTA Indian Wells Open. It is an annual event, held every March. The tournament takes place at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, United States.

The tournament dates from the early 1976. Its started as an ATP fundraising event in Tucson, Arizona. Later that year it moved to Mission Hills Country Club in the Coachella valley. It has been taking place there for five years. The connections between the tournament and Coachella valley, went shaky, and they considered building a stadium near Disney World in Florida.

Nowadays, the BNP Paribas Open is by far the largest combined WTA Premier Mandatory and ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in the world.

5. Australian Open – Melbourne (Grand Slam event)

Australian Open is an annual event held in January. It is the first of the 4 Grand Slam events that take place each year. It features both men’s and women’s singles, men’s, women’s and mixed doubles, junior’s championships.

The first game was held in 1905, knows as the Australian Championship. Afterwards, the event kept on growing, and started being knows as the “happy slam”. It is a tournament that has the highest attendees of all – 780,000 people in 2019. It was also the first event to offer indoor play, in case of rain/heat and bad weather conditions. Up until 1988, players had grass courts. Since then, two types of hard courts have been used – Melbourne Park featuring green colored Rebound Ace up to 2007, followed by blue Plexicushion. Due to the high heat during the month of January when the event takes place, arenas are equipped with retractable roofs.

After its first event at the Warehouseman’s Cricket Ground in St Kilda Road, Melbourne in 1905, the event has been staged in 5 different cities : Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth as well as twice in New Zealand. The only time the event didn’t take place was between 1916 – 1918 and 1940 – 1945, due to international conflicts.