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  • Published: May 14th, 2012
  • Category: Tennis
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The History of the Grand Slam

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Originally applied to golfing tournaments in the 1930s, the term “Grand Slam” was first used for tennis by John Kieran, a newspaper columnist. Today, The Grand Slam refers to the four major tournaments in the sport of tennis. The tournaments are ranked according to world tour ranking, public attention, prize-money, number of players and player field size. The four major grand slam tennis tournaments include Wimbledon, The French Open, the US Open and the Australian Open.

Image courtesy of Shreyans Bhansali, Flickr

The term grand slam is used to indicate that a player has won all the four major tennis tournaments in a single calendar year. For many years, the term grand slam has also been used to refer to the major tournaments themselves.
A Timeline of Grand Slam Tennis Tournament Wins
1938: John Donald Budge (Don Budge), the American tennis champion, won all of the four men’s singles titles
1962 & 1969: Rodney George Laver (Rod Laver), the Australian tennis champion, has won the grand slam twice in his seven years as the world’s top ranking tennis star
1969 – 1971: Margaret Smith Court, the Australian World No.1, won the grand slam three times; once for the Ladies’ singles and twice in the Mixed Doubles category – 1969 US Open to 1971 Australian Open
1983: Stefan Edberg won the grand slam in the junior discipline being the only tennis player to do so
Wimbledon Tennis Tournament
Wimbledon is held every year in June/ July and is one of the oldest, most highly respected of all tennis events ever held. Wimbledon, as it is commonly referred to, has a rich history of some of the world finest players demonstrating their skills on this prestigious tournament’s grass courts. Wimbledon is preceded by the Australian Open and the French Open tennis tournaments, coming third in the line-up of the grand slam events.
Wimbledon hosts five main events each year including: Gentlemen’s Singles; Ladies’ Singles; Ladies Doubles; Gentlemen’s Doubles; Mixed Doubles, and a number of other tournaments as well. Image courtesy of Kol Tregaskes, Flickr
Winners’ Records:
• Gentlemen’s Singles – William Renshaw and Pete Sampras have both won 7 titles each
• Ladies’ Singles – Martina Navratilova holds the record for 9 wins during her career
• Gentlemen’s Doubles – Todd Woodbridge with 9 titles
• Ladies’ Doubles – Elizabeth Ryan with 12 titles
• Mixed Doubles – Elizabeth Ryan with 12 titles
• Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova have both won 20 titles each and continue to hold the record for most number of wins at Wimbledon
The French Open 
The prestigious French tennis tournament is named after the famous aviator, Roland Garros. The event spans two weeks from late May to Early June and is played at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France. The second of the four grand slam events, French Open is the only grand slam event to be played on clay courts.
Considered one of the toughest tennis tournaments in terms of physical capabilities, the men’s five-set singles matches do not have the tiebreak option in the final set.
Begun in 1891, the first championship matches were one day events and did not have the world’s best players participating. When the tournament became fully international approximately 24 years later, a number of tennis stars began appearing on the courts of Roland Garros.
Rafael Nadal won his sixth title beating Roger Federer to become the current Men’s Singles winner for 2011. Li Na of China won her first grand slam title to take the Women’s singles French Open title. Image courtesy of y.caradec, Flickr The U.S. Open
The United States Open Tennis Tournament is the fourth event in the grand slam series of four. The tournament is held from August to September each year and hosts five championship titles: Men’s and Women’s singles; Men’s and Women’s Doubles; Mixed Doubles. The tournament also hosts additional matches for junior player participation.
Title wins include:
• Men’s Singles
Bill Larned, Richard Sears and Bill Tilden of the USA – 7 wins (before 1968)
Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras of the USA – 5 wins (after 1968)
• Women’s Singles
Molla Bjurstedt Mallory of the USA – 8 wins (before 1968)
Chris Evert of the USA – 7 wins (after 1968)
Image courtesy of Pabo76, Flickr
The Australian Open
The first of the four grand slam tournaments, the Australian Open is held over the last two weeks of January in Melbourne, Australia. Featuring Men’s and Women’s Singles; Mixed Doubles; Junior matches; Wheelchair matches; Legends and Exhibition events; the tournaments have been held at Melbourne Park since the late 1980s.
The Australian Open is a high attendance grand slam event and the first to introduce indoor play to cope with extreme weather conditions. The two primary courts are the Hisense Arena and Rod Laver Arena. The Australian Open is also the richest tennis tournament worldwide.
The current champions for 2012 include: Novak Djokovic – Men’s singles; Victoria Azarenka – Women’s singles; Leander Paes/ Radek Stepanek – Men’s Doubles; Svetlana Kuznetsova/ Vera Zvonareva – Women’s Doubles. Image courtesy of Two Big Paws, Flickr

