Tennis tournaments lead their history from the end of the last century. Already in 1875, they gathered a small number of participants and spectators wishing to join the beautiful and spectacular sport. Only 22 people took part in the first tournament, but after 20 years tennis tournaments were included in the program of the Olympic Games. Today there are dozens of competitions, from state to world-class tournaments, which are watched by an increasing number of people. In this article you will find information about the largest tournaments in tennis.
Grand Slam Tournaments
Grand Slam tournaments are not just a competition on the court for everyone. This is a major sporting event, which consists of four tournaments, which are held every year in four countries: in France (Roland Garros), Australia (Australian Open), USA (US Open) and in the suburbs of London (Wimbledon). Many tennis players believe that the victory in the “Grand Slam” in its significance is second only to the victory at the Olympics. An absolute victory is a win on all four courts in one season, but few can boast of such. Usually, winners of Grand Slam tennis tournaments win it gradually, in different years.
- Year of occurrence: 1905 (husband. One. And paired); 1922 (+ mixed)
- City: Sydney (17 times) and another 4 cities in Australia; 2 times in New Zealand
- Coverage: Before 1988 grass, after 1988 -hard
Australians do not argue with the Europeans for the title of “the cradle of tennis”, but it is difficult to find a country (in this case, a whole continent) where the game would be so common. Swimming and tennis Australian youth is trained almost from the cradle. That is why it is not surprising that at the very beginning of the 20th century (or rather, in 1904) six Australian states, headed by the governing body of this game in New Zealand, created the Australian Lawn Tennis Association. One and all Australian Open courts have Rebound Ace hard coating. Vodafone Arena is a truly universal embodiment of architectural thought. The building constructed in 2000 can, like a transformer, be transformed beyond recognition:
- velodrome mode (for 4500 people);
- concert venue (at 8900 or at 10500 spectators);
- ground for holding world-class basketball matches;
- platform for Australia Open.
The structure is also equipped with a retractable roof. Australians respect and reverently treat not only big tennis in general, but also domestic in particular, therefore even the cups awarded to the winners are named after Australian tennis players who contributed to the development and popularization of Australian tennis:
- men are awarded the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup;
- women tennis players compete for the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup.
The Laver’s Cup is an international men’s tennis tournament, held on private courts between European teams and the rest of the world, the latter consisting of players from non-European countries. Held annually two weeks after the end of the US Open, the venue changes every year.
Like any tournament, the Davis Cup has a whole set of rules and unshakable traditions. First, this is a purely male contest. However, girls should not wave their hands with the words: “As always!” The female equivalent of the Cup is the Federation Cup. Secondly, matches are held between teams, divided according to two principles:
- “titling” of players;
- geography of the participating countries.
The top of the pyramid is headed by the World Group, which includes international tennis “stars” who have long since died on their laurels. Next, the teams are divided according to the principle of geography: the countries of America, Europe / Africa, Asia / Oceania. In each of these units, athletes are divided according to their ranking in world tennis (first, second and third groups).
In 1899, a group of Harvard University students who were keen on tennis, led by Dwight Davis, came up with the idea of a friendly match between the US and UK teams. Dwight was not only the ideological mastermind. He came up with the rules of the competition, and also ordered $ 700 from the jeweler for his personal bowl, which he decorated with a pattern in the vegetative theme. The pattern played a role – they began to call the bowl “salad bowl”. The first competition took place in 1900 and was victorious for the Americans who decided to hold it annually.
Initially, the names of the winners were engraved right on the cup. When the place ceased to be enough, the resourceful Dwight, paying $ 400, made a stand under it. Signs containing the names of the owners were attached to it. However, soon the stand was not enough, and the second one was purchased. Today, the Davis Cup has significantly gained weight – the “salad bowl” proudly towers on three pedestals. Dwight Davis for his long rich life did not become a famous athlete, always giving his favorite sport the role of a hobby. However, for his contribution to the development of tennis, the award which has already become prestigious all over the world began to bear his name. After failures in the sport, Dwight Davis went into politics and made many successful steps up the career ladder: Governor-General of the Philippines; US Secretary of Defense.
