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A Quick Guide to the Grand Slams of Tennis: Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open

Updated on May 28, 2013

Introduction to Grand Slam Tennis

The four most important tournaments in professional tennis are the Australian Open, Roland Garros (a.k.a The French Open), Wimbledon, and the US Open. Collectively, these four tournaments have been called the Grand Slams since 1925 when the International Lawn Tennis Federation (now known as the International Tennis Federation) designated them to be the four major tournaments of the calendar year. Since then, each tournament has been held annually, save for some years during WWII (and 1986 for the Australian Open due to its move from November to January in the calendar).

The Australian Open

Rod Laver Arena, the center stage of the Australian Open, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Rod Laver Arena, the center stage of the Australian Open, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | Source

The Australian Open was first held in 1905. It is the first Grand Slam of the calendar year held over the last two weeks of January. Starting in 1988 it was moved from its former venue at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club to Flinders Park, now called Melbourne Park.

The Australian Open At a Glance

Surface
Hard Court (Plexicushion)
Location
Melbourne Park, Melbourne Australia
Current Men's Champion (2013)
Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
Current Women's Champion (2013)
Victoria Azarenka (Belarus)
Current Men's Doubles Champions
Bob Bryan (USA)
 
Mike Bryan (USA)
Current Women's Doubles Champions
Sara Errani (Italy)
 
Roberta Vinci (Italy)
Current Mixed Doubles Champions
Jarmila Gajdošová (Australia)
 
Matthew Ebden (Australia)
Date Last Held
January 14-27, 2013
Date of Next Event
January 13-25, 2014
Official Web Site
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/index.html

Bird's Eye View of the Australian Open

Roland Garros: The French Open

Jo Wilifried Tsonga serves during Round 2 of the 2011 French Open on Centre Court.
Jo Wilifried Tsonga serves during Round 2 of the 2011 French Open on Centre Court. | Source

Roland Garros has been held at Stade Roland Garros since 1928, but tournament itself has been played since 1891. Although commonly referred to as The French Open in English, it is almost always called Roland Garros in France. The stadium where it is held was named after the famous French aviator. It is the most watched French event in the world.

Roland Garros at a Glance

Surface
Clay
Location
Paris, France
Current Men's Champion
Rafael Nadal (Spain)
Current Women's Champion
Maria Sharapova (Russia)
Current Men's Doubles Champions
Max Myrni (Belarus)
 
Daniel Nestor (Canada)
Current Women's Doubles Champions
Sara Errani (Italy)
 
Roberta Vinci (Italy)
Current Mixed Doubles Champions
Sania Mirza (India)
 
Mahesh Bhupathi (India)
Date Last Held
May 27-June 11, 2012
Date of Next Event
IN PROGRESS
Official Web Site
www.rolandgarros.com

Bird's Eye View of Roland Garros

Wimbledon

Roger Federer serving on Centre Court in the 2008 Wimbledon.
Roger Federer serving on Centre Court in the 2008 Wimbledon. | Source

Wimbledon, the most prestigious tournament of all, has been held at the All England Club in London since 1877 making it the oldest tournament in the world. It is still played on grass, the original surface of tennis. Very traditional, Wimbledon enforces a strict white dress code for the players, keeps a Royal Box at Centre Court, and is the only tournament to not allow sponsor advertising on any of its courts (how refreshing!).

Wimbledon at a Glance

Surface
Grass
Location
All England Club, London, England
Current Men's Champion (2012)
Roger Federer (Switzerland)
Current Women's Champion (2012)
Serena Willians (USA)
Current Men's Doubles Champions
Jonathan Murray (Great Britain)
 
Frederik Nielsen (Denmark)
Current Women's Doubles Champions
Serena Williams (USA)
 
Venus Williams (USA)
Current Mixed Doubles Champions
Mike Bryan (USA)
 
Lisa Raymond (USA)
Date Last Held
June 25-July 8, 2012
Date of Next Event
June 24-July 7, 2013
Official Web Site
http://www.wimbledon.com/

Bird's Eye View of Wimbledon

The US Open

The entrance to the US Open grounds at Flushing Meadow
The entrance to the US Open grounds at Flushing Meadow | Source

The United States Open Tennis Championship, commonly called the US Open, is the fourth and final Grand Slam held each year. Started in 1881, it has been played on every surface over the year starting on grass, moving to green clay in 1975, and finally to hard court in 1978. It is the only of the Grand Slams to use a tiebreak in the final deciding set. Starting in 2006, it was the first of the Grand Slams to use instant replay for players to challenge line calls.

The US Open at a Glance

Surface
Hard Court (Decoturf)
Location
USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadow, Queens, New York
Current Men's Champion (2012)
Andy Murray (Great Britain)
Current Women's Champion (2012)
Serena Williams (USA)
Current Men's Doubles Champions
Bob Bryan (USA)
 
Mike Bryan (USA)
Current Women's Doubles Champions
Sara Errani (Italy)
 
Roberta Vinci (Italy)
Current Mixed Doubles Champions
Ekaterina Makarova (Russia)
 
Bruno Soares (Brazil)
Date Last Held
August 27-September 10, 2012
Date of Next Event
August 26-September 8, 2013
Official Web Site
http://www.usopen.org/

Bird's Eye View of the US Open

How many of the Grand Slams have you attended?

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    • MickiS profile imageAUTHOR

      MickiS 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      I, too, will be glued to the coverage of Wimbledon! I'm jealous. I would love to have seen Borg, Becker, and Navratilova on the grass.

      I'm *hoping* for Roger. If not him, Tsonga. But it will probably be a Djokovic v. Nadal final, in which case I don't care.

      On the women's side, I would like to see Kvitova defend her title. If not her, Stosur.

      I started a forum thread for Wimbledon, if you want to join in: https://hubpages.com/forum/topic/99073#post2118522

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      6 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Micki, Great article on the intro's to the grand slams. With Wimbledon round the corner, i will be glued to it!! Lucky enough to have attended there in the days of Borg, Becker, Navratilova . . .It is a great venue for all tennis buffs and i would love to attend the other 3 at some point!!! Congrats, now . . .who do you fancy for the singles titles at Wimbledon??

    • profile image

      Terri Randazzo 

      6 years ago

      Hi Micki,

      I enjoyed this but would love to have had a list of places to stay or events to attend when I went to the French Open and Wimbledon. I had to do a lot of research on my own, but that may not be part of what you were trying to accomplish in the article.

      Hope you are well

      Terri

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