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A Comprehensive Guide to The Grand Slam of Tennis
By Jack Oswald
Tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world. There are four major tournaments, called Grand Slams, that every tennis player wants to win. The Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open are all prestigious tournaments that offer a lot of prize money to the winner.
In this blog post, we'll take a look at each of the Grand Slams, what makes them special, and give you some exclusive tips if you're planning to visit. So whether you're a beginner or an expert, keep reading for some valuable information!
So, while it's true that Roger Federer has won 20 "grand slams," this actually refers to 20 events rather than 20 sets of four!
Wimbledon, the US Open, the Australian Open, and the French Open are the four most prominent tennis tournaments.
Strangely, the phrase "grand slam" originates from a phrase used in card games. The players with the grandest slam championships are fighting to be regarded as the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) a struggle that is currently ongoing. With Roger Federer now retired, many think that the battle is now between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for the grandest slam titles, while others still regard former greats such as Federer, Agassi, and Sampras as top contenders.
What Is A Grand Slam In Tennis?
To be precise, a 'Golden Slam' in tennis alludes to the incredibly unusual feat of sweeping all four major competitions in the same calendar year. The four separate competitions that comprise a true grand slam are now referred to as "grand slams" in more recent times.
Did you know?
Don Budge achieved the Golden Slam in 1938, becoming the first tennis player to win all four of the big titles in a calendar year. "The closest anyone had gotten to a sweep had happened five years previously, when Australian Jack Crawford won the first three and fought Fred Perry in the U.S. Championships final," states Bud Collins' Ultimate Tennis Encyclopedia.
Four additional singles players have completed the Golden Slam since then. Rod Laver of Australia succeeded in 1962 as an amateur and once more in 1969 when the Slams were first made open to professionals. Maureen Connolly of San Diego was the second-ever and first woman to win the title in 1953.
Margaret Smith Court achieved her own Golden Slam in 1970, while Steffi Graf became the fifth person to complete the feat in 1988. Graf also was awarded the gold medal in women's singles at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, earning her the moniker "Golden Slam" for her achievements.
Frank Sedgman and Ken McGregor of Australia, Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver of the United States, and Margaret Smith (Court) and Ken Fletcher of Australia, in mixed doubles, were among the first to win all four Grand Slams in doubles. When playing doubles with two other players, Maria Bueno (1960), Owen Davidson (1967), and Martina Hingis (1988) each achieved a personal Slam.
And all of these players are Hall of Famers at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
What are the 4 Grand Slam Tournaments?
Four Majors: Australian Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros, US Open
Grand slam competitions have always been regarded as the most significant in the sport.
Since 1925, when the French let players from other countries compete in their national titles, there have been four such competitions. Wimbledon, the French Open (also known as Roland Garros), the Australian Open, and the US Open are the competitions.
The latter two are contested on hard courts, while Wimbledon and the French Open are still hosted on grass and red clay, respectively.
The first Grand Slam tournament of the year is the Australian Open, which takes place in January. It's the Grand Slam competition with the largest attendance, taking place in Melbourne.
On a hard court, the Australian Open has been held annually since 1905. As the winner of the 2022 competition, Rafael Nadal is the reigning champion. It was his second victory in Australia and his 21st Grand Slam victory.
On the female side, Ashleigh Barty took first place. It was her final triumph, deciding to retire just a few weeks later. Novak Djokovic now owns the record for men with nine victories, including three straight triumphs. With 11 victories, Margaret Court owns the female victory record at the 'Aussie' Open.
Novak Djokovic now owns the record for men with nine victories, including three straight triumphs. With 11 victories, Margaret Court owns the female victory record at the 'Aussie' Open.
Martina Navratilova amassed a total of 167 singles, 177 doubles, and 2,189 match victories during her lengthy career which started in 1968. If you're wondering how old is Martina Navratilova when she won the women's doubles tennis title at the 1980 Australian Open together with Betsy Nagelsen, she was only 24 years old!
And of course, Billie Jean King, who also founded the Women's Sports Foundation and participated in founding the Women's Tennis Association. In addition to Margaret Court with 62 combined major championships and Martina Navratilova (59), Billie Jean King has won more major titles than any other professional tennis player. Winning 12 singles titles, 16 doubles titles and 11 mixed doubles titles. These three women achieved and completed a career grand slam.
Moving on with the world's number 1 in doubles and world's number 4 in singles, Coco Gauff. At the Australian Open, Gauff defeated Venus Williams in straight sets in the first round and Sorana Cirstea in the second round, making it three straight Grand Slams where she reached the third round and defeated the defending champion, Osaka. Gauff also had the chance to defeat Ons Jabeur in the first round of the Italian Open.
