ATP Tennis Court

ATP and WTA Tours in China Cancelled Over the Coronavirus

A lot of sporting events were cancelled due to the pandemic, and the ATP and WTA is no exception. China announced that it would not be staging most international sports events for the rest of 2020, which would mean that all international tennis tournaments to be held in China this year such as the WTA Finals and the Shanghai Masters will not take place. This is to keep the pandemic in check.

Steven Simon, head of the WTA expressed his disappointment but also stated, “We do however respect the decision that has been made (by Chinese authorities) and are eager to return to China as soon as possible next season.”

The Association of Tennis Professionals or ATP and the Women’s Tennis Associations or WTA are the two separate associations and governing bodies for men’s and women’s tennis. These two have been dealing with organising championships and tournaments. They also work on the rules and the different rankings and revenue distributions.

Roger Federer Expresses Desire For Merger of ATP and WTA

The Swiss professional tennis player has stated via his Twitter account that now might be the time for ATP and WTA to merge. 

“Just wondering… I the only one thinking that now is the time for men’s and women’s tennis to be united and come together as one?”

Federer has always been outspoken about his views on tennis and how women and men tennis players should be treated equally. In his Twitter thread, he emphasised how merging the two associations would make it easier for everyone. He said that the different ranking systems, logos, websites, and tournament categories might be confusing to many fans. That is why having a unified organisation would provide a lot more benefits not to mention that with everything that is happening to the sports world, now is the time to have a stronger and integrated foundation than ever. 

Understanding the ATP and WTA

What are ATP tournaments?

The ATP is the association for male tennis players. It has five tournaments, which are the ATP World Tour Finals, ATP World Tour 250 Series, ATP World Tour 500, ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and the Challenger tournament. 

ATP Rating and Scores

The ATP rating is the system wherein the results of tennis players are taken into consideration. It depends on the number of scores that they have and only 18 best results in season will be taken into account. The rating is also computed based on a result of 52 weeks.

The different tournaments will also have various amounts of scores: 

  • ATP World Tour Finals – The participants will get 200 scores for a group stage play. If they are in the semifinal, they get 400, and for the final, 500. The maximum score that can be achieved is 1500.
  • ATP World Tour 250 Series – Each player gets 12 scores for qualification and 20 if you compete with 16 players. And then you can get half of the number of scores like in ATP World Tour 500.  
  •  ATP World Tour 500 Series – Each player can receive 20 for qualification. If you compete with 16 players, 45 if you win. And for the quarterfinal, you’ll get 90. For the semifinal, 300 and for the final, 500 if you win.
  • ATP World Tour Masters 1000 – Each player gets 25 scores for qualification (12 if 52 participants). If you come to 128 players, you’ll get 10 points. In the next stage, you’ll get 25 if you compete with 64 players. After that, you’ll get 45 when you play with 32 players. If you compete with 16 players, you’ll receive 90 scores, then 180 for the quarterfinals and 360 for the semifinals. Lastly, you’ll get 600 for the finals if you win.

What are WTA tournaments?

The WTA is the association for female tennis players. There are tournaments wherein both men and women can play. 

WTA Rating and Scores

Unlike the ATP rating, WTA has two ratings: single and pair. In the single rating, 16 best results are taken into account while for the pair rating, only 11 are considered. 

  • Championship Final – For the single tournament, for every won match, you get 230 scores. But, if you lose one in a group, you get 70. For the finals, you get 360 scores, and if you win, you get the title and 450 scores. On the other hand, for the pair, you get 460 scores for quarterfinal, 690 for semifinal, 1050 for final and 1500 scores for the title.
  • Championship Final B – For the single tournament, for every won match, you get 120 scores. If you lose, you get 40. For the final, 200 and for the title, 260. For the pair tournament, there are no scores given.

The ATP and WTA have remained separate entities for a long time. Maybe as Federer stated, this should be the time to show a united front and consider the best interest of the sport. 

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Tennis Racket

Top 5 Richest Tennis Players in 2020

One of the best sports, where both female and male are on equal grounds and opportunities, is tennis. This is because nowadays, most tennis sporting events offer the same amounts of prize money. It has opened a lot of opportunities for many, especially for bettors, to gain better chances of winning. With a diverse set of tennis players, there are so many choices to choose from. 

As one of the most popular and biggest non-team sports, there is no question as to why many tennis players have profited and took on endorsement deals, offering millions so that they can support the brand. You can see many known companies that try to get famous players from wearing their clothes or consuming their products.

Below is the list of the wealthiest active tennis players who did not retire before July 2019 from all over the world. They have gained a lot because of the sport not just from the prize money but also through endorsement deals, promotions, and others.

