Australian Open Grand Slams

An American bridge player is reported to have been the first person to coin the phrase ‘Grand Slam’ in respect to tennis. The term quickly became popular in describing outstanding achievements in other sports as well, in particular golf.

When a player achieves a ‘Grand Slam’ he, or she, has successfully won the 4 major events on the tennis calendar, the four Grand Slam events: the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

All the Grand Slam events have to exhibit very different court surfaces, so as to test the player’s ability on each. Since 2008 The Australian Open Grand Slam’s surface has been changed to acrylic surface known as ‘Plexicushion’, the French Open is played on clay, Wimbledon, on grass and the final event of the year, the US Open is played on a hard court surface, known at DecoTurf.

There are various forms of Grand Slam:

  • Calendar Year Grand Slam – all Grand slam events are won in a calendar year. Only two men in history have ever achieved this feat, Don Budge in the 1930s and Australian Champion, Rod Laver, who has managed this extraordinary achievement twice – in 1962 and 1969! In 1988, German legend, Steffi Graf, became one of three women to achieve a Calendar Year Grand Slam.
  • Non-Calendar Year Grand Slam – when a player holds all 4 majors simultaneously, regardless of the year. Martina Navratilova won 6 consecutive Grand Slam titles and Serena Williams completed her ‘Serena Slam’ in 2002-2003.
  • Career Grand Slam – winning all 4 titles in a career. Amongst others, Andre Agassi, Chrissie Evert, and Serena Williams have managed a career grand slam. To date, Roger Federer has been denied this achievement by failing to win the French Open in his career.
  • Calendar Year Golden Slam – the ‘Golden Slam’ is when a player wins all 4 grand slam titles as well as Olympic gold in one year – Steffi Graf is the only player to have achieved this.
  • Career Golden Slam – a player who has won all four tournaments as well as Olympic gold in their career. Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf are the only players to hold a career golden slam.
  • Small or mini Slam – players who have won 3 of the four events – Roger Federer, Jimmy Connors, Mats Wilander, Monica Seles and Matina Hingis are a few of the champions who managed a small slam in their careers.
  • Career ‘Boxed Set’ – winning the singles, doubles and mixed doubles at all four grand slam events. No men have yet to win a career boxed set and only 3 women have accomplished this awesome feat – Doris Hart, Margaret Court and Martina Navratilova. Serena Williams has come very close, but has yet to win the mixed at the French and Australian Opens.