Attempt at this. SBI & Heath, feel free to edit if there's anything else you want to add.
Like many other games on the site (see CW XI, CW Football, etc.) you attempt to make it a professional athlete, this time in in the world of tennis. You sign up here with a short profile and your choice of specialist court, then play tournaments all around the world. In addition to the current roster of CW players, there are also fictional players from all over the world added, and if you like you can try to create rivalries with both the fictional and the real players. (The real tend to be more fun as they talk back, but hey, your choice.)
A calendar will be posted at the start of the year, and in each week's thread the tournaments will be listed, so you can indicate where you want to play. Depending on your ranking and the other players' ranking, you will be entered directly into the main draw, the qualifying, or not accepted at all. Sir Bloody Idiot, who runs this thing, may also ask for a schedule 6-8 weeks in advance, to make it easier for him to plan.
The CW Tennis calendar is a simplified model of the real world. There are not quite as many tournaments and professional players as in real life, as simming tournaments for a lot of Swedes ranked #600 is dull. However, the main tournaments:
Grand Slams: These should be familiar. 128 players in each, first to three sets wins the match, winning one sets you apart from the journeymen, winning ten makes you liable to be called almost as good as Rod Laver, winning twenty makes you GOAT. Maa.
The four of them are: Australian Open (January), French Open (May-June), Wimbledon (June-July), CW Open (September). You will probably notice that the US Open has been moved to the tennis complex in Nixonstown, CWLand, as we're one of the strongest tennis economies in the game.
The other big tournaments are:
World Tour Finals: end-of-year tournament with the eight best players in the world by ranking. Most players are tired by this point of the season and treat it as a bit of a hit-about. Held in New York as compensation for robbing them of the US Open.
Nine Masters tournaments: these carry half the ranking points of Grand Slams, and have about half the entry field (except for two early tournaments in the US with 96 players). Most of them are in March through May determining seeds for the three big slams, with a few sprinkled towards the end of the year. All matches to three sets.
Davis Cup: the team competition. Two players from each team play each other in singles (so that's four matches) + one doubles match. First to three sets wins a match, first to three matches goes through to the next round.
250/500 tournaments: in the weeks without big tournaments, the players travel separate ways and play in backwaters such as Båstad, Estoril, 's-Hertogenbosch, Newport and Brisbane. These tournaments are often where lowly ranked players first make their mark; however, if your ranking isn't high enough you may have to qualify, or play in
Challenger tournaments: these are held at even smaller backwaters, carry even less money and even fewer ranking points, but are a necessary starting point. There aren't quite as many of these as in real life, but hopefully enough to keep interest going.
CWLand Championship: national tournament at the end of the season. Only CWers play, the format depends on how many players we have.
Clay: Slow surface - the ball doesn't sit up as much as on the other courts, largely negating the service and winners in favour of players who keep the ball in the court. The French Open and three Masters events are on clay. Not common in CWLand, though we have a few specialists.
Hard court: Rumoured to give the "best mix" between service and baseline play (usually by people from countries where hard court is predominant), it is possible to be successful with both styles. There are many different types of hard courts, and the indoor courts tend to be faster and with more bounce, but for the purposes of the game they are mostly treated as the same. The Australian Open, the CW Open, and six Masters events (possibly subject to change) are on hard court.
Grass court: A fast court without the bounce of hard courts, it makes the service rather important, as aces are more common, along with bad bounces which can force an early end to the point. Specialist grass court players are rather rare, and usually find some form on hard court as well. They often struggle on clay due to different movement and the lesser importance of the serve. The Championships at Wimbledon are played on a grass court.
Ranking points are awarded on a "rolling year-to-date" basis, meaning that points scored in the last 52 weeks counts towards the ranking. In effect, your week-to-week ranking change is thus how many points you improved over that week's performance last year. This makes the week-to-week changes rather incomprehensible (two players who both made the third round may go in opposite directions on the rankings), but does tend to give a balanced ranking overall.
Only your 18 best performances count, of those 18: the 4 Grand Slams and 9 Masters are mandatory. That means that you can only count 5 of the other PTAs/challengers. If you weren't allowed to play the Slams or Masters, you can count other tournaments. (This rule may be changed for next season. Stay tuned.)
There are fewer injuries than in real life, but it's still a part of the sim; so yes, you may be out of the game for some periods.
There's a separate doubles circuit as well, with many successful CW players. Most CW players have a fixed pairing, either with a fictional player or another CW player. The tournaments are mostly the same, but there's separate rankings for it, and you can play doubles and singles in the same week.