The Most Difficult Tennis Tournament: Ranking the Ultimate Challenge

Choose the Tournament you think is the most difficult!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:18 (Updated on Dec 2, 2023 16:59)
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinions shape the rankings! Today, we're diving into the world of tennis to determine which tournament reigns supreme in terms of difficulty. With thousands of polls under our belt, we know that your insights will make this ranking a smashing success! Will it be the prestigious Wimbledon or the fierce competition of the Australian Open? Maybe it's the charm of the French Open or the high-energy atmosphere of the US Open that makes them the most challenging? Whatever your stance, we invite you to serve up your thoughts and cast your vote to help us decide, once and for all, which tennis tournament truly tests the mettle of the world's greatest players. Don't see your top pick on our list? No problem! You can suggest a missing option, and together, we'll create the ultimate ranking of the most difficult tennis tournaments. Get ready, set, vote!

What Is the Most Difficult Tennis Tournament?

  1. 1
    The oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, Wimbledon is known for its strict dress code, traditional grass courts, and unpredictable weather conditions. Players must adjust their game to suit the surface, and the pressure to win a Grand Slam title at Wimbledon is immense.
    Wimbledon is the oldest and one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world. It is held annually in Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom. Known for its strict traditions and grass court surface, Wimbledon is considered the pinnacle of tennis excellence.
    • Location: Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom
    • Year of Establishment: 1877
    • Surface: Grass
    • Number of Courts: 18
    • Total Prize Money (2021): £35,016,000
  2. 2
    The only Grand Slam tournament played on clay courts, the French Open is known for its slow surface and physically demanding rallies. Players must have exceptional stamina and endurance to succeed, and the tournament often produces surprise winners.
    The French Open, also known as Roland Garros, is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments. It is the premier clay court tennis championship event held annually in Paris, France.
    • Surface: Red clay
    • Venue: Stade Roland Garros
    • Time of Year: Late May to early June
    • Format: Single-elimination tournament
    • Championships: Men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles, mixed doubles
  3. 3
    The final Grand Slam of the year, the US Open is played on hard courts and is known for its fast-paced, aggressive style of play. The tournament is held in New York City, which presents unique challenges such as noise and humidity.
    The US Open is one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments held annually in the United States. It is one of the four Grand Slam tournaments and is known for its challenging matches and intense competition. The tournament takes place on hard courts and attracts top tennis players from around the world.
    • Location: Flushing Meadows, New York
    • Surface: Hard court
    • Date: Late August to early September
    • Number of players: 128 (singles), 64 (doubles)
    • Prize money: Total prize pool over $50 million
  4. 4
    The first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open is played on hard courts and is known for its extreme heat. Players must have excellent fitness and adaptability to succeed in the hot, dry conditions.
    The Australian Open is one of the four prestigious Grand Slam tennis tournaments held annually. It is the first tournament of the year and takes place in Melbourne, Australia. The tournament features men's and women's singles, doubles, and mixed doubles matches, as well as junior and wheelchair events.
    • Surface types: Hard court
    • Dates: Mid-January to late January
    • Venue: Melbourne Park
    • Court material: Plexicushion
    • Number of courts: 24
  5. 5
    One of the largest and most prestigious non-Grand Slam tournaments, the Indian Wells Masters is known for its high level of competition and grueling schedule. Players must win six matches in 10 days to claim the title, and the desert climate can be challenging.
    The Indian Wells Masters, also known as the BNP Paribas Open, is a premier professional tennis tournament. It is categorized as an ATP Tour Masters 1000 event for men and a WTA 1000 event for women. The tournament takes place annually in Indian Wells, California, United States.
    • Event Type: Professional Tennis Tournament
    • Tournament Level (Men): ATP Tour Masters 1000
    • Tournament Level (Women): WTA 1000
    • Location: Indian Wells, California, United States
    • Surface: Hard court
  6. 6

    Miami Open

    Butch Buchholz
    Another major non-Grand Slam tournament, the Miami Open is known for its humid, windy conditions and high level of competition. The tournament is also unique in that it is played on a variety of surfaces, including hard courts and green clay.
    The Miami Open is one of the most prestigious and challenging tennis tournaments held annually in Miami, Florida. It is a professional tennis tournament for men and women, categorized as a Masters 1000 event for the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and as a Premier Mandatory event for the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). The tournament is widely regarded as one of the key events in the tennis calendar, attracting top-ranked players from around the world.
    • Surface: Hard court
    • Venue: Hard Rock Stadium
    • Location: Miami Gardens, Florida, United States
    • Tournament Category: ATP Masters 1000, WTA Premier Mandatory
    • Date: March-April
  7. 7
    The first major clay court tournament of the year, the Monte-Carlo Masters is known for its stunning location on the French Riviera and its challenging surface. Many of the world's top players compete, and the tournament is considered a key warm-up event for the French Open.
    The Monte-Carlo Masters is one of the most prestigious and challenging tennis tournaments in the world. It is held annually in Monte-Carlo, Monaco, in the months of April. The tournament is a part of the ATP Masters 1000 series and attracts top-ranked professional tennis players from around the globe. The event is played on clay courts, which adds an additional level of complexity and makes it physically demanding for the players.
    • EstablishedYear: 1889
    • Surface: Clay
    • Location: Monte-Carlo, Monaco
    • Category: ATP Masters 1000
    • Prize Money: €4,872,105 (2021)
  8. 8

