Grand Slam (tennis)
A Grand Slam is a term in tennis used to denote winning all four of the following championship titles in the same year:
These tournaments are therefore also known as the Grand Slam tournaments, and rank as the most important tennis tournaments of the year in the public mind as well as in terms of the ranking points and prizemoney awarded for performances in them. The titles are known as Grand Slam titles.
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The term Grand Slam was first used in 1933, by the American journalist John Kieran. In describing the attempt that year by Jack Crawford to win all four titles, he compared it with "a countered and vulnerable grand slam in bridge". However, in the finals of the U.S. Championships, Crawford was unable to defeat Fred Perry. It wasn't until 1938 that Donald Budge became the first person to win the Grand Slam.
The expression, used to describe the winning of the tennis major events, was later incorporated by other sports, to describe a similar accomplishment. The main example being golf, where the Grand Slam represents winning the four majors in the same calendar year.
True Grand Slam
The winners of the Grand Slam (all four tournaments in the same calendar year) in Singles are:
- Don Budge (1938)
- Maureen Connolly (1953)
- Rod Laver (1962 and 1969)
- Margaret Smith Court (1970)
- Steffi Graf (1988) (also the Olympic Gold medal, thus winning a Golden Slam)
Of these, Steffi Graf was the only one to win each title on a different surface: Carpet, clay, grass, and hardcourt.
The doubles winning the Grand Slam are:
- Frank Sedgman & Ken McGregor (1951)
- Margaret Smith & Ken Fletcher (1963)
- Martina Navratilova & Pam Shriver (1984)
Additionally, three players won all four Doubles Grand Slam titles, but switched partners after the Australian Open:
- Maria Bueno (1960), with Christine Truman then Darlene Hard.
- Owen Davidson (1967), with Lesley Turner then Billie Jean King.
- Martina Hingis (1998), with Mirjana Lucic then Jana Novotna.
Four consecutive Grand Slam titles
Though the term was originally restricted to the winning of all four tournaments in the same calendar year, it is now sometimes used for holding all four titles simultaneously, regardless of the calendar. During an interview with Serena Williams at the U.S. Open, after she had won the title, an interviewer coined the term "Serena Slam" for this achievement. Serena did indeed succeed in winning this honour, but counter to Martina Navratilova before her, she had to leave it at four titles.
Winners of all four Grand Slam tournaments consecutively, but not in a single calendar year, were:
- Martina Navratilova (1983-84) (six consecutive Grand Slam events)
- Steffi Graf (1993-94) Note: Graf also holds a True Grand Slam
- Serena Williams (2002-03)
Career Grand Slam
Winning all four Grand Slam tournaments non-consecutively, is described as a "career Grand Slam."
Players who won all four Grand Slam tournaments but not within the same year include:
- Fred Perry (1933-34-35)
- Doris Hart (1949-50-51-54)
- Shirley Fry (1951-56-57)
- Roy Emerson (1961-63-64)
- Billie Jean King (1966-67-68-72)
- Chris Evert (1974-75-82)
- Andre Agassi (1992-94-95-99)
Of these, Andre Agassi was the only one to win each title on a different surface: Carpet, clay, grass, and hardcourt.
True Golden Slam
The Golden Slam, or Golden Grand Slam, is winning all four Grand Slam tournaments, as well as the Gold medal in tennis at the Summer Olympics, in the same calendar year. The opportunities to do so have been rare, not just because the Summer Olympics are held only once every four years, but also because in between the games of 1924 and 1988, tennis was not a medal sport at the Games.
So far this feat has been achieved only once:
Career Golden Slam
Winning all tournaments in a True Golden Slam, but non-consecutively: