Introduction to Tennis

14 February 2023

A basic overview into the tennis industry; including how tennis players earn their income, the major tournaments and key dates for 2023.

Governing Bodies

The international governing body of tennis is the International Tennis Federation (ITF), which is responsible for organizing and regulating tennis competitions around the world. The ITF oversees a variety of tennis events, including the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, and the Olympic tennis tournament. It also works with national tennis associations to promote tennis at the grassroots level and develop the sport globally.

Key Tournaments

The most prestigious tournaments in tennis are the Grand Slam events, which are held annually and include the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open. These tournaments offer the largest prize money and are the most important events in the tennis calendar.

Each of the Grand Slam tournaments follows a similar format. They are held over two weeks and feature men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, mixed doubles, and junior events. The players compete in a knockout format, with the winner of each match advancing to the next round. The singles events feature a total of 128 players, while the doubles events feature 64 teams.

Other significant tennis tournaments include the ATP Tour and the WTA Tour. The ATP Tour is the men’s professional tennis circuit, while the WTA Tour is the women’s professional tennis circuit. These tours consist of a series of tournaments held throughout the year, culminating in the season-ending ATP Finals and WTA Finals, which feature the top eight players in each tour.

The tournaments on the ATP and WTA Tours are organized into categories based on their size and importance. The most prestigious events are the Masters 1000 events on the men’s tour and the Premier Mandatory events on the women’s tour. These tournaments offer the largest prize money and ranking points, and are attended by the top players in the world.

Player Income

Professional tennis players earn their income in a variety of ways, including prize money, endorsements, appearance fees, and investments.

Prize Money: Prize money is the most straightforward way for professional tennis players to earn income. Tennis tournaments offer large sums of money as prizes, which are divided among the players based on their performance. The Grand Slam tournaments, which are the four most prestigious events in tennis, offer the largest prizes.

Endorsements: Endorsements are a major source of income for many professional tennis players. Companies pay players to endorse their products, such as apparel, footwear, racquets, and other equipment. Endorsement deals can be extremely lucrative, especially for players who are well-known and successful.

Appearance Fees: In addition to prize money and endorsements, some professional tennis players earn income from appearance fees. These fees are paid to players by tournaments and other organizations in exchange for their participation in events. Appearance fees can be substantial, especially for top players, and can provide a reliable source of income even if the player does not win prize money. However, some tournaments have rules that limit or prohibit appearance fees to prevent top players from cherry-picking events and reducing the quality of the field.

Key Dates for 2023

Australian Open

16 January – 29 January

Melbourne, Australia


28 May – 11 June

Paris, France


3 July – 16 July

London, England

US Open

28 August – 10 September

New York, USA

Key Websites


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