Badminton is quite popular, and squash also has its following, but the king of all racket sports, without a doubt, is tennis.
Tennis, since its commercialisation (more on this later) around half a century ago, has grown leaps and bounds and is now one of the world’s premier sports.
But despite its worldwide popularity, it is not quite the sport of masses. Tennis is actually rather elite and its construct is such that it is hard to imagine it being played on streets and alleys and backyards.
To tell the truth, tennis is more an academy or a club or a membership-only sort of sport that can be a bit out of reach for a vast majority of sports fans.
Despite its apparent exclusivity from a playing perspective, tennis has its fanbases at all levels, and its superstars such as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are just as famous, loved and revered as, let’s say Lionel Messi, Virat Kohli or LeBron James.
Tennis’ popularity, its stars’ influence and the year round action means Casumo could not have ignored it. As one of the leading sportsbooks in the region, Casumo covers a number of tennis events every year, starting from January and going all the way down to December.
Not a fan of tennis’ elite nature? Well, tennis, as we know it, descends from another similar sport called real tennis or royal tennis. Get the exclusivity now? Way back whenever, tennis was apparently pretty fly among the royals of Britain and some of that connection’s remnants still remain in the sport.
But anyway, without turning this into a history lesson by Casumo, let’s quickly review what events of note have happened in tennis over the last 100 years.
After evolving from its precursor of royal tennis or jeu de paume (whatever version of history you want to buy in), it remained an amateur sport until an American promoter named C. C. Pyle gathered up some of his countrymen and some French players and went professional by paying the players to participate in exhibition matches. This was in 1926.
The purists did not approve of getting paid for sports and so anyone who turned pro was shunned by the major tournaments. This went on until 1968 when the authorities finally relented and made all the tennis majors open for all. All the tennis played after this is called Open Era tennis.
That moment was the single most important moment in tennis history as it helped commercialise the sport and to an extent shed tennis’ elitist image (emphasis on the words “to an extent”).
But that is enough about the history. Let’s talk about what shape the sport has taken since then and how it looks today.
A typical tennis season, be it men’s ATP Tour or women’s WTA Tour, early January and ends in late November. The ATP Tour has around begins in 68 tournaments and WTA close to 60. The highlight of both the tours is the four major tournaments, more commonly known as Grand Slams. These tournaments are the Australian Open, the French Open, the Wimbledon and lastly, the US Open. They are played in the sequence just mentioned, spanning the entire year.
The Australian and US Open are hard court events, whereas the French Open is played on red clay. The Wimbledon is a grass court slam and is played in London. All slams hold men’s, women’s, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles tournaments simultaneously. Some slams also feature additional tourneys for juniors, wheelchair players and legends.
Apart from these majors, a typical tennis season also has a variety of other smaller tournaments, including the ATP Tour Masters, all of whom carry points and contribute towards a players ranking maintained by the two main player associations: the Association of Tennis Professionals (for men) and the other being Women's Tennis Association (for women).
Now let’s take a detailed look at the four majors in the order they are played in a calendar year.
Typically held in January and Melbourne, Australian Open is the first major of the year and is now played on hardcourt surfaces, although until 1987, it used to be a grass court tourney. The Australian Open is faster and more exciting to watch, and therefore, attracts more crowd than all other slams. Meanwhile, its most dominant male champ is Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, who has won nine titles, while on the women’s side local hero Margaret Court ruled the roost in her prime, winning a staggering 11 titles.
Held between May and June in Paris, French Open is the only clay court grand slam of the year. It is thought of as the most exhausting and physically challenging slam of the year. Spain’s Rafael Nadal has won the most French Open titles (13), while on the women’s side Chris Evert’s tally of seven has her in lead. At French Open, the ball comes on slow and loses speed after bounce, which is why this surface favours powerful baseliners that also have a good defence.
The oldest tennis tournament in the world, Wimbledon is typically held in July in London. Since it is a grass court slam, the only one of its kind, Wimbleon favours fast and powerful players, who are also adept at the serve and volley style of play. Wimbledon’s most dominant male champion is Roger Federer, while Martina Navratilova holds the women’s record with nine titles to her name.
Held between August and September in New York, US Open is the final slam of the year and the second to be played on hard court, after the Australian Open. US Open’s most decorated male champ was Richard Sears, who won the tournament seven consecutive times from 1881 to 1887, although back then the defending champion was given a direct route to the final so the achievement pales in comparison to Open Era winners such as Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer (5 titles each). On the women’s side, Molla Mallory has the most titles (8) but in the Open Era, Chris Evert and Serena Williams have five titles each.
Smaller than the four slams but bigger than the smaller tournaments is the ATP Finals, which is contested by eight of the top-ranked players in both men’s, women’s and doubles’ game.
Next on the ladder of prestige are the 1,000-point Masters, followed by the small tourneys mentioned above.
In addition, men’s tennis has a team event called Davis Cup, while the corresponding event in women’s game is called the Fed Cup. Men’s calendar also has a Laver Cup, which sees Team Europe and Team World clash. Furthermore, every four years, the tour also has a tournament for Olympic Games.
Tennis is quite popular in India, even if it is largely played in urban centres. Despite cricket and football’s dominance in the local sports industry, tennis has held its own and produced truly elite players, some of whom have gone on to become one of the game’s greats. Leander Paes is one such player. He has won 18 combined slams in doubles and mixed doubles, and at the age of 47, is still active. Rohan Bopanna is another who specializes in doubles and often pairs with Aisam-ul-Haq Querashi from across the border.
While Paes is the most successful, Sania Mirza is certainly the most popular. She now only plays doubles event but she was a handful in singles early in her career. The current Indian number one, however, is Ankita Raina.
On the men’s singles side, India has a sizable pool of player such as Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Sumit Nagal are the notable names. Yuki Bhambri used to be a top prospect but injuries have derailed his career.
Casumo offers a variety of markets for all individual matches of all major and minor tournaments on the ATP and WTA tours. The matches can also be bet on while they are live.
Casumo also has an outright bets section covering all the Grand Slams of the year. For instance, for the 2021 French Open, Rafael Nadal is the favourite at 1.81, Novak Djokovic is behind him at odds of 4.30, Stefanos Tsitsipas at 7.0 and Dominic Thiem at 9.50.
Similarly, Casumo has outright markets for the French Open Women, US Open, US Open Women, Wimbledon and Wimbledon Women.
Sign up on Casumo.com, fund your account through a variety of options and start betting on tennis now.
If you’re a diehard tennis lover but also keep an eye on English football, chances are that you’ve already heard of the Casumo brand. As the principal sponsors of Championship club Reading FC, the Casumo logo can be seen on the Royals’ shirts.
Casumo’s partnership with an established football brand is the culmination of a journey that began in 2012 from Swieqi, Malta.
In less than 10 years, Casumo has grown by leaps and bounds and today, we cater gambling enthusiasts from multiple continents, thanks to the power and popularity of our online casino and sportsbook.
Casumo.com is frequented daily by thousands of folks wanting to their luck on video slots, jackpot games, live casino, table games and sports betting.