All the tennis players who have made the Grand Slam in history
The Grand Slam is a dream that has come true for very few, one has done it twice and many, however, have only come close to it. Like Djokovic, who already has to give it up for 2024
With the start of the 2024 season, the hunt for every tennis player’s great dream has also restarted: the Grand Slam. The first stage is the Australian Open , followed by the other three Major events (Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open). Ready, go, and immediately the most sensational news: Djokovic is already out of the game, after his elimination in the semifinals at the hands of Jannik Sinner . He, king of the Slams with 24 successes in his career, who had come close to the goal both last year (and missed due to the defeat in the Wimbledon final against Alcaraz after having won first the Australian Open and Roland Garros and then the US Open), and in 2021 (when he lost in the final to Medvedev at the US Open).
A dream that Sinner will be able to chase: whoever lifts the first trophy of 2023 is the only one in the running for this year.
But what is the Grand Slam?
If in almost a century of history it has only happened five times, it means that the feat is truly extraordinary. We are talking about winning the Grand Slam, the most ambitious and important goal for any tennis player, a goal dreamed of by many, but achieved by very few. It only happens if a player wins all four Slam titles in the same season, namely the Australian Open, Roland Garros , Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows (US Open). Why these four? These are the tournaments organized by the first four nations capable of winning the Davis Cup until 1974, namely Australia, France, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Who invented it?
According to the most accredited reconstructions, the first to use the term Grand Slam in 1933 was the New York Times journalist John Kieran, who wrote: «If the Australian Jack Crawford, after having won in Australia, France and England, also won the American tournament, it would be like scoring a Grand Slam in bridge”, in reference to the maximum score that can be obtained in the card game of which the journalist was an expert and passionate.
According to others, however, the expression was used for the first time in golf , after Bobby Jones had won all the major tournaments on the circuit, and applied to the world of tennis by the sports columnist Alan Gould in July 1933, two months before colleague Kieran.
Who made the Grand Slam and the missed opportunities
A definition that has existed for around 90 years, but which has only awarded five tennis players, two men and three women. Only Don Budge (who won as an amateur in 1938), Rod Laver (the only one to do so twice, as an amateur in 1962 and as a professional in 1969), Maureen Connolly (as an amateur in 1953), Margaret Smith Court (1970) and Steffi Graf (1988).