Roger Federer

At the top of this list is none other than Roger Federer. He has raked in a total of $130 million in prize money in his whole career. He is the greatest tennis player of all time with 103 career titles under his belt. Undoubtedly, many have sought him for huge sponsorships and endorsement deals, among which are Uniqlo, Rolex, Mercedes, Wilson and Sunrise, Moet & Chandon. He also has a whopping record of 20 Grand Slam singles titles and an impressive net worth of $450 million. This makes him the richest tennis player in the world.

Novak Djokovic

This 32-year-old tennis player has solidified himself as the second richest player with a net worth of $220 million. Djokovic started his career as a professional tennis player in 2003 and has won 17 Grand Slam singles. He has a career total of 76 titles. He is currently ranked number one in ATP and has a total prize money of $143 million. Djokovic’s endorsements include but are not limited to the following: Uniqlo, Bombardier Aerospace, Mercedes Benz, and Sergio Tacchini.   

Rafael Nadal

This player is one of the elites in tennis. He currently ranks number two when it comes to endorsement deals, but third in the list because of his net worth, which is $200 million. He has contracts with Kia Motors, Nike, Telefonica, Tommy Hilfiger, etc. Nadal is also one of the best with his 85 career titles, which includes 19 Grand Slam singles and 2 Olympic gold medals. His career prize money is $121 million. That is why there is nothing to doubt as to why he is one of the most accomplished tennis players. 

Serena Williams

If you are an avid fan of women tennis players, then the name Serena Williams will surely pop up. This queen of the tennis court is the richest female tennis player with a net worth of $180 million. She has been ranked number one in WTA for at least 8 times and holds 73 titles, which include 23 Grand Slam singles, 4 gold medals, and 14 Grand Slam doubles, among other things. Williams also has a total of $92.7 million in prize money, and endorsement deals with IBM, Delta Airlines, Gatorade, Aston Martin, and many more!

Maria Sharapova

This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning one of Williams’ rivals, Maria Sharapova. She became number one in WTA when she was just barely 18 years old. She has 36 titles in her record, including but not limited to 5 Grand Slam singles titles. Sharapova has a net worth of $135 million and a career prize money of $38.7 million. She is also known for her countless huge endorsements. That is why since 2006 until 2016, Forbes had ranked her as the highest-earning female athlete. Another that makes her the fifth richest tennis player is that she owns a candy company known as Sugarpova. This adds to her overall profits.

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tennis changes

How Tennis Has Changed Over the Years

If you are wondering how tennis has evolved the years, the most straightforward idea is: with wide variations in tennis, no one player is dominating the sport.

Sure, tennis fans indulge in the prowess and experts of the super trio, namely Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic. However, this is how concentrated the sport is. On the one hand, we got the three, and on the other hand, we got Serena Williams (as if saying women’s tennis is a pretty diffused territory.

How tennis has changed 

A lot of things have happened since tennis became a pro sport in 1968.

If there’s one word to describe modern tennis, that would be power. 

For one, tennis players are using racquets made from graphite composites and carbon fibres. The racquets are lighter but equally durable like wooden racquets. 

The strings, whether they are synthetic or power strings, tend to be looser and generating more spin. As such, a tennis player can hit the ball harder to make it land deep into the court. 

Forehands were Eastern grip before compared to their Western grip counterpart that is mostly used today. Even tennis schools are teaching open-stance forehands. Safe slice serves were also inexistent today than the pre-Open era. 

Tennis courts are totally different today as well. Plays are faster, reinforcing the need for speed. One has to be professional about training, for example, since consistency is also crucial in dominating the charts and records.

The style of play has also changed. It was no longer the serve-and-volley type of game that we saw before. Instead, tennis has become a baseline power game. Tennis has become a more physical sport that tests endurance and agility on the court, among others.

Tennis scoring is also radically different nowadays. A tie-breaker was introduced to quicken the pacing of the match. The players are also entitled to challenge specific calls like those in the lines. A hawkeye instant replay can be used to back either the decision or the call. 

When not playing tennis, the activities are still about the sport though. This is particularly true for diet and fitness regime. It takes a village now to tend to the needs of a tennis player. And that includes a nutritionist or dietician and trainer – both physical and mental, in addition to the actual coach. 

The last one was made possible by this change: prize money. And we are talking about huge prize winnings—hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is expected considering that the first US Open gave away $100,000 in winnings. By 2019, it was $57.2 million.

Athlete endorsements have been an additional source of income too. Federer and Djokovic once earned $25 million each in sponsorship deals in just one year.

Prizes and endorsement earnings also changed the attitude of tennis players for the best, but some for the worst. Knowing, compassionate players launched their own foundations and poured over their earnings to various causes. 

Tennis players are competitive today, nevertheless, because of both financial and non-financial rewards of playing tennis.

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How tennis has changed over the years? Can you name other changes not mentioned in the article?