Rome Masters: History

ROME - MAY 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain shakes hands with Roger Federer of Switzerland, at the net, after defeating him in the final of the ATP Masters Series on May 14, 2006 at the Foro Italico in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

ATP Masters Series

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Masters Series is made up of nine mandatory tennis tournaments which take place each year at different venues around the world, but chiefly in North America and Europe.

The Masters Series is the most exalted series of men’s tennis tournaments after the Tennis Masters Cup and the Grand Slam events of the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. Results of the Masters Series earn players more points than regular ATP tournaments, but less than the Grand Slams.

The series was initially introduced in 1996 and was dubbed the Mercedes Benz Super 9 Series. In 2000 it was renamed the Tennis Masters Series before it took on its current title of ATP Masters Series.

Andre Agassi heads the list of Masters Series champions with an unrivalled 17 wins, followed closely by Roger Federer, current world number one and arguably the most proficient tennis player of all time, with 14 victories. Lagging behind with nine wins is the resilient Rafael Nadal.

In 2009 major changes are afoot for the ATP Masters Series:

  • It will be renamed ‘The 1000 Tournaments’, referring to the number of ranking points that are up for grabs.
  • The Monte Carlo Masters will no longer be mandatory.
  • The Hamburg Masters is to be downgraded and replaced by an event in China.

WTA Tier 1

The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour is the women’s equivalent of the ATP, and it is divided into four tiers, Tier 1 garnering the highest ranking points and prize money after the year-end Sony Ericsson Championships and the Grand Slams.

In Rome Masters history the tournament is a Tier 1 event which offers a minimum prize purse of US$1 340 000 to the ladies’ champion. There are nine other Tier 1 WTA Tour events, including Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Charleston, Berlin, Canada, Tokyo and Moscow.

Remarkably, it is tennis champion Andre Agassi’s wife, Steffi Graf, who leads the winners of the WTA Tier 1 events, with 18 triumphs, closely followed by Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport and Justine Henin with 17, 11 and ten wins respectively.

The Rome Masters falls under the auspices of the Italian Tennis Federation which was founded in 1910 in Florence, and is a member of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and Tennis Europe.

Why not make a trip to the ancient capital of the once omnipotent Roman Empire and enjoy some Rome Masters history and the finest men’s and women’s tennis in the world? Armchair athletes feel part of the action by taking part in *tennis betting, placing bets on their favoured tennis stars.