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ATP Tournaments, Rankings, and More
ATP stands for the Association of Tennis Professionals, which is the main governing body on men’s tennis. The organization was formed almost four decades ago and has been in charge of the ATP Tour, which is the elite internationala tennis tour that covers all the major tournaments, excluding the four Grand Slams, which are governed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
Each tournament under the helm of the ATP brings ranking points to the players, which is what decides their position in the ATP List. In addition to the ATP-governed tournaments, the points from the four Grand Slams are also taken into the account. The one who is at the very summit of the list is considered the best tennis player at the moment.
ATP Rankings Explained
ATP Rankings are used for ranking the elite professional tennis players. At the moment, there are 1,814 players listed, with the top 10 section being every player’s goal. The top part of the table is where you will find the world’s best tennis players, including Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic.
Apart from being used for ranking the best male players on the planet, the ATP List is also used for determining which players are invited to which tournament. Thanks to the rankings, it is possible to pick out the cream of the crop of world’s tennis for the most prestigious tournaments, that is, the Grand Slams.
The same principle is used for deciding the participants in all the tournaments governed by the ATP, including the ATP Finals, Masters, ATP Tour 500 Series, ATP Tour 250 Series, and Challengers.
In order to go up the ATP ladders, the players need to win ranking points, something which is done by getting to the later stages of tournaments. The more prestigious tournament, the more points are up for grabs.
The highest number of points a player can get at a single tournament is by winning a Grand Slam. The winner of one such tournament receives 2000 ATP points. The runner-up and the two semi-finalists get 720 points, and so on.
The tournaments that come with the least number of ATP points are the so-called Futures, which are a part of the ITF Men’s Circuit. Some of these tournaments come with as little as 18 points reserved for the champion.
There are four Grand Slam tournaments in one calendar year, each carrying along the same number of points. The tournaments in question are the following:
- Australian Open
- French Open
- US Open
Every player who gets qualified for Men’s Singles at a Grand Slam will receive 25 ranking points, with every advancement in the tournament bringing more points their way. The maximum number of points a player can win at a Grand Slam tournament is 2000, which is given to the tournament winner.
ATP Finals is actually one tournament. It is the second-highest tier in professional tennis, after the four Grand Slams. Such, this tournament brings a little bit less points than the four big tournaments. The winner of the ATP Finals gets 1500, which is less than what the Grand Slam winners get, but more than what winners of the lower-tiers receive.
The ATP Finals is a week-long event that has been traditionally held in the UK. In the last couple of years, the venue of the tournament has been the O2 Arena. The same will be the case in 2020, but then, a year later, the tournament will make a journey to Turin, Italy, where it will be held every year until 2025.
ATP Tour Masters 1000
As the name of these tournaments suggest, ATP Masters 1000 Series bring 1000 ranking points to the winner. Governed by the ATP, Masters 1000s are the following tournaments:
- Indian Wells Masters
- Miami Open
- Monte Carlo Masters
- Madrid Open
- Italian Open
- Canadian Open
- Cincinnati Masters
- Shanghai Masters
- Paris Masters
Each of these tournaments adds 1000 points to the winner’s tally, but the money prize they get depends on the tournament. Last year, the most lucrative ATP Masters 1000 tournament from the winners’ point of view was Shanghai Masters. For winning this tournament, Danil Medvedev received nearly $1.4M in 2019.
Shanghai Masters is the tournament with the highest prize for the winner, but the tournament with the biggest prize pool is Indian Wells Masters.
ATP Tour 500 & 250 Series
The winner of an ATP Tour 500 tournament gets 500 ranking points; likewise, the winner of an ATP Tour 250 tournament gets 250 points. Because more points are up for grabs in 500 Series tournaments, they usually feature much higher-ranked players than the 250 ones.
There is, however, one aspect in which 250 Series tournaments beat the 500 Series tourneys – their number. At the moment, there are 13 tournaments that belong to the 500 Series category, while the number of 250 Series events stands at 40.
Some of the most popular tournaments from this lot include Washington Open (ATP 500), China Open (ATP 500), Dubai Tennis Championships (ATP 500), Qatar Open (ATP 250), New York Open (ATP 250), Kremlin Cup (ATP 250), and others.
As of 2020, there are 178 tournaments that belong to the ATP Challenger Tour. The number of points the winner of the tournament gets is something that depends on the event, with the minimum being 80 ranking points. The most a player can win at an ATP Challenger tournament is 125 ranking points.
Because there aren’t many points in the game, ATP Challengers are usually packed with newcomers in the world of professional tennis. They are using these tournaments as stepping stones toward more reputable and more profitable tournaments.
Despite not being considered elite, these tournaments are fairly popular among tennis bettors, the reason being that the odds are sometimes incredibly high. It is because relatively unknown players are competing against each other in Challengers, so there are no clear favorites in these tournaments.
ITF Men’s Circuit
Although these events are not governed by the ATP but by the ITF, the points players get from ITF Men’s Circuit events do count toward their ATP ranking. Commonly known as Futures, these tournaments bring between 18 and 325 ranking points to the winner.
Similarly to Challengers, these tournaments aren’t too popular among tennis afficionados, but they are loved in the world of tennis betting.
ATP Rankings for Tennis Betting
Most bettors use the ATP Rankings as their primary source of information for tennis betting. Basically, this list tells you who’s better. If a player from near the top of the ATP list is playing against someone who’s ranked much lower, it is obvious who the favorite is.
There is a catch, however. The ATP players go up and down in the rankings all the time. Winning a major tournament such as a Grand Slam could make a player leapfrog dozens of others in the rankings. Likewise, losing the title could mean dropping a lot of points.
For instance, if the reigning champion of a Grand Slam gets injured before the tournament, he’s not going to be able to defend his title. And that means that he’s going to lose a lot of points, which will make him plummet in the ATP Rankings.
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