Grand Slam (tennis)
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The Grand Slam tournaments, also called majors, are the four most important annual tennis events. They offer the most ranking points,〔("Q. What is the points breakdown for all tournament categories?" ). ''RANKINGS: Frequently Asked Questions'' (10). ATP World Tour – Official Site of Men's Professional Tennis (atpworldtour.com). Retrieved 7 March 2014.〕 prize money, public and media attention, the greatest strength and size of field, and greater number of "best of" sets for men. The Grand Slam itinerary consists of the Australian Open in mid January, the French Open in May and June, Wimbledon in June and July, and the US Open in August and September. Each tournament is played over a period of two weeks. The Australian and United States tournaments are played on hard courts, the French on clay, and Wimbledon on grass. Wimbledon is the oldest, founded in 1877, followed by the US in 1881, the French in 1891, and the Australian in 1905. However, of these four, only Wimbledon was a major before 1924/25, the time when all four became designated Grand Slam tournaments.
The term ''Grand Slam'' also, and originally, refers to the achievement of winning all four major championships in a single calendar year within one of the five events: men's and women's singles; men's, women's, and mixed doubles. In doubles, one team may accomplish a Grand Slam playing together or one player may achieve it with different partners. The term "Grand Slam" without qualification refers to winning the four majors in a single calendar year.〔(USOpen.org ). 〕〔(Grandslamhistory.com "STATS" ). ''Grand Slam History Reference Book'' (grandslamhistory.com). Retrieved 7 March 2014.〕〔Crowe, Jerry (22 May 1994). (LA Times "Return to Grand Slam Glory: Rod Laver Was the Last Man to Sweep Four Major Titles and Thinks It Can Be Done Again" ). ''Los Angeles Times''. Retrieved 7 March 2014.〕
Winning the four majors in consecutive tournaments but not in the same year is known as a Non-Calendar Year Grand Slam, while winning all four majors at any point during the course of a career is known as a Career Grand Slam. Winning the gold medal at the Summer Olympic Games in addition to the four majors in a one calendar year is known as a "Golden Grand Slam" or more commonly the "Golden Slam". Also, winning the Year-End Championship (known as ATP World Tour Finals for men's singles and doubles disciplines, and WTA Tour Championships for both women's disciplines) in the same period is known as a "Super Slam". Together, all four Majors in all three disciplines (singles, doubles, and mixed doubles) are called a "boxed set" of Grand Slam titles. No male or female player has won all twelve events in one calendar year, although a "career boxed set" has been achieved by three female players during their careers.
==Origin of the term "Grand Slam"==
The term ''slam'' for winning all of the tricks in the (see also whist terms) is attested from early in the 17th century. ''Grand slam'' for all of the tricks, in contrast to ''small slam'' or ''little slam'' for all but one, dates from early in the 19th century.〔("Slam" ). ''Online Etymological Dictionary'' (etymonline.com). Douglas Harper. Retrieved 9 January 2013.〕 This use was inherited by contract bridge, a modern development of whist defined in 1925 that became very popular in Britain and America by 1930.
''Grand slam'' has been used in golf since 1930, when Bobby Jones won the four major championships, two British and two American. Although John F. Kieran is widely credited with first applying the term "grand slam" to tennis, to describe the winning of all four major tennis tournaments in a calendar year, sports columnist Alan Gould had used the term in that connection almost two months before Kieran.〔Gould, Alan (18 July 1933). ('Sports Slants: Tennis "Grand Slam" ' ). ''The Reading Eagle'' (Reading, PA). p. 10. Retrieved 7 March 2014.〕
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