The grand slam history
In this filled-facts article, we have for you some interesting information about the history of the grand slam tournaments.
As I discussed in the previous article, tennis has four major tournaments known as the Grand Slam. These tournaments are Wimbledon, the French Open, the US Open, and the Australian Open.
Over the last thirty years, the grand slam has been set in the order of the Australian Open being played in mid or late January, the French Open in late May or early June, Wimbledon in late June or early July, and the US Open in late August or early September.
The best of grand slam tennis winners is the Swiss Roger Federer, who’s holding 20 titles. Yet, this number of grand slam titles can be reached by his rivals: Rafael Nadal (19 titles), and Novak Djokovic (17 titles).
History of Wimbledon (England):
1877, marked the creation of the first Grand Slam in history named Wimbledon. Wimbledon was originally a croquet club, but after the formation of this tournament, it became the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
Wimbledon 1877 marks the first-ever lawn tennis tournament won by Spencer Gore. The tournament had 22 entrants, and they were all British men.
By 1882, the club was almost entirely a Lawn Tennis Club. Therefore, croquet being the name was redundant. In 1894, ladies singles and gentlemen’s doubles were added to the tournament. Then in 1913, mixed doubles and ladies doubles were added.
Interestingly until 1922, the winner of the previous year’s tournaments only had to play the final. Also, in 1922, the All England Tennis Club changed its location towards the current location in Church Road Wimbledon.
From being the world’s first ever tournament, now it’s the world’s most famous and prestigious tennis competition in the world. And it’s the only Grand Slam title still played on grass.
The competition is quintessentially British in its nature. the royal family sponsor and attend the event. Whilst all players and spectators are expected to stick to a strict dress code. That’s why the competition captures the hearts of millions worldwide each year.
A Wimbledon match holds the record of the longest match ever, which lasted 8 hours and 11 minutes. That was in 2010, when John Isner knocked out Nicolas Mahut.
History of US Open (United States of America):
The second Grand Slam created was the US Open, formerly the united states open tennis championships. Which was first formed in 1881.
From 1881, the tournament was played at the Newport Casino in Newport Rhode Island, where currently the International Tennis Hall of Fame is located.
Richard Sears has won the first seven consecutive US Open. The women’s tournament first started in 1887 and was played at the Philadelphia Cricket Club.
In 1915, the tournament was held at the Westside Tennis Club, New York. Until 1975, where they changed the court type to clay. That was just for the next three years (1975-1975-1977).
Starting in 1978, the open moved to the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, now named the Billie Jean National Tennis Center. Since then, the US Open has been held on acrylic hard courts.
The only player who won this Open on all three court types is Jimmy Connors.
The largest tennis arena in the world is Arthur Ashe Stadium with a capacity of 23,771 seats.
History of French Open (France):
The French Open, often referred to as Roland Garros or formerly the French championships, was first formed in 1891, and held on the courts of Cercle des sports, Île Puteaux.
However, it was only open to French tennis clubs members until 1924. After that, the tournament was played in a variety of venues.
In 1925, the French Open we know today was formed as it was open to all players abroad, by a decision of the French Tennis Federation.
In 1928, the stadium “Roland Garros” that many assumed it was constructed to host the French Open, appeared that it was built in a record time by the French Tennis Federation (FFT) to host the DAVIS Cup final for the first time in France (France vs USA).
And they named the stadium “Roland Garros” after a French aviator (Renamed in 1988 by court Phillipe Chatrier). The stadium housed five courts, and was ready to host French International Championships for the first time.
In 1968, the French Open was the first Grand Slam to be open allowing amateurs and professionals to compete together (Beginning of the Open Era).
Rafael Nadal holds the record of 12 Roland Garros titles.
History of Australian Open (Australia):
The Australian Open began in 1905, and first held at the Warehouseman’s Cricket Ground in Melbourne. Moreover, this tournament was known as the Australasian Championships, then changed to its actual name in 1927.
In 1924, and similarly to the other Grand Slam Championships, the Australian Open was first designated the title of being major by the ITF.
Between 1905 and 1971, the tournament’s location was rotated between Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Hastings, Christchurch, and was also held in New Zealand two times.
In 1969, it entered the open era, becoming one of the four pillars of tennis sport.
Meanwhile in 1972, it was decided to be held in Melbourne at the Kooyong Tennis Club. During the 1970s and 80s, the Australian Open was seen as inferiors of other Grand Slam, with not all players making the trip to Australia due to its geographic location.
Although after it moved to Melbourne Park (hard court) in 1988, it was easily seen as equal to the other majors. It has been known as the Grand Slam with the best facility, gaining popularity over the world.
The global Australian open attendance of 2020 was a record of 812,174 at the Melbourne Park.
Now that you’ve known all the grand slam tournaments history, don’t forget to tell us about the most special tournament for you.
If you want to know more about tennis history check this article.