Until 1968, the Grand Slam tournaments and the national tennis championships gathered exclusively amateurs. Differentiation motivated professional tennis players only dispute informal tournaments and exhibition. Until the 70s, this situation marked the development of tennis.
The Association of Tennis Professionals (Association of Tennis Professionals or ATP) was created in 1972 by the players themselves, because they wanted a regular season, planned and properly regulated. Under the ascendancy of Jack Kramern as CEO and Cliff Drysdale as President, the ATP began to create the new times.
Coincidentally, the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) was born two years earlier, also in Houston, with the same functionality as the male group, although with “small” differences. Cash prizes and monitoring, are much lower.
Since the withdrawal of Navratilova, Graff, Seles and Sanchez -Vicario, some of the best players in women's tennis, the circuit has lost competitive talent. And audience. Everything else is a consequence of the progressive loss of interest that marginalized women's tennis.
One of the most significant changes in those years was the creation of a ranking that treats the merits of the players. By objective factors they would now rate the merits of each player.
The first analysis, prior to the release of August 23, 1973, placed the great Ilie Nastase as the first number 1 of the story. Chris Evert, meanwhile, became the first world leader on November 3, 1975.
Back in the 80s, the creation of a professional tour sponsored by the ATP (WTA planned theirs) had massive support from the players, who saw and heard the requests to make a more structured schedule. It was a perfect media shuttle. In 1989, the ATP was a reality.
In 1990, sponsored by IBM, the calendar offers 76 professional tournaments and cash prizes are much higher than usual, which continue to rise for years to come. The television rights become important for everyone to enjoy professionalism. Tennis is global.
Currently, the ATP manages the circuit with the same zeal. 10 Masters 1000 and the Masters Tournament (the top 8 of the year) represent the best of the sporting calendar, but also offer several 500 and 250 tournaments throughout the year. They are appointed by the amount of points that give the victor. The Grand Slams and Davis Cup survive independently.
Women share the big 4 and some Masters 1000, but under the name of Premier WTA level. The International, however, are third-class competitions.
The ATP, more than 20 years later, live splendid time. The duel sports have maintained and kept Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the last five years, and the fabulous appearance of Novak Djokovic, have increased the excitement in the big tournaments. They are the last 3 numbers one tennis.
The WTA, however, needs charismatic players to regain interest in the women's tour. For now, their hopes rest on the shoulders of Azarenka, Sharapova , Kvitova and Radwanska.
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