It wasn’t until the 16th century that rackets came into use and the game began to be called tennis from the French term “Tenez” which can be translated as hold,receive or take.Initially,the game was popular in England and France where it was played indoors.
In 1913, International Lawn Tennis Federation,now known as International Tennis Federation was founded to regulate the sport.
The four Grand Slam tournaments are considered to be the most prestigious tennis events in the world.These are held annually:
Australian Open in Jan/Feb on hard courts.
French Open in May/June on clay courts.
Wimbledon in June/July on Grass.
US Open in August/September on hard courts.
There is some uniqueness about every Grand Slam.While Wimnbledon adhers strictly with white dress code for players, US Open is the only Grand Slam which uses tiebreaker to decide the final set in both men’s and women’s matches.
Apart from four majors,Olympic Games,Davis Cup,Fed Cup and Hopman Cup are also regulated by ITF. The ATP World Tour Masters 1000 is a group of nine tournaments that form the second highest echelon in men’s tennis.Each event is held annually in different locations all over the world.The third and fourth tier of men’s tennis are formed by ATP World Tour 500 and ATP World Tour 250 series. Like Masters 1000 events,these tournaments offer various amounts of prize money.It is mandatory for leading players to enter at least four 500 events in a year including at least one after US Open.
Lastly,there are challenger tour and futures tournaments.The majority of players use the challenger series at the beginning of their career to improve rankings. Approx.150 challenger and 530 future events are held in a year.
Women’s tournaments structure Premier events for women form the most prestigious level of events on WTA tour after Grand Slam tournaments.These tournaments offer the largest rewards in terms of points and prize money.
Tennis is part of Summer Olympic programme since 1988 while it is also part of Paralympic Games since 1992.
Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men’s tennis.It is run by ITF and is contested annually between countries in a knockout format.
USA is the most successful nation in Davis Cup with 32 titles followed by Australia with 28 trohpies.
Fed Cup is female version of Davis Cup launched in 1963.USA have won Fed Cup.18 times,most by any nation till date.