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Tennis Grand Slams: Everything You Need to Know

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Seasoned fans know all about the tennis grand slams. They are the highlight of the tennis calendar, which runs from January to November. These events offer the opportunity to watch the best players in the game battle it out for the most coveted titles. If you’re unfamiliar with tennis or just getting into it, this article will help you understand what these competitions are about. 

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What Are the Grand Slams in Tennis?

The Grand Slams are the four most distinguished tournaments on the tennis tour. These are the Australian Open, Wimbledon, the French Open, and the US Open. The Australian and US Open are played on hard courts, Wimbledon on grass and the French Open on clay.

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Why Is It Called a Grand Slam?

Grand slam was initially used in card games where someone would possess all the tricks to win a game. In tennis terms, it means winning all four grand slams in a year. This is also referred to as the calendar slam. It’s also refers to each of the four major international competitions.  

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The Tennis Grand Slam

Here’s a look at all the four major tennis competitions.

1. Australian Open

An explanation of how the Australian Open was formed. Video Credit: Baseline Tennis

The Australian Open is the first grand slam in the tennis calendar. It takes place in Australia at Melbourne Park between January and February. 

All forms of tennis are available – the men’s and women’s singles which are the most popular, the men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. 

Novak Djokovic holds the record of winning the most Australian Open men’s titles with 10. In the women’s category, Margaret Court leads with 11 titles, 7 of which she won before the open era and 4 in the open era. That means if we talk about the open era alone, Serena Williams leads with 7 single titles.  

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2. French Open

The French Open is one of the four tennis grand slams and is the second major of the year. It’s the only clay court grand slam in France between May and June. 

Like the Australian Open, we have the men’s and women’s singles and doubles and the mixed doubles. Spanish player Rafael Nadal is the most successful player on this surface, with 14 titles. Chris Evert tops the women’s game with seven. Serena Williams won only three titles here, and Venus won two.

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3. Wimbledon 

spotcovery-A panoramic picture of Wimbledon's Centre Court
A panoramic picture of Wimbledon’s Centre Court. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-SA-4.0

Wimbledon is the oldest of the four tennis grand slams and is the only one played on grass. The event takes place at the All England Club in London between June and July. 

Roger Federer is the most successful male tennis player on the grass with eight singles titles, while Martina Navratilova tops in the women’s singles with nine.

Black players have also enjoyed success on this surface. Arthur Ashe was the first black man to win the Wimbledon title and remains the only one to this day. On the women’s side, Althea Gibson was the first African American woman to win the singles title. 

That said, Serena Williams won 7 titles on center court, and Venus won five. 

4. US Open

This is the last tennis grand slam tournament of the year and the only other played on hard courts. It takes place between August and September in the United States. Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras, and Roger Federer have five titles. 

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Arthur Ashe is still the only black man to win the tournaments. That said, a number of black players have emerged that could change that.

In the women’s tour, Serena Williams has the most titles, with six in the open era, Venus has two, and Naomi Osaka has two. 

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Why Only Four Grand Slams Exist in Tennis?

Have you ever wondered why there are only four grand slam tennis tournaments?

According to sources, between 1891 and 1925, there were more than four grand slams in tennis. It’s thought that rule changes might have caused the collapse of the other three, particularly when professional tennis players were allowed to compete and earn prize money from these tournaments. 

Initially, the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF) allowed amateurs to compete in grand slams and prevented pros from competing because they would deny upcoming players a chance to win.

However, with pressure mounting to open the tour, they finally gave in and handed the game’s leadership to the International Tennis Federation (ITF). 

The ITF allowed professionals to play in tennis grand slams and prohibited amateurs. Hence, some events weren’t able to survive these changes, and thus the number of grand slams in the tennis calendar. 

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Who Has the Most Grand Slams in Men’s Tennis?

Novak Djokovic has the most grand slam titles in men’s tennis with 24. He’s won:

  • 10 of these at the Australian Open
  • 3 at the French Open,
  • 7 at Wimbledon
  • 4 at the U.S Open. 

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Who Has the Most Grand Slams in Women’s Tennis?

Margaret Court holds the most grand slam titles in women’s tennis. She has 24 singles titles to her name. Serena Williams retired with 23 grand slams. Her last win came at the 2017 Australian Open to break Steffi Graff’s 22 grand slams record. However, she wasn’t able to tie and break Court’s record.

If you didn’t know what a tennis grand slam was, we hope this article helps. It’s the first step to understanding the game and enjoying the thrill of these tournaments. 

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Agnes Amondi
Agnes Amondi
Agnes Amondi is a sports enthusiast who enjoys sharing sports knowledge. Over the years, she has also written on different niches, and she now brings that experience at Spotcovery. She writes sports content and also, Arts & Culture, Recipe, Beauty and more.

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