Everything you need to know about tennis ahead of 2024

Tennis is back for 2024 and you can watch over 80 tournaments live on Sky Sports from the ATP and WTA Tours throughout the year.

While the Grand Slams are the sport’s biggest events, there are plenty of other key tournaments where the world’s best players go head-to-head.

World No 1s Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek, alongside Rafael Nadal, Aryna Sabalenka, Jannik Sinner and the returning Naomi Osaka, plus young stars including Carlos Alcaraz, Coco Gauff and Brits Emma Raducanu and Jack Draper will all be in action throughout 2024.

When is the 2024 tennis season?

There are very few weeks in the year without a tennis tournament going on as the new season actually begins on December 29, 2023 with the United Cup, with the Brisbane International and Auckland Classic also kicking off the men’s and women’s season at the end of December.

For the women, the Billie Jean King Cup finals will bring the season to an end on the week beginning November 11, as the WTA Finals take place the week before on November 4.

It’s a similar story for the men as the ATP Finals, Davis Cup and ATP Next Gen Finals conclude the year in November.

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Watch the best players and biggest moments from the ATP and WTA Tours – coming to Sky Sports in 2024

How can I watch tennis in 2024?

In the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, Sky Sports will show every WTA and ATP 250, 500 and 1000 events (excluding domestic UK events), plus the US Open as part of a new five-year deal.

That means more than 80 tournaments and 4,000 matches – including both season-ending finals – will be shown live on Sky Sports.

Fans will also be able to watch both Tours on NOW and follow extensive coverage of their favourite players across Sky Sports’ digital and social platforms.

What are the WTA and ATP Masters tournaments?

Outside of the Grand Slams, the most important reoccurring tournaments across the year are the Masters events.

There are nine on the ATP Tour and 10 on the WTA Tour and the champion is awarded 1000 ranking points. You can watch every WTA and ATP 1000 event live on Sky Sports, plus the season-ending finals from each tour.

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Watch the best players and biggest moments from the ATP and WTA Tours – coming to Sky Sports in 2024

What are the WTA and ATP 250 and 500 events?

So what about the other tennis tournaments during the year? These are WTA or ATP 250 and 500 events.

The Brisbane International for example is one of the most significant WTA and ATP 500 competitions at the start of January or the men’s Barcelona Open in mid-April.

There are 500 ranking points awarded to the champion of an WTA or ATP 500 event and 250 points for a 250 event.

How does the ranking system work?

This is a little complicated but the basics are tennis rankings can change week to week. A player’s performance over the previous 12 months decides their ranking with your best 19 events, if you have played that many, counting towards the current ranking points total.

On the WTA tour, the cap is 16 events for the women’s singles and 11 for women’s doubles.

When is the Australian Open

The Australian Open is the first Grand Slam of the year and takes place from January 15 to January 29. The event will start on a Sunday for the first time in a bid to alleviate the pressure on late night finishes.

Aryna Sabalenka will be one of the big names to watch in 2024
Image: Aryna Sabalenka will be one of the big names to watch in 2024

When is the French Open

The French Open is the only clay court major of the year and starts on May 20 and ends on June 9.

When is Wimbledon

Seen as the most prestigious tournament of the season, Wimbledon in 2024 will be on July 1 to July 14 from the All England Club.

When is the US Open

The fourth and final Grand Slam of the year is the US Open in New York on August 26 to September 4.

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A look back at Coco Gauff’s emotional interview after winning her first Grand Slam at the US Open

Is tennis in the Olympics?

Yes, tennis is in the Olympic Games. In 2024, the first half of the Paris Olympics, which runs from July 26 to August 11, will see five tennis competitions with the men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles.

  • Men’s singles defending champion: Alexander Zverev (Germany)
  • Women’s singles defending champion: Belinda Bencic (Switzerland)
  • Men’s doubles defending champions: Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic (Croatia)
  • Women’s doubles defending champions: Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova (Czech Republic)
  • Mixed doubles defending champions: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Andrey Rublev (Russian Olympic Committee)

Is Roger Federer still playing?

Roger Federer retired in September 2022 after a final doubles match alongside Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup.

Federer won 20 Grand Slams, including a record eight Wimbledon titles, and is widely regarded as a tennis legend.

