Although each of the four tennis Grand Slam tournaments have a lot in common in their respective schedules there are subtle differences between them. Read on to find out how they differ.
Before attending all four of the tennis Grand Slam tournaments last year I thought that all the events pretty much followed the same format.
To a certain extent this is true, each tournament has seven rounds for the men’s and women’s singles competitions and climaxes with the Men’s singles final, but the number of days of play and when the various rounds are played differ. For example, the French Open starts on a Sunday, Wimbledon has no play on the middle Sunday, the Australian Open finals are played at night, Roland Garros has two quarterfinals in play at the same time so you can’t possibly watch both and the US Open Men’s Final is played on a Monday.
As a fan used to one particular Grand Slam tournament (for me that was the Australian Open), these differences can catch you out when you’re watching one of the other tournaments.
Number of days play
Australian Open – 14 days, starting on a Monday and ending on the second Sunday.
French Open – 15 days, since 2006 the French Open has started on a Sunday and finished on the third Sunday. Rain delays led to the 2012 Men’s final being played on the Monday.
Wimbledon – 13 days, starting on a Monday, ending on the second Sunday with a day off on the middle Sunday. Rain delays at the tournament have led to play on the middle Sunday in 1991, 1997 and 2004. In 2001 the Men’s Final was delayed until the Monday when Ivanisevic defeated Rafter.
US Open – 15 days, starting on a Monday and finishing on the third Monday. Until 2013 the tournament was scheduled to finish on the second Sunday, but rain delays in recent years have led to this change.
Main Court Day and Night Sessions
Australian Open – Rod Laver Arena has separately ticketed day and night sessions until the final Friday. From then there are just twilight sessions.
French Open – Court Philippe Chatrier has one session each day of the tournament.
Wimbledon – Centre Court has one session each day of the tournament.
US Open – Arthur Ashe Stadium has separately ticketed day and evening sesions until the final Friday. From then there are just day sessions.
- From the first round up until and including the quarterfinals the two halves of the draw play on alternate days.
- Both women’s semi-finals are played on the second Thursday during the day, meaning that both players in one semi-final will have to play their quarterfinal and semi-final on consecutive days.
- The men’s semi-finals are played in the night sessions on the second Thursday and Friday. The winner from the first semi-final gets an extra days rest before the Sunday final.
- The first round is spread over three days. From the second round up to and including the quarterfinals the two halves of the draw play on alternate days.
- Both women’s semi-finals are played on the second Thursday.
- Both men’s semi-finals are played on the second Friday.
- For the first three rounds the two halves of the draw play on alternate days.
- The middle Sunday is a rest day.
- On the second Monday all fourth round matches are scheduled.
- On the second Tuesday all women’s quarterfinals are scheduled, with the semi-finals on the Thursday.
- All Men’s quarterfinals are scheduled for the second Wednesday, with both semi-finals on the Friday.
- For the women the two halves of the draw play on alternate days up to and including the quarterfinals.
- Both women’s semi-finals are held on the second Friday, with the final on the Sunday.
- For the men the first round is spread over the first three days.*
- The men’s second round starts on the first Wednesday and is spread over three days.*
- The men’s third round starts on the first Saturday, the two halves of the draw play on alternate days through to the quarterfinals.
- The men’s semi-finals are both on the second Saturday, with the final on the Monday.
*I found it really confusing that there were Round 1 and 2 matches scheduled on the first Wednesday even though there hadn’t been any rain delays.
Until next time
Grand Slam Gal