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  • Published: May 14th, 2012
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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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  • Published: Sep 27th, 2011
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The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals 2011

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Juan Martín del Potro at the 2009 US Open

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As the tennis season comes to a close, the last big tournament of the year is the special qualification event in London.  The ATP Barclays is unique because the draw is limited to the top eight players in the ATP tour rankings for the year.  This means that we get to witness an event that exhibits the best players who have been performing well all year long.  The draw isn’t like a normal tournament, instead it begins with round robin play that eliminates half the field.  The semi finals and finals are played in a more standard fashion, but the quality of tennis always promises to be incredible.  Players have direct incentive for each match because the  point and prize distribution for the Barclays tennis tournament depends on each individual victory.

Looking Back at the ATP Finals 2010

The tournament last year ended up in a heated final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.  Federer had something to prove after having a less than stellar year, and prove it he did.  He took down Nadal, who was ranked number one at the time, in three fantastic sets.  The Barclays world tour finals is one event that Nadal has never managed to win.  One problem is that the indoor hard court surface does not suit his defensive game.  Players are able to take advantage by being aggressive and stepping into the Spaniard’s high and looping shots.  Federer on the other hand added another tally to his resume, making the ATP Barclays 2010 his 5th year end championship title.

The ATP Barclays 2011 Preview

This years ATP final will have a lot of familiar faces.  The “big four” as they’ve been nicknamed consist of Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, and Murray.  All of these players were in the event last year, but the dynamic has changed significantly.  Djokovic should be a huge favorite for this ATP final crown considering the incredible season he has had–if he plays.  The aggressive plays and shot making produced by the Novak Djokovic racquet this year has made the season a competition for second place.  The Serbian, however, was sidelined recently by a back injury he suffered in Davis Cup play against the Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro.  It’s questionable whether he will make a full recovery in time to see competition at London in November.  If he does play at full speed it isn’t likely anyone will be able to touch him.  The fast hard courts are so well suited to his game that his main competitor, Nadal, will be at a monstrous disadvantage against him.

Barclays Tennis Comes to London

The final tour event of the year is held in London, home court advantage Murray.  Andy Murray still hasn’t broken through to win a grand slam title yet, but he has persevered as the solid number four player the entire year.  His main problem though is that he can’t crack any of those top three players.  Not a good weakness to have in a tournament where those players make up  37.5% of the field.  To win here would be a big boost for Murray and he could really use it.  The surface isn’t bad for his game, so there isn’t any reason this can’t be his tournament to make a big move.

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Djokovic Wakes up from 2011 Dream Season

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Novak Djokovic training in Roland Garros durin...

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Coming off his incredible win over Nadal in the US Open tennis final, Djokovic was unable to complete his Davis Cup match due to a lingering back injury.  The injury first made an appearance during the final with Nadal.  With only a short rest period between the final and his Davis Cup match, Djokovic was unable to recover properly and retired after losing the the first set.

Novak Djokovic’s 2011 Season

Looking back it has been quite a year for the young Serbian player.  To start off 2011 he notched 41 consecutive wins that led him to hoist his second major Australian Open title, along with a slew of victories at other prestigious events.  He was indeed the man to beat, and for 41 matches no one was able to.

An on form Federer stopped the streak in the semi-final of the French Open at Roland Garros.  Federer played inspired tennis, dismissing the circulating rumors of his demise from the top of men’s tennis.  This was a temporary lull however, as Djokovic returned to form and snatched the Wimbledon championship to add to his list of major titles.

Fast forward to the present.  We have a new US Open champion in Djokovic, who has continued to impress the whole year.  His only other loss during the regular season was to Andy Murray, in a match where he had to retire due to injury.  The absolute dominance he displayed throughout the season has truly been something incredible to watch.

Discussions are still ongoing about whether or not this is the best season ever put together by a tennis player.  While the record alone may fall short of the best ever, the competition and depth of the men’s tennis field has drastically increased since earlier days of the tour.  Even guys knocking around outside the top 100 in ATP Tour ranking points can produce thrilling and inspired tennis.

How Will Djokovic Handle 2012

It will be interesting to see how the Serbian’s new found success carries him into the next season.  After producing such a high level of tennis consistently for an entire year, can he keep up the pace?  The back injury that has all but put an end to the rest of 2011 will be a big factor.  If Djokovic can get healthy again in time for the new year of competition he will be a fearsome opponent.

The confidence and experience he has gained makes the perfect combination with his youth and dedication.  He seems to have everyone’s number at this point, though Federer has continued to pose real problems for him.  If anyone is able to stem the flow of victories going into next year it will have to be the Swiss maestro.

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