The Roland Garros is as cultured as it is for tennis lovers, the second Grand Slam tournament of the season, after the Australian Open, is still the least attended of the four, and at present the most prestigious tennis tournament is Wimbledon. Everything you need to know about the most popular competitions on the planet.
01 - Australian Open, the hottest
Attendance: 720,363 spectators
Date January 18-31
Most successful player: Novak Djokovic
In a few years, you can cook a fried egg on the court! With temperatures that can exceed 40°C, the Australian Open is known to be the most popular tournament on the circuit. Now it is also the most popular. With 720,363 spectators in 2016, the Australian Open surpassed the U.S. Open for the first time. Tennis Australia, event manager, made great efforts to ensure the comfort of visitors, with the support of the main sponsor, Kia. Melbourne Park was the first Grand Slam site to install a retractable roof. The turnover of the tournament is around 200 million euros. Like its competitors, it has increased the number of players, almost doubling since 2007. Novak Djokovic pocketed 2.4 million euros in January with its sixth local title.
02 - US Open, the happiest
Attendance: 691,280 spectators
Date August 29-September 11
Most successful players: Tied, Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer and Pete Sampras
Wouldn't the US Open website administrators have had the time or the heart to update their data? They continue to promote the "world's largest sporting event" while Melbourne is doing better. If the tough Flushing Meadows tournament continues to be the happiest of the Grand Slams, with its musical entertainment and attractions, its attendance (691,280 visitors) fell in 2015. The 2009 record (721,059) is fading, although box office revenues exceed $100 million in sales of $250 million. To conquer a new audience, 500 million has been invested, including retractable ceilings in the Arthur-Ashe and Louis-Armstrong courts. The grandstand will be replaced in 2018 by a court surrounded by 8,000 seats. If Amex, Emirates and JP Morgan are still the main sponsors, it is time to diversify the second level sponsors (Lavazza coffee, Oreo cookies, Australian Jacob's Creek wines).
03 - Wimbledon, the most prestigious
Attendance: 484,391 spectators
Date in June 27th to July 10th
Most successful players: Tied, Roger Federer and Pete Sampras (7)
The oldest of the tennis tournaments is still a major gathering with more than a billion spectators in over 200 countries. And a business that works: its turnover is over 215 million euros. Wimbledon, the only professional tournament managed by a club, the very select All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, has an incomparable charm (dress code "almost exclusively white" on an impeccable lawn) and its peculiarities. Therefore, to determine the seeds, it mixes the ATP ranking and the results on the grass during the last twelve months. Évian, HSBC, IBM ... The thirteen partners are generally stable, with some newcomers (Stella Artois, Jaguar). Temple of tennis attack, Wimbledon offers, in addition to prestige, a good allocation for the winner: 2.5 million euros in 2015. And to know everything related to this tournament and all of this list we recommend a very complete tennis news page (in spanish: noticias de tenis) with important information.
04 - Roland-Garros, the most difficult
Date in May 22-June 5
Most successful player: Rafael Nadal (if want more news in spanish try to take a look: actualidad sobre tenis).
The list is long of the great players who failed at "Roland": Becker, Connors, McEnroe, Edberg or Sampras, to which we must add ... Djokovic, who only needs this title in Grand Slam. The "French Open" is considered the most difficult, because of its clay court, unique within the Grand Slam. This did not prevent Nadal from winning nine times between 2005 and 2014! Sponsored by BNP Paris, the competition was broadcast in 233 countries in 2015 and generates a turnover of around 190 million euros. However, it is not the most profitable for the winner, who receives "only" 2 million euros. As Director Guy Forget points out, the 70% increase in overall funding between 2013 and 2016 (now 32 million) mainly benefited participants who failed in the second or third round and in the eighth. Landlocked in the city, the smallest of the Grand Slam sites (8 hectares) has changed little since its inception, which explains its saturation and the battle fought by the French Tennis Federation (FFT) and the City of Paris over its size. Another concern for the FFT, the interrogation of its president, Jean Gachassin, linked to a possible system of hidden ticket sales.
05 - Indian Wells, the most modern
Attendance: 438,058 spectators
Date 10-20 March
Most successful player: Novak Djokovic
Today, Indian Wells has earned its reputation as the "fifth Grand Slam tournament". The BNP Paribas Open is close to Roland-Garros in terms of attendance. In 2015, the return of the Williams sisters to the California courts, which had boycotted a hearing they considered "racist" since 2002, increased the presence of Americans. Indian Wells Tennis Garden surpasses Wimbledon on the surface and has one more court than the Australian Open. Its central court of 16,100 seats is the second largest in the world after the Arthur-Ashe of the US Open. Only the endowments are lower: about $1 million for the winner. Since buying the tournament in 2009 for $100 million, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison has invested at least as much in the players' welfare: luxury dining, golf, bars.
06 - Miami, the most American
Attendance: 308,485 spectators
Date March 23rd to April 3rd
Most successful players: Draws, Andre Agassi and Novak Djokovic
It is the only one of the nine 1000 Masters tournaments that is played in the same category as Indian Wells in terms of attendance and duration: twelve days, against seven for the others. He sweeps Cincinnati (195,000 spectators in August) or the BNP Paribas Masters (120,000 fans in November in Bercy). Created in 1985 by the American tennis player "Butch" Earl Buchholz, Miami was the first tournament of the season, at a time when the Australian Open was being played in December and when Indian Wells did not exist. In Key Biscayne it is disputed hard and outside, now it is limited to form, with this last one, a "double sun" appreciated by the players. Owned by sports business giant IMG since 1999 and sponsored by Brazilian bank Itaú, it was marked by U.S. domination: Pete Sempras and Andre Agassi in the 1990s, Andy Roddick in 2010.