The four Grand Slam tournaments are the highest-level competitions in tennis. These events typically include the highest stakes, the most media coverage, and the greatest rankings bonuses.
All four Grand Slam tournaments are held annually: the Australian Open in January, the French Open in May, Wimbledon in July, and the US Open in September. But how can tennis players even get into these major competitions? Have no fear; this article will detail every avenue a player can take to get entry into a Grand Slam tournament.
Most of the competitors in the grand slams have earned their spots through the rankings system. There are 128 competitors at each Grand Slam competition, and 104 of them are selected based on their ATP rankings.
Due to protected rankings, players who are currently ranked outside the top 104 but have been injured for longer than six months may still qualify directly due to their protected rating, potentially knocking a player who is now ranked just inside the top 104 out of qualifying range.
Even if you finish in the top 104, you may not be directly qualified if more players are absent or injured than are returning as protected due to this system.
If a player ranked in the top 104 is injured or unable to play for some other reason, the person ranked 105th will be given the opportunity to compete in the event.
Considering there are 128 spots available at a grand slam tournament, 16 players made it through qualifying. Qualifying tournaments are held a week before the main event at each of the four Grand Slam tournaments. To advance to the next round of the qualifiers, competitors must win three consecutive matches.
An individual’s world ranking must be between 105 and 231 to enter a grand slam’s qualifying tournament. As a result, 128 athletes are able to compete in the Grand Slam tournaments.
There will be 16 players left after the qualifying event who have won all three of their matches; these players will advance to the main draw of the grand slam competition, which will begin the following day.
The women’s doubles tournament consists of a best-of-three series of matches, with a starting field of 96 players.
Lucky losers from the third round of qualifying are selected in order of ranking to fill any remaining spots in the event that any should open up in the few days between the conclusion of qualifying and the start of the main tournament. Eight pairs compete in a single round of men’s and women’s doubles, with the four best teams advancing.
In a Grand Slam tournament, 120 of the 128 spots are awarded to players who have qualified through rankings or qualifying tournaments. There are eight “wild card” berths available.
The tournament committee has the last say on who receives a wild card, and these spots are sometimes set aside for players who have performed exceptionally well in previous tournaments.
Players who are perennial favourites among fans or who are well-known in their home communities are also often given these honours.
The number of wild card positions in both the main draw and the qualification draw is unlimited. Players who have already competed in the qualifying rounds are ineligible for a wild card.