A tennis league is an organized group of people who create a structured schedule for these players to match up against each other. There are numerous leagues that one can join, and they all have different skills and experience levels. Read on to learn about the biggest tennis leagues, and for information on starting or joining a league yourself.
Most Popular Tennis Leagues
These are the most popular tennis leagues in the world:
- Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP)
- International Tennis Federation (ITF)
- Women’s Tennis Association (WTA)
Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP)
The most popular league in tennis is the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). The ATP gathers the best tennis players in the world for them to face off against each other. The league serves as the main governing body for men’s tennis.
In 1973, the ATP established a computer ranking system, and they still use a similar one to this day. This system allowed them to accurately dictate who the top tennis players in the world were. Every week, these rankings are updated based on how matches have gone in recent days. Throughout the season, there are various tournaments, and the seeding for these tournaments is determined by the weekly rankings that the ATP comes up with.
The Grand Slam Tournaments, the most popular tournaments of the year, are not governed by the ATP. However, players in the ATP are eligible to participate in these tournaments, and do so very often. Although it is not governed by the ATP, ranking points can be earned to players who perform well in the Grand Slam Tournaments.
International Tennis Federation (ITF)
The International Tennis Federation is the league that governs the Grand Slam events. While the ATP might be the most popular league, the Grand Slam series is the most popular set of events in tennis. These events get more viewers than any of the other tournaments in pro tennis, and also have massive cash prizes. The ITF is also the main governing body for Wheelchair Tennis and Beach Tennis, holding various tournaments throughout the calendar year.
Women’s Tennis Association (WTA)
The WTA is the principal organizing body of Women’s Professional Tennis. It governs the WTA Tour, which is a series of tournaments for female professionals. It was created in order to create a better future for women who want to pursue careers in tennis.
Starting a Tennis League
Starting a tennis league is something that does not necessarily come easy. If you would like to create a small league among your friends, simply reach out to them to see who is interested. You can also post flyers around town to attract other local tennis athletes.
The best idea in starting or joining a tennis league is to become a member of the United States Tennis Association (USTA). The USTA has over 300,000 members all across the country. To join the USTA, all you need to do is create a USTA account and answer some questions about your skill level. After that, you will be contacted by a local league coordinator and they will assign you to a league. While the USTA is not a professional or collegiate league, you can work your way to competing at a regional and national level against other amateur tennis players.
Professional Tennis League Seasons
There are tennis tournaments and events going on constantly throughout the year, and the ATP season goes on for almost the entire year. It starts in January and ends in mid-November. The Grand Slam events also take place throughout the year, with the Australian Open being the first event, in late January. The French Open will then take place in June, and Wimbledon will follow a few weeks later. The U.S. Open is the last of the Grand Slams, and usually takes place in late August or early September.
High School Tennis League Seasons
While professional tennis may never end, high school tennis does find time to give athletes a break. Women’s high school tennis goes from August to November during the fall months. Men’s high school tennis is a spring sport, and goes from March to June. Both of these seasons last around four months, depending on how far a team goes in the playoffs.
USTA Tennis League Costs
If you want to join the USTA, it comes at a very affordable price. If you are over the age of 19, then there is a yearly fee of $44. Players under the age of 19 are eligible for a USTA Junior membership for no cost. Senior membership for players aged 70 and above cost $42 per year.
When purchasing memberships with the USTA, you will receive various benefits. Members will have early access to discounted seats at the U.S. Open and other major tournaments across the country. They will also enjoy a 10% discount on U.S. Open and USTA merchandise, as well as travel, retail, and entertainment discounts.
What are the biggest tennis leagues in the world?
The biggest tennis leagues in the world are the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), the International Tennis Federation (ITF), and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). The ATP and the WTA are the largest international tennis leagues for men and women, respectively. The ITF administrates the Grand Slam tournaments, as well as the Davis Cup, Billie Jean King Cup, and Hoffman Cup.
What is the governing body of tennis?
The governing body of tennis is the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The ITF was founded in 1913 and oversees the ATP and WTA. They also operate a few international tennis tournaments and organize competition for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.