Roland Garros

Here are the 4 Grand Slam tournaments!

What does Grand Slam mean in tennis?

You’ve probably heard the term “Grand Slam” before, but what does it mean exactly? In tennis it is a collective term for the four biggest tournaments. The tennis season is played between January and September each year. If a player manages to win these four tournaments in the same calendar year (season), a player has won a Grand Slam. Winning all four tournaments at any time during a career is known as a Career Grand Slam. The Grand Slam tournaments consist of:

 

Grand Slam Location Field type
Australian Open Melbourne Park, Australië Rubber/Fiberglass
Roland Garros Stade Roland-Garros, Parijs Gravel
Wimbledon All England Club, London Gras
US Open Arthur Ashe Stadium, New York Hardcourt

ATP Ranking Grand Slam points

ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) is often called the ATP World Ranking and ranks the performance of professional tennis players and organises major tennis tournaments. The four Grand Slam tournaments are the highest ranked tournaments on the ATP tennis calendar. The winner of a Grand Slam tournament receives 2000 points and the runner-up earns 1200. At the ATP Finals this can be up to 1500 points. In total there are 9 ATP Masters 1000 tournaments in a year where the winners can earn 1000 points. At the ATP Tour 500, as the name suggests, 500 points can be won by the winner and at the ATP 250, 250 points can be won. The WTA Ranking (Woman Tennis Association) is comparable to the ATP except for the number of tournaments and a small difference in points per tournament. At the moment, Novak Djokovic has collected the most ATP points which puts him at number one in the men’s singles and for the women, it is Ashleigh Barty who is number one.

Australian Open

The Australian Open has been the first grand slam tournament of the year since 1986 and is played annually at Melbourne Park in Australia. The Melbourne Park sports complex is located in the capital of the Australian state of Victoria. In the last two weeks of January the Australian Open is held here in Melbourne Park with the Rod Laver Arena as the main stadium, this used to be known as Flinders Park. The current stadium seats about 14,800 spectators. In case of high temperatures or rainfall, matches can often be cancelled or rescheduled. The main stadium and side courts of the Australian Open therefore have a retractable roof.

At the previous Flinders Park, tennis was played on grass, but this has not been the case since 1996. The surface is now made of rubber and fibreglass. The previous grass courts were in a suburb of Melbourne called “Kooyong”. After 1983 Kooyong no longer met the requirements of the time for such a large event. In 1996 the switch was made to a hardcourt, recognisable by the light green background colour, from that moment on, the venue also received its current name, Melbourne Park.

The 35-year-old Spaniard Rafael Nadal has won this year’s Australian Open for the second time in a crazy five-set match. In doing so, he wrote history by winning the 21st Grand Slam tournament title. No other tennis player has 21 Grand Slam titles to their name. The five previous finals were won three times by Novak Djokovic and twice by Roger Federer. For the women’s singles, these were Ashleigh Barty, Naomi Osaka, Sofia Kenin and Caroline Wozniacki.

Roland Garros

Around the end of May and beginning of June, the Roland Garros Tennis Championships are held in France at the Stade Roland-Garros. The tennis complex is located near the Porte d’Auteuil in Paris. The stadium is named after the French war hero and aviation pioneer Eugene Roland Garros. In 1891 the first French national tennis championship was held. At present, the venue can accommodate around 38,000 spectators who can enjoy the entire top level of tennis. From 2009, there were plans to move the location of the tennis complex outside of Paris but in the end, an expansion was chosen due to the high costs of moving.

One of the characteristics of Roland Garros is that it is always played on gravel, which consists of white limestone with a thin layer of gravel on top. In 1928 this surface was revolutionary and ensured that the water could drain off the court, something that was a major problem at the time. The recognisable red layer of gravel does need to be replaced daily during tournaments.

Rafael Nadal holds the most singles titles at Roland Garros. He has won this title no less than 13 times, also winning it 4 times in a row. Novak Djokovic won the last title in 2021. For the women, it was Chris Evert who won it 7 times. For women’s singles, the last 5 winners were: Barbora Krejcikova, Iga Swiatek, Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep and Jeļena Ostapenko.

rolland garros
australian open

Wimbledon

Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament, taking place as the last Grand Slam tournament in the tennis calendar year around the end of June and beginning of July. The main matches are often played on the Centre Court in London where some 15,000 spectators can enjoy top tennis. Since 2020, tickets for Wimbledon can be bought online. From 1924 onwards you had to send a request by letter to the organisation to get tickets as a spectator to experience matches on Centre Court. The main stadium is also the main stadium of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. The name of the stadium is an English term for main courts on tennis complexes.

