Think of the game Lawn Tennis and Wimbledon is the first name that comes to your mind. The most esteemed tournament was first held in 1877 in the London suburb of Wimbledon at the All England Club. The game is played on grass and that’s from where the game lawn tennis got its name. The game sees men’s and ladies singles and doubles matches along with mixed doubles. You also get to enjoy boys and girls singles and girls doubles in the tournament.
1877 witnessed the only Gentlemen’s singles event won by Spencer Gore followed by the addition of Ladies singles in 1884, won by Maud Watson. The following years saw the addition of other events like Gentleman’s doubles, Mixed doubles etc. In 2009, Roger Federer grabbed his 6th Wimbledon and 15th Grand Slam title. Venus Williams was defeated by her sister Sarena Williams for the 3rd time. Wimbledon 2010 will be held from 21st June – 4th July. Each year sees a change for the benefit of players and audience. To prevent any match delays due to rain, the Centre Court has recently been fitted with a retractable roof. In 1979, the roof of the court was raised one meter to make space for 1,088 seats.
Warm up tournaments are held in Birmingham, Eastbourne and the Netherlands. The main principal court is surrounded by four other courts, hence the name Center Court. You have to experience it to believe the tradition of eating cream and strawberries, drinking with royal patronage and Pimms sprinters at Wimbledon. Wimbledon is incomplete without them – British twins Ernest and William Renshaw, Doherty brothers, Laurie and Reggie, Arthur Gore and Fred Perry, Jean Borota, Jacques Brugnon, Henri Cochet and Rene Lacoste, Pete Sampras and Goran Ivanisevic and many more.
The ITF is an international body for the governing of all the tennis associations from all over the world. It came into existence in 1913 when an association was formed by twelve groups, called the International Lawn Tennis Federation. Originally based in Paris, the ITF tennis base moved to London during the Second World War II. It further got a name change in 1977 when the people over at ITF tennis realised the that all tennis is not played on grass and that the name was a misnomer. The offices and the funds of the same were shifted from Paris to London during World War II, from where it has continued to remain functional to this day. Its achievements are recognised in the annual event which is known as the ITF Year.
It has grown in status and magnitude over the years and it currently has a membership of 205 tennis associations from all over the world. It is the leading governing body for all tennis that is played internationally. It organises a variety of tournaments over a year, namely the four Grand Slams- the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. Apart from these, it also holds national team competitions which include the Davis Cup, The Hopman Cup and the Fed Cup, for men, mixed and for women respectively. The ITF tennis is also primarily responsible for the maintenance of an under-18 junior tennis player’s circuit, both for boys as well as girls.
The tennis tournament played at the end of each year to determine the best of the lot from the top ranked 8 players is called the Masters Tennis Series. In this series, the top 8 players in the calendar year are divided into 2 groups of 4 players each. There takes place 3 round robin matches in which each player from both the groups plays against all the other 3 players. The top two players from each of the group go onto the semi-finals and then the finals.
The Masters Tennis tournament is a third generation evolution of the original format which was initiated in 1970. In the beginning, it was simply called the Masters tournament. Though the same format of matches between the top ranked tennis players was followed in the initial stages, it did not have any effect on the world rankings. But as time progressed, the format changed and the rankings of the players got a boost or a downfall depending on their performance in this tournament too. There are further changes going to be made in the 2009 edition of the Masters Tennis tournament with the name being changed to ATP World Tour Finals. From 2009-12 it will be played at the O2 in London.
The Association of Tennis Professionals, or the ATP as it is more commonly known, came into existence in the 1972. It was basically formed to protect the rights of male professional tennis players’. This association was responsible for the inspiration which helped in the organization of the principal worldwide tour for male players since 1990. This is called the ATP Tour and was renamed in January of 2009 as the ATP World Tour. This is an improvement on the previous championships known as the World Championship Tennis.
The executive office of the ATP are based in London and has got its offices in every continent such as ATP Americas, ATP Europe and the ATP International which is responsible for overlooking the tennis in Asia, Africa and Australia. The ATP Tour is inclusive of a lot of tournaments which span the entire year. Some of them can be enlisted as the Grand Slams, ATP World Tour 500 Series, ATP World Tour 250 Series and the like.
There have been a few changes which took place in 2009 such as the Master’s Cup which has been renamed as the 1000 Cup while the gold events have been renamed as the 500 and 250 Cups. The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) updates the male professional tennis players rankings every month with a detailed review.