Defending champion Novak Djokovic targets his ninth straight win to launch the season when he takes on Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan in the Australian Open third round on Friday.
Welcome to your hub for the latest ATP tournament predictions, tips, previews and schedules.
The ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) is the primary governing body for elite men’s tennis and oversees the ATP Tour, the yearly circuit of tournaments at which the best players in the world compete.
Starting in January with the ATP Cup and running all the way through to November’s ATP Finals, the ATP Tour features over 65 tournaments played all over the world on grass, clay and hard courts. These tournaments are classed according to the number of ranking points awarded to the winner. At the top are the nine Masters 1000 Series events which take place between March and November: Featuring 64- or 96-player draws and mandatory participation for qualifying players, these are the tournaments where you are guaranteed to see the very best facing off for some of the sport’s most iconic trophies. Next come the 13 ATP 500-level tournaments, which reliably attract packed fields including top-10 stars as this category includes such historic and distinctive events as the Barcelona Open, played at Spain’s oldest tennis club, and the hugely popular Wimbledon warm-up at Queen’s Club in West London.
Finally there are the 250 tournaments which are the backbone of the ATP Tour. Currently numbering almost 40 events, these tournaments typically feature a 32-player singles draw and a lower-ranked field than a 500 – but at peak times of the season, it’s not unusual to see multiple top-10 players leading the field at a 250 such as the Adelaide International or Munich Open.
The ATP also oversees the Challenger Tour, the second-tier tournament circuit, and the ATP Champions’ Tour for retired players.
Tennis Grand Slams 2020
The four Grand Slams – the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open – and the Davis Cup are overseen by the ITF, not the ATP, but they do offer ranking points (a mighty 2,000 to the winner in the case of a Grand Slam!). The Grand Slams, each of them lasting a fortnight and featuring a 128-player draw with no byes for seeds, are unique among men’s tennis events in featuring best-of-five set matches, and are by far the most famous, prestigious and lucrative tournaments on the calendar.
They shape the season, with top players flocking to tune up their games on the hard courts of Australia in January in preparation for the ‘Happy Slam’ in Melbourne; duelling at the key clay-court battlegrounds of Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome in the run-up to the French Open (sometimes known as Roland Garros after its iconic Paris venue); honing their grass-court skills at Queen’s Club and Halle before Wimbledon in July and acclimatising to American hard courts at August Masters 1000 Series events in Canada and Cincinnati before the US Open in New York. To triumph at a Grand Slam means earning a special place in tennis history (not to mention a tremendous payday, with winners receiving prize money often well in excess of US $2 million).
The ATP season ends for most players with the Paris Masters in early November, but the best players aged 21 and under head to Milan for the Next Gen ATP Finals, and the eight best players in the world go on to compete at the season-ending championships, the ATP Finals.
ATP Finals 2020
Players accumulate ranking points throughout the season in the hope of qualifying for the ATP Finals, which features the eight players who have amassed the most ranking points through the calendar year. It’s a showcase event for the absolute best in men’s tennis, played for the last decade at London’s O2 Arena but relocating to Turin in 2021.
International competition is also a crucial part of the men’s tennis calendar. The Davis Cup, an ITF event dating back to 1900, is now settled yearly at an eight-day finals featuring 18 nations and played at the end of the season.
The ATP Cup & International Competitions
The ATP’s own international competition, the ATP Cup, debuts in January 2020 and the ATP-affiliated Laver Cup, the brainchild of Roger Federer, features Team Europe facing off against Team World and is played in September after the US Open. And every four years Olympic tennis takes centre stage, with Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer among players who have won gold for their countries.
With so many eclectic tennis events, the calendar becomes pretty packed – but you can keep track of all the action here on our dedicated ATP page, your source for tournament schedules and information as well as predictions, tips and previews from our team of dedicated tennis experts.