References to real tennis date back many hundreds of years… as a rather strange, upper-class indoor pursuit.
What we understand to be the modern game actually comes under the broad title of lawn tennis. And this came into being around the late 1860’s.
By 1881 the first incarnation of what would become the United States Tennis Association (USTA) was in place as competition began to be standardised across the country.
The US National Men’s Singles Championship was held that same year (now the US Open) with a women’s event first played some 6 years later.
Tennis in France, home of the French Open, began to grow in the 1890’s and shortly after, in 1905, the Australian Open was first played.
And so, the four tournaments that would come to make up the tennis Grand Slams were created in little over 25 years of each other.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) set down the most complete set of rules for the tennis in 1924, and this body has remained the sport’s governing authority ever since.
Incidentally, this was the same year tennis would disappear from the Olympic Games… only to return 64 years later in Seoul.
Not considered to be a team sport, the biggest worldwide competition, involving team play, is the Davis Cup, begun in 1900. The United States, Great Britain and Australia dominated in the early years… no other country won the trophy until France in 1927!
These four nations remain the most successful in Davis Cup history although modern day records show countries such as Spain, Argentina and Russia to be the world’s best.
The game is played over three sets in the women’s game, and it’s generally same for men (except the Grand Slams and the Davis Cup which are best of five).
In fact, the game has changed little over the years, one major amendment being the use of the tie-break (when players are tied at 6-6 in a set). This was invented by James Van Alen in 1965.
For a long time tennis was merely an amateur sport but 1968 saw the beginning of the Open Era where professionals and amateurs could compete together in the Grand Slams.
This led to several disputes, a number of mini-pro tennis circuits (National Tennis League, World Championship Tennis, Grand Prix Circuit) and occasional no-shows at the Slams (e.g. French Open 1970) due to legal wranglings.
Major steps forward were the founding of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) in 1972, the Men’s Tennis Council (MTC) and the ultimate creation of what we have today in the men’s game… the ATP Tour.
The history of the women’s game thankfully involved much less drama… and the when the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) was founded in 1973, the women’s code had set in motion the governing structure that serves it to this day.
Tennis and the Grand Slams
As an individual sport for men (ATP Tour) and women (WTA Tour) the professional tennis tour has an annual playing calendar which runs from January through to November.
Individual tournaments take place all around the world… but the major events are those held in Melbourne, Paris, London and New York. These are the four tennis Grand Slams, each staged over a two week period.
The Australian Open was initially a grass court tournament but changed in 1988 to hard courts. This event is held in January/February at Melbourne Park.
The French Open is played in May/June and despite a very occasional staging on grass (last time in 1927) this is the only Grand Slam played on clay at the famous Roland Garros.
Wimbledon has been played on grass ever since 1877, with the play at SW19 (its London postcode) taking place in June /July.
And the final Slam of the year is the US Open at Flushing Meadows in New York. Played on hard courts in August/September.
These are the blue riband events in tennis. Roger Federer (17) having won the most men’s Grand Slam titles, whilst Margaret Court (24) has won the most women’s titles.
What markets are available in tennis betting?
Tennis betting offers a wide variety of markets. Maybe surprising, given the at the sport is quite simple in nature and only involves two players (or four in doubles).
There can be tennis betting tips for all the expected markets… which player will win a tournament, or an individual match, or even the next set of a match.
Will there be a break of serve, how many games or sets will a player win, total number of games in the match, most aces… any number of tennis betting markets.
You will also find tennis handicap bets are popular as well. This can involve a player being given a notional headstart, or deficit, in terms of games or sets.
Individual sports like tennis (plus snooker, darts, boxing etc) are good as they allow a tennis tipster, or even an inexperienced backer, to study form very carefully.
You get to know the payers (as most have careers spanning 10-15 years) and given the different surfaces they play on… hard, grass, clay… there is enough variation to constantly create competitive match-ups.
Outright tournaments bets are also a great source of tennis betting profits as the use of the draw (i.e. which players will meet each other) allows for backers to make well-informed decisions as to who will win.
It’s not like the Champions League, for example, where any names could be drawn to play together.
Tennis is a rapidly growing in terms of sports betting and continues to serve up winning tips.
With the right information tennis betting can be extremely profitable. And what’s more… I’ve got just that.