The four Grand Slam tennis tournaments are considered the most prestigious tournaments in the world. They are held sequentially and annually as follows:
- The Australian Open (Tennis Australia)
- The French Open (the French Tennis Federation)
- The Wimbledon Open (the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club and Lawn Tennis Association), and
- The US Open (the United States Tennis Association)
The associations listed above, as well as the International Tennis Federation (ITF), are responsible for organizing these events.
The ITF also organizes the Davis Cup, Federation Cup and Hopman Cup. These events have the largest prize money. The next level of tournaments, the Masters 1000 (men) and Premier events (women) allow the champions to achieve double the number of ranking points. There are an astounding 128 players in the singles draw which is more than any other professional tennis event.
This event collectively includes 32 seeded players, other players ranked in the world’s top 100 and wild card players who are invited to play in the event. The Men’s Grand Slam tournaments have a best of five set matches throughout.
Grand Slam tournaments are the only tour events to have mixed doubles. The Grand Slam tournaments are seen as the start of a particular season such as the Australian Open. These events each have their own individual peculiarities.
One of the four Grand Slams to be held every year, the Australian Open, is held at Melbourne Park where the top tennis players from round the world compete with each other. The Australian Open tennis tournament is the first of the Grand Slams to be held in a calendar year. It is generally played every year in January in Melbourne Park where the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova and the Williams sisters come out to play. The Australian Open tennis tournament was first played in 1905 and it has completed a 100 years of its existence. Up to 1987, over a period of 82 years, the Australian Open was played on grass courts. The revised format of the tournament saw the surface being changed to hard courts in 1988. There are a variety of competitions which are held at the championship. These include Men’s singles, Women’s singles, Men’s doubles, Women’s doubles and finally Mixed doubles, apart from the junior’s singles and doubles.
Mats Wilander holds the distinction of being the only tennis player to win the tournament on both types of surface. The two primary courts where all the main tennis matches are played are the Rod Laver Arena and the Hisense Arena. They are the first tennis stadiums in the world which have retractable roofs which can be shut down and opened according to the weather. This tournament has seen a lot of high-quality tennis over the past few years with the main two contenders being Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in the men’s tourney.