The second Grand Slam, the French Open, is played at Paris' renowned Roland Garros Stadium. Top tennis players have been traveling to Paris since 1891 to compete in this significant event, which starts in May.
One could argue that this Grand Slam is best remembered for being the only one played on clay courts. Given that seven best of 5 sets rounds are required to win a championship, this is regarded as the hardest physically to win.
In addition, clay courts alter the bounce of the ball by slowing it down. It requires a specific skill set, and some of the greatest players ever, including John McEnroe and Venus Williams, have never achieved victory in Paris.
At the age of 19, Evonne Goolagong who is an Australian former number 1, won the French Open singles and the Australian doubles championships. Evonne Goolagong today is still the 12th on the women's list of all-time singles Grand Slam winners.
The All England Club in London hosted the inaugural Wimbledon tournament in 1877, making it the oldest tennis event in history.
It is the only major still played on a traditional grass court, making it the most popular tennis tournament on earth since records began. Usually, the event begins in early July and is frequently regarded as the sport's most prestigious competition due to its lengthy history and fun traditions (strawberries and cream, as a prime example).
The final men's competition was won by Novak Djokovic in 2022, giving him a seventh Wimbledon victory. The winner on the women's side was Elena Rybakina.
In 1973, Bjorn Borg, also known as the 'ice man' made his professional debut at Wimbledon, losing in a five-set quarterfinal match to Brit Roger Taylor. Retiring at the age of 26, Borg left us an unforgettable mark on tennis history.
The male record belongs to Roger Federer, who has eight titles, including five straight victories between 2003 and 2007. Martina Navratilova now holds the record for most female championships won with nine, including six straight triumphs between 1982 and 1987.
The US Open
The US Open is the fourth and final match in the Grand Slam. It is the only major tournament held in the United States and is played on hard courts in Flushing, Queens, New York City.
The final usually takes place around Labor Day and usually happens in late August. It was first performed in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1881. The competition was relocated to Queens in 1915.
Carlos Alcaraz on the men's side and Iga Świątek on the women's side were both first-timers who won the title in 2021.
Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, and Jimmy Connors have all won five championships. From 2004 to 2008, Federer won five in a row. Serena Williams and Chris Evert are deadlocked on six.
The Grand Slam: Why Is It Called That?
The phrase "grand slam" first appeared as a term to describe winning all of the tricks in whist-style card games. The phrase was then borrowed by the sport of golf to describe winning all four major championships, which in turn inspired its use for a comparable accomplishment in tennis.
The word has been used to refer to any one of the four major titles in more recent times, however, this is still technically incorrect and a little unclear.
How to Qualify for Grand Slams?
Grand Slams are the pinnacle of tennis, therefore getting into these competitions requires a tremendous amount of skill. Each event has a maximum of 128 players who must qualify by ranking, qualifying, or wild cards to participate in the main draw.
Now for the best part...
Guide to Attending a Grand Slam Tennis Tournament
You'll often be traveling into the main city where the event is placed if you're traveling from overseas.
As you are aware, the US Open is held in New York, Wimbledon in London, the French Open in Paris, and the Australian Open in Melbourne.
One thing to bear in mind is that you can have better selections and lower fares the earlier you schedule your trip.
It is advised that you schedule your travel between six and three months before the start of the competition.
1. Look up your connections on websites that deal with big airlines.
2. See if you can book a flight with one of the discount airlines.
Check out our ultimate guide to tennis travel packages and tours you can book in 2022.
Checking in to affordable hotels upon arrival
Two considerations should be made if you intend to stay at the hotel:
The distance between the hotel and the venue, as well as from the hotel to the main city's mass transit networks (underground, trains, and buses).
There are a few excellent websites where you may search for a hotel based on how far it is from the competition venue.
If you're looking for an excellent facility with first-class athletic and social amenities, you may want to consider joining the Los Angeles Tennis club which offers a wide variety of programs, including private and group lessons, playing with ball machines, Live Ball workouts, and even tournaments and leagues.
Conclusion: A Comprehensive Guide to The Grand Slam of Tennis
The tennis "grand slam" competitions are the most prestigious and fun-filled tennis occasions. The desire to win them is shared by all elite athletes, both for the short-term glory and the long-term perception it will have on their careers.
Men's and women's tennis each feature continuing GOAT competitions, each with its compelling narrative. If you have the chance to go to one of the major tennis tournaments, do not miss the chance to experience the drama firsthand, and make sure you bring the right tennis & travel bag with you!