This year promises to be an exciting one in the world of tennis with four hotly anticipated grand slam tournaments to look forward to.
Australian Open, Melbourne, Australia
The 101st Australian Open will take place at Melbourne Park from January 14 to 27 2013. The sweltering summer temperatures on the court can rise above 105 degrees fahrenheit, and the stadium’s retractable roof can change the conditions of play in minutes. Among the contenders is hopeful Di Wu, who will become the first male Chinese tennis player in the Open Era to feature in a Grand Slam main draw ranking at 123rd in the Association of Tennis Professionals world rankings, Roger Federer, currently ranked in 2nd ATP rankings, and Novak Djokovic, who is currently holds first place in ATP rankings. Wu has been training intensely for his debut in Melbourne. Federer hopes to replace Djokovic and claim first place in ATP rank.
French Open, Paris, France
The French Open, also known as the Tournoi de Roland-Garrosthe in French, is the second of four Grand Slam tournaments on the annual tennis calendar, and will run for three weeks from May 26, 2012 until June 9, 2013, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris. Once played on grass, the Roland Garros stadium features a red clay court, and takes its name from a World War I pilot. The French Open has been a national championship since 1891. In 1968, the French Championships became the first Grand Slam tournament to go “open”, allowing professionals and amateurs to both compete together. Since March 2007, the French Open has provided equal prize money in all rounds to both men and women competitors.
Wimbledon, London, UK
The 2013 Wimbledon Championships will run for two weeks from June 24 until July 7 2013. This prestigious tennis tournament will take place at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, in the community of London by the same name. It is the third Grand Slam tournament of the year, attended by more than 500,000 spectators each year. The Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tournament remaining played on grass courts, and is the largest tennis tournament played on grass. The Wimbledon has only been interrupted twice in its long history – from 1915 until 1918, for World War 1, and again from 1940 until 1945, for World War II. Contenders from over 60 countries compete for bragging rights, trophies and prize money in 13 different categories.
US Tennis Open, New York, USA
The 2012 United States Open tennis tournament will run from August 26 until September 8 2013, just before Labor day in the United States, at the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, New York. The fourth and final Grand Slam tournament of the year, more than 700,000 spectators are expected to attend. Since 1978, the US Open has been played on cut to size acrylic, or DecoTurf, hard courts, and the main stadium of the United States Tennis Association Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is the Arthur Ashe stadium. In 1973 the US Tennis Open was the first of the four major Grand Slam tournaments to introduce equal prizes for men and women, in terms of prize money and winning checks for the men’s and women’s champions.