This article was produced on behalf of Keith Prowse, the UK’s leading provider of corporate hospitality. With an affinity to sport, Keith Prowse offers official hospitality at some of the finest sporting events – visit their website for Wimbledon hospitality 2012.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Apr 27th, 2012
  • Category: Other
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The View from the Umpire Chair: Not Always the Best Seat in the House

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Typically, when we watch tennis matches we focus on the players; watching it on our television or, if we are lucky enough, from a seat in the stands. But do you ever wonder what a tennis match would look like sitting in the umpire chair?

Sitting in the umpire chair during a match not only gives you the best view but you are the final say on all calls; a rather powerful position.

Although sitting in the umpire chair gives a sense of authority, the view from the top isn’t always as great as you would think.

In September of 2011, many top tennis officials decided not to participate in the US Open and opted to give up their prime seat on the umpire chair.

The 2011 US Open raked in a record high $23.7 million in prize money with the tournaments total earnings exceeding $200 million. Despite the tournament`s high revenue,  the gold badge chair umpires, some who officiate at the legendary Wimbledon tournament, only make $250 per day sitting in the umpire chairs at the US Open; the lowest pay for any Grand Slam tournament.

A retired gold badge chair umpire, Norm Chryst, stated that, “The U.S. Open makes more and more each year, but very little of that goes to the officials. Gold badge umpires don’t want to come here. Why? A lot of the answer is money.”

Not only do chair umpires have to sometimes deal with unfair pay rates but along with the prime view of the players from the umpire chair, sometimes come harsh words from pros when officials have to make  difficult calls that the athletes don`t agree with.

In September 2011, again at the US Open, Serena Williams was extremely upset with umpire, Eva Asderaki, after she made a call ruling that Williams grunted with the intent of distracting her opponent, Samantha Stosur.

Eva Asderaki kept her cool while getting berated by Williams who also confused Asderaki with a US Open official from two years prior saying, “Aren’t you the one that screwed me over last time? Yeah, you are. Seriously, you have it out for me.” Asderaki, looking down at Serena from her umpire chair, shook her head “no,” but Williams continued her insulting rant.

More recently, in January of 2012, David Nalbandian criticized the chair official, Kader Nouni, for over-ruling a point. Later, Nalbandian told reporters he felt that Nouni wasn`t fit to sit in the umpire chair.

In another recent incident involving umpire, Kader Nouni and pro, Caroline Wozniacki, Wozniacki was upset that Nouni overruled a call on a match point. Wozniacki felt that he should have stayed out of it because of the fact that she had no more challenges while opponent, Maria Sharapova did.  The replay showed that Nouni`s call was right however, an angry Wozniacki, who ultimately lost the match, refused to shake Nouni`s hand at the end of the match when he came down from his umpire chair.

Those are just a few instances where sitting front-row-center in the umpire chair is not so rewarding. What players fail to realize when arguing with the chair umpire is that no matter what, the official`s position gives them the final say.

SI.com journalist, Courtney Nguyen, said in an article that “Umpires are damned if they do, damned if they don’t, damned the minute they start climbing that little chair of theirs.” As you can see the view from the umpire chair can be quiet controversial at times.

Courtney Sloan is a college student studying the field of mass media and a copywriter. As a writer and a tennis enthusiast, Courtney has made it her top priority to research and write about topics including tennis news, tennis products, fashion and more and report her findings to the tennis community. 

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