Wimbledon is the biggest grass tennis tournament in the world. What is remarkable is that players are obliged to play in white. Because the matches of Wimbledon are played on grass, sometimes matches can be interrupted or moved due to weather conditions. In 2007 the tournament had to be interrupted 143 times due to rain. This sometimes causes matches to be played over two days or at a different time. Another feature of Wimbledon is the ranking system, which in men’s is based on the ATP rankings in a different way.
The performance on grass of the previous year counts double.

In 2020 the tournament was not held due to covid-19. In previous years, Novak Djokovic won three times in the men’s singles. Roger Federer and Andy Murray were the last winners before Djokovic. In the women’s singles, they were Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, Garbine Muguruza and Serena Williams.

australian open

US Open

In New York, the US Open is played every year from the end of August. The most important matches are played in front of 23,771 spectators in the Arthur Ashe Stadium. The stadium is named after the first black American tennis player to win a Grand Slam ” Arthur Ashe”.
Until 1977, the tournament took place in Forest Hills where it was played on grass courts that were replaced by gravel in the 1970s, at present it is played on a hardcourt. The tournament provides the highest amounts of prize money, for example in 2019 there was a total prize pool of no less than $57.5 million.

In 1881, the first U.S. National Men’s Singles Championship was held at Newport Casino in Rhode Island. A few years later, the doubles championship also took place here. At the Philadelphia Cricket Club in Pennsylvania, the women’s tournament was also held for the first time in 1887. Two years later, doubles championships were also held here. The women’s tournament was held for the last time in 1920 after which it was moved to West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, New York. The two tournaments, with a total of five disciplines, were merged in 1968 and the name of the tournament became the US Open.

The last five male winners of the US Open were Daniil Medvedev, Dominic Thiem, Rafael nadal (2x) and Novak Djokovic. For the women, the winners were Emma Raducanu, Naomi Osaka, Bianca Andreescu and Sloana Stephens.

US Open tickets

The grand slam tournaments last 14 days and are played simultaneously for both men and women. A total of 128 men and 128 women play in the 7-round singles, 64 men’s and women’s doubles pairs and 48 mixed pairs each play 6 rounds. Participants of Grand Slam tournaments can expect more money for their performance than in other tennis tournaments. Tennis is one of the richest sports in the world. In addition, the tournament provides the most ranking points, public attention and media coverage.

total grand slam titles

Grand Slam title winners

Of all the Grand Slam winners, Rafael Nadal is the man with the most Grand Slam tournament titles ever since 30th January 2022. The 35-year-old Spaniard has won no less than 21 Major singles titles, which puts him one title ahead of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Federer and Djokovic both share second place with 20 titles. Michael Chang is the youngest male tennis player to win a Grand Slam, Chang was just over 17 years old when he won the title in 1989.

Serena Williams breaks the men’s current record with no fewer than 23 Grand Slam tournament titles. Margaret Court holds the record and has 24 titles but is currently no longer an active player since retiring in 1977. After Serena Williams comes Steffi Graff with 22 titles, Helen Wills with 19, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova with 18 titles to their names. The youngest Grand Slam winner ever was Martina Hingis in 1997, she won at the age of 16!

total grand slam titles

Career Grand Slam winners

Below is a list of the 8 male and 10 female tennis players who hold a Career Grand Slam title:

Men’s Singles (8)

Player Country Tournament Year
Fred Perry England French Championships 1935
Don Budge United States French Championships 1938
Road Laver Australia U.S. Championships 1962
Roy Emerson Australia Wimbledon 1964
Andre Agassi United States French Open 1999
Roger Federer Zwitzerland French Open 2009
Rafael Nadal Spain US Open 2010
Novak Djokovic Serbia French Open 2016

Women’s Singles (10)

Player Country Tournament Year
Maureen Connolly Brinker United States French Championships 1953
Doris Hart United States U.S. Championships 1954
Shirley Fry Irvin United States Australian Championships 1957
Margaret Smith Court Australia Wimbledon 1963
Billie Jean King United States French Open 1972
Chris Evert United States Australian Open 1982
Martina Navratilova United States US Open 1983
Steffi Graff Germany US Open 1988
Serena Williams United States Australian Open 2003
Maria Sharapova United States French Open 2012

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