Association of Tennis Professionals – What is ATP?

Association of Tennis Professionals, also known as the ATP is a professional tennis league for men. Formed in September 1972, The Association of Tennis Professionals conducts and governs the main professional events of men’s tennis; ATP Tour, ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP Champions Tour. 

The organization is responsible for establishing and enforcing rules and regulations for players, tournaments, and ranking systems. Player development, financial and legal assistance, and medical and scientific support are some of the various services provided by ATP to its members. 

ATP History: 

The Association was formed by Donald Dell, Cliff Drysdale and Jack Kramer in September 1972 and is based in London, England. With Cliff Drysdale as the first president, the ATP aimed to protect the interests of professional tennis players, by protecting the players and the game itself from exploitation and ill treatment. The Association was established as a response to the lack of player representation in the sport of tennis. 

The former tennis governing body, the National Lawn Tennis Associations had established a political monopoly in the game, which left no room for the player’s opinions and say in how the sport was run.

This formed the cause for the formation of ATP which aimed to provide players with more facilities and improve playing conditions such as including prize money, tournament scheduling, and player rights. 

The Association of Tennis Professionals lived up to its promises. 

It has grown significantly from the time it was formed. Now, the ATP oversees and manages the men’s ranking system, regulates tournaments and plays an important role in the promotion of the game and its growth. The ATP Champions Tour is an excellent example of how the Association plays its part in promoting tennis and its players. 

ATP Rankings: 

Previously, there was no formal ranking system or criteria to rank players. Until the 1950s, the top 10 tennis rankings were devised by the legendary tennis writer Lance Tingay.  

Now, The Association of Tennis Professionals has a very intelligent way of determining a player’s position in the men’s professional tennis world, which has evolved over time with changes made to ensure that the sport remains fair and relevant.  

The first official computerized tennis rankings were established in 1972 and it wasn’t until 23rd August, 1973 that the first men’s single rankings were released. 

The Ranking system uses a “best of” system as the foundation for ranking Men’s singles and doubles. Players and pairs are judged on the basis of their performances in multiple events over the past 52 weeks. 

Each player’s performances in the top 19 tournaments over the past 52 weeks is examined which forms the basis of his rank. 

Points are awarded for each tournament a player competes in. Some base points are given to a player for participating in an event, which then keep increasing with respect to the player’s success in the event.

Points are also deducted from a player’s total over time. In this way, the number of points a player has at any given time reflects their recent performance, form, and consistency. 

The ATP Ranking system has allocated a tournament cap of 19. This means that a person who played more events and tournaments over the last 52 weeks will have no edge over the others. This ensures fair and just rankings. 

Initially the most events cap used to be 14, which was then extended to 18 from the 2000s and is further expected to be increased to 19 from the start of 2023.  

The Current ATP Rankings are:

The ATP rankings as at 30th January, 2023 are:

  1. Novak Djokovic from Serbia- 7,070 points
  2. Carlos Alcaraz from Spain- 6,730 points
  3. Stefanos Tsitsipas from Greece- 6,195 points
  4. Casper Ruud from Norway- 5,765 points
  5. Andrey Rublev from Russia- 4,200 points

(Note: The rankings are dynamic and may change after a period of time).

See the recent ATP rankings.

What Are the Major ATP Events?

ATP conducts 3 main events i.e. ATP tour, ATP Challenger Tour and ATP Champions tour. The first two events form the basis of ranking, along with cash prized and other rewards. While the ATP Champions Tour is a promotional event.

  1. ATP Tour: 

The ATP Tour is the premier men’s professional tennis circuit organized by ATP. The event comprises of 60 Tournaments held worldwide. The ATP Tour offers players with the opportunity to compete for top rankings and prize money. 

The event is divided into three main levels:

  • ATP Tour Masters 1000
  • ATP 500
  • ATP 250

Every level offers different prize money and rankings with ATP masters 1000 being the most rewarding.

The ATP tour attracts top players from around the world to compete against each other in some of the greatest and most prestigious tennis events. It is an integral part of men’s tennis, enabling the players to improve their rankings. 

At the end of the tour, top 8 singles and pairs compete in the ATP Tour Finals. 

  1. ATP Challengers Tour:

At the second tier, The ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) is the secondary professional men’s tennis event organized by ATP. It comprises of 150 tournaments held around the world. The ATP Challenger Tour is the perfect opportunity for new tennis aspirants and upcoming players looking to make a name in men’s tennis. 

  1. ATP Champions Tour:

The Association of Tennis Professionals make sure that no stone in left unturned in the promotion of men’s tennis. The ATP Champions Tour is a series of exhibition tennis events featuring former top ATP players over the age of 30. The events provide fans the opportunity to see their favorite legendary players back in the court once again. Although it is not a part of the main ATP tour and does not offer ranking points, the ATP Champions tour contributes greatly to fan’s entertainment and promotion of the sport.


Are the Wimbledon and U.S. Open included in the ATP Tour?

 No, ATP does not manage the Wimbledon and U.S. Open

What is the ATP 1000?

 The ATP Masters 1000 is the top tier of the ATP tour, with 9 tournaments held around the world. 

When was the ATP formed?

The ATP was formed in September 1972 in London.

What is ATP?

ATP refers to Association of Tennis Professionals.