17 January

All the facts you need to know

If you want to know which tennis player has earned the most prize money, who is nicknamed 'Machine', who was the most talked about player among British Facebook users in 2013 or who was saved from drowning by his father, you need the 2020 ATP/WTA Tour Media Guide

Google may be a friend to the fact-hungry journalist, but if you want the low down on the high flyers in tennis, you need more than a search engine. You need the 2020 ATP/WTA Tour Media Guide.

One of tennis commentators’ best known secrets, this is the journalists’ bible. It lists records, results, stats and Grand Slam and Olympics History. Here you will find all the year's tournaments (need the date for the Libema Open in S-Hertogenbosch anyone?), plus details on players' prize money down to the last dollar. For 2019, leaders of the pack are Rafa Nadal on $16,349,586 and Ash Barty with  $11,307,587 while topping the leader board for career prize money to date, are Novak Djokovic for the men with $139,144,944 and Serena Williams among the women who last year made another $92,543,816 to put in the bank.

The book is available in Europe only from the Tennis Gallery, a stonesthrow from the All England Club in SW19 and run by friend of the league Richard Jones (who some members of the Wimbledon Park Tennis Leage will have met on court in groups one or two). But you can also download the contents from the ATP and the WTA. The format is a rather unfriendly a 196-page pdf for each, which is not quite as beautiful or easy to curl up with as a book even if they are free.   

Both guides follow a similar format, but the ATP offers many more nuggets of personal information. Who knew for example that 6’11” Ivo Karolvic wears size 17 shoes or that he was delighted to meet a 7'6" basket ball player ("It was strange to shake his hand - mine felt so small"). Among other snippets we are happy to have learned are that Felix Auger-Aliassime (nickname FA2) played the piano at the ATP Masters 1000 party in Monte Carlo and the Roger Federer (Roger gets a very long entry), who was recognised Forbes Fab 40 in 2019 as the World's Most Valuable Athlete Brand with a $62 million value, was Ranked No. 2 on the Reputation Institute's 2011 study of world's most respected, admired and trusted personalities. Federer finished behind Nelson Mandela but ahead of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey and Bono. We also now know that Kevin Anderson tries to reduce plastic on touir, that up and coming Italian Jannik Sinner was a champion skier between the ages of 8 and 12, that keen rider Bautista Agut owns 7 horses and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga says he grew up getting "strength from his father and kindness from his mother".

All in all, it's an essential handbook for tennis fans, pub quiz enthusiasts and anyone hoping to win the famous Local Tennis League quiz at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca (that’s as big a clue as we can give you!). As for the answer to the questions in the intro, they are: Radu Albot, Andy Murray and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The 2020 ATP/WTA Tour Media Guide, £24.50 is available from the Tennis Gallery