Modern Tennis is actually a derivative of the original enclosed Royal Tennis game. The distinction was made after the fact as Royal Tennis was originally called Tennis and the modern variant, Lawn Tennis. With Lawn Tennis becoming widely popular, and fewer people knowing of Royal Tennis, the Lawn rules became the standard game play. Tennis has four major avenues for professional athletes to compete within. The Wimbledon Competition on grass courts, French Open on red clay courts, the Australian Open on hard courts, and US Open also played on hard courts. These four tournaments have the largest spectator viewer ship among Tennis events and are considered the arena for the best talent worldwide being called to the Grand Slam Tennis Tournaments.
The Wimbledon, or The Championships Wimbledon, is the oldest of the four tournaments and it takes place near London, UK ever since 1877. It is the third tournament to run on the calendar year only being followed by the US Open. Before reaching the Wimbledon grass courts, English Competitors will participate in the AEGON Championships in England and the Gerry Weber Open in Germany. These events are often characterized as good “warm-ups” for the Wimbledon Championship. Winners of the Wimbledon tournament are awarded almost fourteen millions pounds, or currently just over twenty-one million US Dollars.
Next, the French Open, held since 1891, is the largest and most prestigious of the Grand Slam Tournaments. Winners split a pool of over sixteen million Euros or about twenty million US Dollars. The tournament is held in, quite obviously, France for two weeks between May and June. Because of the unique clay courts, which are known to slow down balls and increase bounce, often powerful serving players in other tournaments are left severely handicapped against non-serve emphasis players. Also, the conditions of the courts as well as the way in which sets are arranged and played has resulted in the French Open being considered the most physically demanding of the Grand Slam Tournaments.
Now, the hard court Grand Slam Tournaments, the Australian and US Opens are held in their respective countries. The Australian Open has attracted spectators since its first tournament in 1905 while the US Open began earlier in 1881. The two tournaments are also known to open and close the Grand Slam tournaments with the Australian Open giving winners about twenty-one million US Dollars in prizes and the US Open giving out about twenty-two million. Unlike the other three tournaments, the US Open closes the Grand Slam with a final-set tiebreaking game. The other three tournaments require the final set be won by two games.