Tennis History  

Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP)

  • In 1972, to protect the interest of male professional tennis players the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) was formed.
  • In 1990, the ATP organized the principal worldwide tennis tour - The ATP Tour.
  • The ATP Tour consists of the following: Grand Slams, ATP Masters Series, ATP International Series Gold, ATP International Series, Masters Cup (season-ending championships)and ATP Challenger Series.
  • The ATP publishes weekly rankings of professional players ATP Entry Ranking, a 52-week rolling ranking and ATP Race, a year to date rankings.

Women's Tennis Association (WTA)

  • The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) formed in 1973 and is the ATP's counterpart organization.
  • The WTA Tour consists of the following: Grand Slams, Tier Tournaments (Tier I to Tier IV) and the Sony Ericsson Championships (season-ending championships)
  • For sponsorship reasons, the WTA tour has been known as the Sony Ericsson WTA tour since 2005.

The Open Era (1968)

  • Before 1968, only amateurs were allowed to compete in major tennis tournaments including the Grand Slams.
  • Professional tennis players played in annual professional tournaments called championship tournaments, the most prestigious of which was the Wembley Professional Championships at Wembley in England (1934 -1990) and the oldest was the United States Professional Championship (1927 -199).
  • In 1968, the distinction between professional and amateur tennis players was dropped, and the Open Era began.
  • The first Grand Slam to go open was the French Open.

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