However, the enumeration of all his regalia did not cause such a strong revival and even applause, as the mention of the fact that he was the founder of the Davis Cup. He himself always approached such situations with humor, with a smile stating that, apparently, this is the most important fact of his biography.
The Fed Cup is the feminine response to the Davis Cup. Tennis players from all over the world take part in it. As the name suggests, the International Tennis Federation is the organizer of these games, although the initiators of such competitions were, of course, women. Women-tennis players always had to put up with second roles on the courts of various tournaments. All historically significant tennis competitions were certainly held between men, while women’s competitions were added to tournaments much later. Needless to say, even if the prize amounts for winning the final were different for men and women. For a long time, women’s tennis was treated like a spirit, a kind of whim, while men’s tennis was considered a full-fledged sport.
In 1919, Hazel Whiteman wanted to correct this historical injustice, which carefully developed the very concept of the women’s competition. In what instances only did she not turn to find support, but all her efforts were in vain. The idea was not supported. And yet the efforts, nerves and time of Whiteman were not wasted. In the 60s of the last century, Nell Hopman decided to resume the attempts of her predecessors in the struggle for the rights of tennis players. Her husband was a very famous tennis player from Australia, Harry Hopman, who by incredible chance was also the captain of the Davis Cup team. Whether the name of her husband, or the strength of character Nell Hopman helped her succeed, but the fact remains: a purely male tournament helped bring about a purely female.
The official year of birth of the Federation Cup tournament is considered to be 1963. This year the International Tennis Federation celebrated its 50th anniversary. Competitions were held in London, teams from different parts of the world took part in them. The victory was won by an American. Today it is impossible to imagine athletes participating in international competitions absolutely free. However, women – tennis players for the benefit of revered the very fact of the existence of such competitions. Then the prize could not be considered. Moreover, sportswomen completely covered their expenses at the expense of personal funds. Nobody paid even the way to the games and back. By the beginning of the 70s, merchants rated the prospects and profitability of women’s tennis, which allowed the Federation Cup to gain sponsors.
The competition itself has many similarities with its “named brother”:
- Also there is a division into teams on the basis of the geographical position of the country, as well as the “star” of the participant;
- Matches of World Groups are held on the knockout – the Olympic principle.
The Hopman Cup can be called a unique and even paradoxical competition among tennis players, combining the features of some world tournaments and at the same time unlike any of them. The tournament ranks first in the calendar of famous tennis players and tennis fans. Why only famous? Because the organizers of the competition (until 2002 – the director Paul McNami, since 2002 – the International Tennis Association, and from 2012 – the Australian Tennis Association) decide for themselves who to invite to the competition, and there are only eight vacancies. The Hopman Cup has been held since 1989 in the town of Petra (Australia). At the turn of December-January, eight teams from eight countries come here.
The competition is not official, and therefore points are not awarded for it. However, due to the star composition and an impressive prize (about $ 1 million) it is considered very prestigious, therefore rare athletes refuse to participate in it. And this is despite the fact that the first of the Grand Slam tournaments – Australian Open, which requires serious preparation, is not far off.
As already mentioned eight teams consisting of a tennis player and a tennis player take part in the tournament that hold both individual and joint matches. Eight teams are divided into two groups, in which “everyone fights with each.” At first girls act, then men and then pair competitions take place. Thus, according to the results of the competition, two strongest teams are revealed, which will have to fight for the famous trophy. The paradox of competition is that, not being an official competition, it is officially recognized as the World Championship among couples of mixed category ITF.
The tournament is named after the Australian tennis player and coach not by chance. With his participation, the national Australian team managed to become the owner of another cup – Davis Cup as much as 15 times! In addition, the name of this famous athlete can be found by studying the history of the Federation Cup. Harry Hopman was the husband of Nell Hopman, whose efforts today tennis players around the world have their own analogue of the men’s Davis Cup – the Federation Cup. Modern technology that allows athletes to use the right to stop a match for the video replay of a controversial moment of the game, called Hawk – Eye, was first used and tested here. Since then, no significant competition in tennis is complete without it.