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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: Sep 23rd, 2011
  • Category: Other
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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.

Stay up to date with tennis news, articles, and information at TennisShoeView.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 26th, 2011
  • Category: Golf
  • Comments: 4

A Quick History of Golf

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The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews,...

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While the definitive history of golf has yet to be uncovered, the game has existed in one form or another since at least medieval times, when games were played with balls and clubs.  The game itself grew out of a ball and club game on the fjord of the Firth of Forth in Scotland.

According to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, the game of golf was invented in Scotland.  While ball and club games were played in other places, like the Netherlands and China, among others, the golf game we recognize today with 18 holes almost surely originated in Scotland.  In fact, there is 1457 documentation of the existence of golf in the form of an Act of Scottish Parliament wherein James II of Scotland banned the playing of “gowf” and football because they were distracting soldiers from practicing archery, which was needed for military tactics.

Golf was banned in Parliamentary Acts of 1471 and 1491 because golf was deemed unprofitable, and Mary Queen of Scots was frowned upon for playing golf right after the murder of her husband in 1567.  Golf was not considered a suitable pastime for women at that time, so it was scandalous that she played at all, but particularly scandalous that she would play after the murder of her husband.  Since one conspiracy theory speculates that Mary herself was responsible for her husband’s (who was also her first cousin) death, it may not be surprising that she was nonplussed enough to play a round of golf.

Later, James VI of Scotland would ban golf, but was given balls and clubs on three different occasions by people trying to convince him that the game was fun.  James eventually became king of England, and it is thought that his son and attendants played at Blackheath in London.

A lawyer, Sir John Foulis, has ledgers that record games of golf played at Musselburgh Links in 1672 – the same course where Mary Queen of Scots supposedly played in 1567, and the oldest golf course in the world.

Thomas Kincaid, medical student and avid golfer, was the first to write instructions for playing the game.  He played Brutsfield Links and Leith Links, and in his notes we find the first mention of a handicap system, and descriptions of his golf swing.  This diary dates back to 1687.  The oldest specific rules for the game were written for the Company of Gentleman Golfers in the year 1744.  The club, which later became The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, played at Leith and the society still exists today.  One group, called The Royal Burgess Golfing Society, claimed that they were formed in 1735, but the Edinburgh Golfers are generally known as the first group of golfers, who also established the rules.

Emigrants from Scotland to the British Colonies introduced the game of golf, and as early as 1779 there exist advertisements in the Royal Gazette of New York City for golf clubs and golf balls.  Additionally, there is documentation of a golf club in Savannah, Georgia from a 1796 issue of the Georgia Gazette.

The 1850s saw a keen interest in Scotland emerge in Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who built a castle (Balmoral) in Scotland and were instrumental in the railway being built between Edinburgh and London.  When this happened, tourism to Scotland increased greatly, and English people became interested in Scottish life and culture.  Golf, of course, was a big part of that and this time period saw a spread of golf courses across the British Isles.  By 1880 England had 12 golf courses, and by 1914 it had over 1000.  Also by the 1880’s golf groups emerged in South Africa, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

Tracking back to 1868, the Meji restoration in Japan saw the country striving to become more modern, and Japanese people traveled to America and Europe to set up trade and learn about new business, science, and cultural trends.  In turn, people from Europe and America traveled to Japan to help set up banks, schools, factories, and shipyards.  By 1903, British people living in Japan developed their own golfing club in Kobe, and in 1913 Japanese natives founded the Tokyo Golf Club.

As golf maintains its popularity, so the industry grows.  What used to be old, wooden clubs are now made from graphite and titanium.  What used to be a wooden ball was then made of leather, and then balls were made from dried sap.  Today golf balls are made from urethane blends or surlyn, and are designed to be as aerodynamic as possible.  You can even choose the type of ball you want, depending on your golfing style.  It’s safe to say, golf will be popular for many years to come.

The Quick History of Golf is provided by MaverickLabel.com which wants to help you find your golf clubs in case they go missing – with golf club ID labels. Looking for other custom sticker printing or labels for you personal or business needs? Visit MaverickLabel.com or call at (800) 537-8816.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Jun 28th, 2011
  • Category: Other, PGA
  • Comments: Comments Off on Golf’s Rory McIlroy’s Success Includes Strength of Character

Golf’s Rory McIlroy’s Success Includes Strength of Character

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Profile portrait of Rory McIlroy, golfer from ...

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It’s said that Rory McIlroy has the right “stuff” of character; both humbleness and confidence.

There are high hopes and great expectations from Padraig Harrington and Greg Norman. One is that McIlroy just might beat Jack Nicklaus’ who had 18 majors and the other is to be the replacement after the sad loss of Steve Ballesteros. In a dignified manner at the Masters, McIlroy handled his debacle on Sunday, showed his mettle while speaking publicly about Tiger Woods’ ebbing game and the humanitarian trip he took to Haiti; when all the while, he could have been preparing for the U.S. Open. Being there in Haiti gave him the dose of perspective that he felt he needed.

His awe-inspiring performance at the U.S. Open seems to be over-flowing with the assurance of many more majors ahead.  With a flawless four days of golf, finishing Sunday afternoon at Congressional and shattering the Open’s record, McIlroy, is defying the logic in the toughest of tests in golf with a “2-under 69”.

What a wonderful glimpse the world was allowed, as this young man of 22 from Northern Ireland, fell into the proud arms of his father. Gerry McIlroy, who took on three jobs so that his son could aspire to this very moment, was truly delighted and much more than he imagined it to be. “Happy Fathers Day, Dad”, said McIlroy. Both his parents have been behind him and at an early age had a putting green; good in all weather, installed in their back garden in the outskirts of Belfast in Hollywood.

Over the weekend in Northern Ireland fans watched Graeme McDowell trace his steps back over the bridge towards the champion and hug him. McIlroy truly feels that nothing this kid does ever surprises him and that he’s the best player he has ever seen. McDowell, as well as everyone else thinks that Rory McIlroy is a breath of fresh air and possibly the next superstar of golf.

Not since 1897 has there been such a streak of players in their 20’s winning a major, and this well grounded young man from ‘the old country’ moves into No.4 across the world, beyond anyone else competing in the final two of this year. To the grand stage of sports McIlroy has arrived, and the expectations we all hope, will not be overwhelming for this young man who is very new to all this; and that he continues to play, and to make sure that he does not take himself too seriously.

In a game where no one lately was standing out, McIlroy is filling a noteworthy void; one in which carries an engaging attitude and strong personal attributes. Something that sorely is missing in many of today’s ‘super stars.’ Most seem lack inner strength and fortitude and fall apart because celebrity has become like a god to them. They lose respect for themselves and others. Rory McIlroy, please don’t change.

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