    Madrid Open

    Mutua Madrileña
    Another major clay court tournament, the Madrid Open is known for its high altitude and fast-paced, aggressive style of play. The tournament is often unpredictable and has produced surprise winners in the past.
    The Madrid Open is one of the most prestigious and challenging tennis tournaments held annually in Madrid, Spain. It is a part of the ATP Masters 1000 series for men's tennis and the WTA Premier Mandatory series for women's tennis.
    • Surface: Clay
    • Location: Madrid, Spain
    • Venue: Caja Mágica
    • Year Founded: 2002
    • Prize Money: €7,021,128 (Men's) and €6,685,828 (Women's)
  9. 9
    The final clay court tournament before the French Open, the Rome Masters is known for its difficult surface and unpredictable weather conditions. The tournament attracts many of the world's top players, and is considered a key warm-up event for the French Open.
    The Rome Masters, also known as the Italian Open, is one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments played on the ATP and WTA tours. It is held annually in Rome, Italy, and is played on clay courts. The tournament attracts top-ranked players from around the world and is considered one of the most difficult tournaments due to the demanding surface and the high level of competition.
    • Surface: Clay
    • Venue: Foro Italico
    • Location: Rome, Italy
    • Founded: 1930
    • Tournament Category: ATP Tour Masters 1000 & WTA 1000
  10. 10
    ATP Finals
    Michael Frey (Michael Frey) · CC BY-SA 3.0
    The season-ending tournament for the top eight players in men's tennis, the ATP Finals is known for its high level of competition and intense pressure. Players must win three round-robin matches and then the semifinals and final to claim the title, making it one of the most difficult tournaments to win.
    The ATP Finals is an annual men's tennis tournament featuring the top eight singles players and doubles teams on the ATP Tour. It is considered one of the most prestigious and difficult tournaments in the tennis calendar, often referred to as the 'fifth major'.
    • Format: Round-robin followed by knockout stages
    • Surface: Indoor hard court
    • Venue: Rotates between different cities each year
    • Prize Money: Several million dollars
    • Year established: 1970

Missing your favorite Tournament?


Ranking factors for difficult tournament

  1. Surface
    Each of the four Grand Slam tournaments is played on a different surface - clay, grass, and two types of hard courts. The surface type can have a significant impact on the level of difficulty as it affects the bounce, speed, and style of play. Clay is considered the slowest, and grass the fastest, while hard courts are somewhere in between. Some players perform better on certain surfaces, so surface difficulty is relative to the individual player's skill and comfort level.
  2. Weather conditions
    Weather conditions can also impact the level of difficulty in a tennis tournament. Extreme heat or cold, rain, and wind can affect a player's performance and fatigue levels. Humidity and altitude can also impact the speed and bounce of the ball, which can affect how players adapt to these changes. Some tournaments may have more challenging weather conditions than others.
  3. Competition
    The strength of the field in a tournament is another critical factor. If the majority of the top-ranked players participate, it is considered a more difficult tournament than if several top players are absent. Some tournaments may also historically attract stronger or weaker fields, impacting the overall level of difficulty.
  4. Schedule and format
    The structure and schedule of a tournament can also impact its difficulty level. For example, if there are short intervals between matches, players may not have enough time to recover physically and mentally, increasing the difficulty. Additionally, some tournaments may use different formats, such as best-of-five sets for Grand Slam events, which can be more physically demanding and challenging compared to best-of-three sets played in other tournaments.
  5. Crowd and atmosphere
    The atmosphere at a tournament can also affect player performance. Some players may find it more difficult to perform well in front of a large, boisterous crowd or on a prestigious center court. Conversely, an energetic or supportive crowd may inspire players to perform better. The unique atmosphere and pressures at each tournament may contribute to its overall difficulty.
  6. Travel and location
    Travel and location can also play a role in determining a tournament's difficulty. The jet lag and time zone changes associated with long-haul travel can affect player performance. Additionally, some locations may be more challenging due to the language barrier, unfamiliar culture, or lack of practice and support facilities.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most difficult Tennis tournament. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Tournament is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 246 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Tournament once every 24 hours. The rank of each Tournament is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most difficult tennis tournament

Tennis is one of the most popular and widely played sports in the world. With a rich history and passionate fanbase, tennis tournaments have become some of the most prestigious and highly anticipated events in the sporting calendar. However, not all tournaments are created equal. Some are known for their grueling conditions, rigorous competition, and intense pressure. When it comes to the most difficult tennis tournament, there are several contenders, each with their own unique challenges and obstacles. From the sweltering heat of the Australian Open to the high altitude of the US Open, these tournaments test the physical and mental endurance of even the most skilled players. So which tournament is truly the most difficult? Let's take a closer look.

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