When it comes to tennis, nothing symbolizes mastery of the sport like the Grand Slam, comprising the four majors. Each of these four tournaments is prestigious in its own right, and to win even one of them is the dream of many aspiring tennis champions who practice hard and play harder. Winning all four tournaments requires skill, dedication, and deep familiarity with all court types.
There are several categories of Grand Slam based on the timing of the player's wins:
- The term "Grand Slam" by itself refers to winning all four tournaments in a single calendar year
- A Non-Calendar-Year Grand Slam refers to winning the four consecutive tournaments but not during the same year
- The career Grand Slam, in which a player wins all four tournaments at least once at any time during their career
There are two other types of Grand Slam that are even harder to obtain:
- The Golden Grand Slam or Golden Slam is winning all four tournaments and winning gold at the Summer Olympics, all in the same calendar year.
- A Super Slam is winning all of the above and also winning the Year-End Championship (ATP Finals for men or WTA Finals for women). This has only ever been achieved by Steffi Graf, although it wasn't during one calendar year.
Also, winning all four tournaments in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles are called a Grand Slam "boxed set," which no player has yet accomplished in a single year. A "career boxed set" removes the calendar year restriction and has been won by only three players, all women: Margaret Court, Doris Hart, and Martina Navratilova. Margaret Court actually has two "career boxed sets."
More details about the individual majors:
The Australian Open is the first of the four, taking place in Melbourne in the second half of January. In 2019, this will be Jan. 14 – 27. This tournament is played at Melbourne Park on outdoor hard courts surfaced in Plexicushion Prestige.
Roland Garros, or the French Open, is the second and takes place in Paris from late May to early June (in 2018, May 27 – June 10). The court surface is clay, making it unique among the tennis majors, and the slow surface promises a grueling match.
Wimbledon is the third tournament and takes place at The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club in London in early July (in 2018, July 2 – 15). This tournament has been played on grass courts since 1877 and holds a strong place in tennis tradition.
The fourth and final tournament is the US Open, which runs from late August into early September (in 2018, Aug. 27 – Sept. 9) and is played at Flushing Meadows in Queens, New York. The surface used is an outdoor hard court, DecoTurf.
Owners of tennis facilities can look at the Grand Slam tournaments for ideas as to improving their own courts and attracting new players — since winning all four majors requires mastery of hard courts, clay, and grass, all of which are very different, players with strong aspirations will want to practice on multiple surfaces.
At Tennis Court Supply, we have all the court surfacing supplies you'll need, including several hard court options and a high-performance clay from Har-Tru, which to put simply is an advanced alternative to traditional clay.