Guide to the Grand Slams
The Grand Slam events of the ATP Tour are the most thrilling and important tournaments of the season and have been won by the greatest players to ever pick up a racquet.
But how much do we know about the four cornerstones of the tennis season?
Here’s all the information you need on the Grand Slams that will make you an expert in no time.
The youngest of the four Slams and the first of the calendar year.
- Began in 1905 and was known as the Australasian Championship. Staged at Warehouseman’s cricket ground in Melbourne.
- Became the Australian Open in 1969
- 1972, the competition moved to Kooyang Lawn Tennis Club, again in Melbourne
- Melbourne Park was built to stage the tournament in 1988 and attendances increased, with 2012 being a record-breaking year (685,000 spectators)
Most titles – (Men’s) Andre Agassi, Roger Federer – 4 titles
(Women’s) Serena Williams – 5 titles
Youngest winner – (Men’s) Ken Rosewall – 18 years, 2 months
(Women’s) Martina Hingis – 16 years, 4 months
Oldest winner – (Men’s) Ken Rosewall – 37 years, 2 months
(Women’s) Thelma Coyle Long – 35 years, 8 months
The French Open
A distinctive competition as it is played on a clay court. A favourite amongst fans as this serves to test players to their limits.
- First held in 1891 and named the French Championship
- The first ‘real’ French Open was held in 1925, as it had previously been restricted to men and French nationalists only.
- In the same year, the tournament was held at Stade de Roland Garros, hence the popular nickname of ‘Roland Garros’ it now goes by.
Most titles – (Men’s) Rafael Nadal – 7 titles
(Women’s) Chris Evert – 7 titles
Youngest winner – (Men’s) Michael Chang – 17 years, 2 months
(Women’s) Monica Seles – 16 years, 6 months
Oldest winner – (Men’s) Andrés Gimeno– 34 years, 10 months
(Women’s) Chris Evert – 31 years, 6 months
The oldest and most prestigious of the four majors, it is the only Grand Slam still to be played on grass, tennis’ original surface.
- Began in 1877 and held at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. (Its home to this day)
- Following the French domination in the 1920’s, Britain’s Fred Perry won three consecutive singles championships in the 30’s. The last British men’s player to do so.
- Since then the competition has been dominated by overseas players and has also seen some major developments, including the addition of a roof on centre court, ensuring that the championships can no longer be disrupted by the pesky British weather.
Most titles – (Men’s) Roger Federer, Pete Sampras – 7 titles
(Women’s) Martina Navratilova – 9 titles
Youngest winner – (Men’s) Boris Becker – 17 years, 7 months
(Women’s) Martina Hingis – 16years, 9 months
Oldest Winner – (Men’s) Arthur Ashe – 31 years, 11 months
(Womens’s) Martina Navratilova 33 years, 8 months
The last Grand Slam in the tennis season and the youngest, as it only became a major in 1987.
- It was first held in 1881, but was known as the U.S. National Championship, played on grass and held in Newport, Rhode Island.
- The US Open moved to its current home of Flushing Meadows, New York in 1978, which subsequently meant that it would now be played on a hard court, rather than clay.
- The US Open is the only Grand Slam to be played every single year since its inception, and was also the first to offer equal prize money to both the men’s and women’s champions.
Most titles – (Men’s) Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer – 5 titles
(Women’s) Chris Evert – 6 titles
Youngest winner – (Men’s) Pete Sampras – 19 years, 1 month
(Women’s) Tracy Austin – 16 years, 8 months
Oldest winner – (Men’s) Ken Rosewall – 35 years, 10 months
(Women’s) Margaret Court – 31 years, 1 month
So there you have it, your guide to the Grand Slam events.
This article was written by Sam Rigby on behalf of Wimbledon Debenture Holders, the home of Wimbledon Championship tickets for 2013 and beyond.
Photo Credits: Wikipedia
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