Guide to Major Tennis Tournaments

There are four grand slam events in tennis, the Australian and French Open, Wimbledon and US Open.  These grand slam events are considered the most popular of all tennis events and also offer the largest prize money.

Grand slams consist of five categories, men’s and women’s singles and doubles and mixed doubles, so just like in horse racing betting, there are plenty of markets to wager on.

The Australian Open

Played in Melbourne, the Australian Open is held in January each year.  Held for the first time in 1905 it was only considered a grand slam in 1924.  The Melbourne Park complex has retractable roofs due to the extreme weather conditions.

This grand slam event is always well attended and the prize money is always generous.  The total prize money for 2018 was AUD$55 million, with the winner of the men’s and woman’s singles taking home AUD$4 million each.

The French Open

The French Open is held in late May, early June at the Roland Garros Stadium.  The French Open is played on clay courts, which makes it quite a challenging event.  Clay courts make for a slower surface and much more bounce, which ends up in longer rallies behind the baseline.

There are 20 courts, which includes three stadium courts.  The prize money is less than other grand slam events but still generous at €2 100 000.  Rafael Nadal is considered as the king of clay and has held onto his title for 2018.


Wimbledon is the most prestigious of all the grand slams and is also the oldest tournament in the world.  It has a long history of traditions.  The first Wimbledon was held in 1877 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club and is the only grand slam that is played on a grass surface.

It takes place at the beginning of July and is often interrupted by rain or very hot conditions.  Wimbledon has 19 courts with two main courts, Centre Court and Court One, which are only used for the grand slam.

Filled with English traditions this unique event has close links with the British Royal Family who can often be seen attending some of the matches.  Even the events are known formally as Gentleman’s and Ladies events.

No advertising is allowed on the courts and there is a dress code for the players.  Also well known for strawberries and cream Wimbledon and its traditions will continue for many years to come.  The prize money for 2018 is $34 million with Roger Federer the current reigning gentleman champion and Garbiñe Muguruza the current ladies champion.

The US Open

The US open is held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre, Flushing Meadows, New York and is held in August.  It takes place on hard courts and originates from the US National Championships held in 1881.

The Flushing Meadows courts have Pro Deco Turf, which produces less bounce, and the playing area is blue surrounded by green.  The prize money is around $50 million with each winner going home with about $3.5 million.