He still makes some appearances as a fan at some events but he definitely won’t be making a competitive comeback.

Is Serena Williams retired?

In the same year, Serena Williams retired from tennis after the US Open. Williams won 23 singles majors, the most in the Open Era.

Her sister, Venus Williams, is still competing and is planning to get back onto the WTA Tour in March 2024 after losing in the first round of Wimbledon and the US Open.

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Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli brought Roger Federer to tears after inviting the tennis icon on to the stage in November 2023

Will Rafael Nadal retire at the end of 2024?

Rafael Nadal hasn’t played since January 2023 after sustaining a hip flexor injury at the Australian Open. Later that year, he said 2024 will “probably be my last year in the professional tour”.

Nadal will return in the New Year at the Brisbane International (December 31 to January 7) – live on Sky Sports. After that he will head to Melbourne for the Australian Open before building-up for what could be his last French Open, where he has lifted the title a record 14 times.

When will Naomi Osaka return?

Another big name coming back in Brisbane is Naomi Osaka, who missed the 2023 season after giving birth to her daughter Shai in July.

Osaka has won two Australian Open and two US Open titles and became the first Asian to hold the world No 1 spot in 2019.

What British tennis players should you look out for?

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Katie Boulter says she is looking forward to an interesting few years ahead for British tennis.

On the women’s side, Katie Boulter is the British No 1 and goes into 2024 off the back of a breakthrough year.

Boulter won her first WTA title by becoming champion at the Nottingham Open and had a spell in the world’s top 50.

Emma Raducanu is hoping to bounce back after eight months out following multiple surgeries. She will make her return at the Auckland Classic at the start of January – live on Sky Sports.

Other names to look out for in the women’s singles include Jodie Burrage, Harriett Dart, Heather Watson and Yuriko Miyazaki. A name for the future is Hannah Klugman.

On the men’s side, Cameron Norrie is Britain’s highest ranked player as world No 18 after a strong start to his 2023 campaign which included beating Carlos Sainz in the Rio Open final.

Dan Evans is ranked 38th and Andy Murray continues his remarkable career at the age of 36, showing no signs of slowing down yet.

Jack Draper is only 21 years old and reached the second week of the US Open in 2023 in just his second appearance at Flushing Meadows.

In wheelchair tennis, Alfie Hewett is the world No 1 men’s player after a phenomenal 2023 which included winning the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open.

His doubles partner is Gordon Reid, who he has won 18 Grand Slam titles with. The pair won every major in 2021.

Lucy Shuker is the highest ranker women’s wheelchair player as world No 12 following the retirement of Jordanne Whiley.

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West Ham team-mates Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal went into the community to have a go at wheelchair tennis

What is the fastest serve in tennis?

Great question! In a challenger event, Sam Groth had a serve of 163.4mph in 2012 which is deemed to be the fastest serve in a competitive tournament.

On the ATP tour, American John Isner served the ball at 157.2mph during the 2016 Davis Cup. Germany’s Sabine Lisicki holds the record for the fastest serve on the WTA tour at 131mph, set in 2014.

Longest rally in tennis

There is no video footage of this sadly, or maybe not sadly, but the 1984 Central Fidelity Banks International in Virginia featured a 29-minute, 643-shot rally, between Vicki Nelson and Jean Hepner. Anything over 30 shots is very long so 643 is quite something.

As for the longest match in tennis, that award goes to John Isner’s 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68 victory over Nicolas Mahut in the first round of Wimbledon in 2010. The match lasted 11 hours and five minutes over three days.

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Novak Djokovic says he wants ‘at least one more match’ against Rafael Nadal, with the Spaniard returning to the tour in January 2024

How do tie-breaks work in tennis?

That brings us nicely onto tie-breaks because that match will never be bettered in terms of length because in those days you could only win the match in a deciding set at a major if you were two games ahead.

However, Grand Slams now have a deciding set tie-break rule where the first player to 10 points wins the match.

A tie-break happens at 6-6 in any set with the first to seven points, while two points or more ahead, winning the tie-break. However, in a deciding set, it’s first to 10 points.

Watch the WTA and ATP Tours throughout 2024 on Sky Sports. Stream Sky Sports with NOW

Source : Sky Sports