Professional tennis is consistently one of the most popular and competitive sports in the world, for both men and women. While there are dozens of tournaments every year, the Grand Slam tournaments are the most competitive and viewed tournaments ever year. These tournaments consist of the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. While most professional sports require you to be drafted and signed by a professional team, professional tennis tournaments are essentially open to all tennis players in the world. However, actually qualifying for these tournaments is quite competitive. To qualify for one of these tournaments, there are several things that you must do first.
According to allpro the first requirement to qualify for a Grand Slam tennis tournament is that you must be the right age. Both the men’s and women’s tournaments require that you be at least 14 years of age. While this may seem very young, there have been several situations in which a teenager has won a Grand Slam. The youngest person to ever do this was Michael Chang, who won his first Grand Slam when he was just 17 years of age.
Be Ranked Very High
For active professional players, the easiest way to get into one of the Grand Slam tournaments is to be ranked. There are thousands of professional tennis players located across the world that actively ranked. While there are this many, only 64 will ultimately make it into each Grand Slam tournament and the only way to guarantee that you make it into one of the tournaments is by being ranked in the top 32 players in the world. Players will develop their ranking over time by performing well in amateur and professional tournaments.
If you are of the right age, but are not ranked in the top 32 players in the world, another way to get into one of the Grand Slam tournaments is to win a sectional championship. For the US Open, there are 16 sectional tournaments that take place a few months before the main US Open tournament. These tournaments are located all over the country and anyone that is ranked in the top 256 players in the country can qualify for one of these tournaments. The winner of each sectional tournament will automatically qualify for the US Open National Playoffs. While each of the four Grand Slam tournaments has a different method of admitting new players, they all follow the same basic system.
Wild Card Qualifications
Another way to qualify for tournament is to qualify as a wild card. As discussed, the top 32 players will automatically qualify for the tournament and the 16 sectional winners will qualify as well. This still leaves 16 open spots in the tournament for Wild Card players. The Wild Card players are generally selected by a selection committee and can consist of professional players that are no longer ranked very high but have a strong following of fans, players that are developing and building a name in the sport, and even some relative unknowns. Ultimately, the best way that the average tennis player can qualify for one of these spots is to participate in as many tournaments as possible and be successful.