Welcome to the Grand Slam section of the Livetennis.com website!
These pages are all about the four biggest tennis tournaments of the year: the Australian Open
, the French Open
and the US Open
. Filled with vital information on each tournament’s history, the profiles also offer you details of the most prolific past champions, descriptions and videos of classic matches, and fascinating trivia.
Whether you’re an avid tennis fan who can’t get enough of stats and factual nuggets, or a casual follower keen to learn more about the major events, you’ll find much to interest and amuse you once you click on the links on the sidebar.
Here is a guide to what you’ll find on each of the Grand Slam pages:
The opening section of each Grand Slam tournament profile provides details of the event’s origins, such as when it began and where it was first played, along with information on the various changes it has undergone over the years. For example, did you know that Australian Open has been played in seven different cities since its inception? Or that the US Open is the only Grand Slam to have been played on three different surfaces?
Each of tennis’ four marquee tournaments has evolved from a small, club-based event to an international juggernaut, and yet each has also managed to retain a unique identity that reflects the traditions and styles of the country in which it is played. The “Background” section traces the history and development of the Grand Slams and looks at how they are staged today.
“What does it take to win?”
Before the tennis elite make their way to a Grand Slam, there is fevered talk of which players are likely to triumph. Obviously form and match toughness are vital factors, but the nature of the tournaments themselves also need to be taken into account.
While there is currently much debate over the alleged homogenisation of court surfaces, there are still marked differences between the various terrains on which the sport is played. In this section, we look at what those differences mean for the players. How does the slow, high-bouncing clay of Roland Garros affect the games of those with more aggressive playing styles? What is different about playing on grass compared to hard courts?
And there are many aspects besides court surface that can help or hinder those bidding for the title. The extreme heat that is synonymous with the Australian Open has played a part in the outcome of many high-profile matches - such as the women’s final in 2002 - whereas the bustling, cacophonous atmosphere at the US Open demands unwavering concentration from players. A Grand Slam champion needs to be more than just a superb competitor; he or she must also adapt to their environment.
This section looks at the multiple champions at each of the four Grand Slams, their periods of dominance, and their place in history. It salutes the notable players of days gone by, as well as the standout competitors of the Open Era.
Among some familiar facts - such as Pete Sampras’ and Martina Navratilova’s supremacy on the manicured lawns of Wimbledon - are stats that may have escaped some fans’ attention. Were you aware that the name “Williams” has been carved onto the Venus Rosewater Dish 10 times since the turn of the century? Or that Novak Djokovic is the only man to have won three consecutive Australian Open titles?
Here, you’ll find out why some players are renowned for their clay court mastery, and why so many refer to the All England Club’s famous Centre Court as “home.”
The “Classic Matches” feature takes a look back at some of the most memorable moments in Grand Slam history. Every now and then, a “match for the ages” takes place in the later stages of one of the major tournaments, a clash between giants at the very peak of their powers. These contests become legendary for their changes in momentum, high standard of play and the astonishing will to win displayed by each combatant.
Each Grand Slam profile page has detailed reports of two women’s and two men’s matches, along with video highlight links. You’ll see why the 1980 Wimbledon final between Borg and McEnroe is often hailed as the greatest match ever played, and discover why the likes of Djokovic, Serena and Justine Henin have been hailed as paragons of mental strength.
Finally, the “trivia” section on each page lists some of the most interesting and memorable facts about each Grand Slam. These range from the surprising to the bizarre, and focus on matches as well as off-the-court happenings.
Among the treasure trove of titbits are the fact that Gustavo Kuerten wasted 10 match points before he finally put away Magnus Norman in the 2000 French Open final, as well as the revelation that Ken Rosewall holds a place in the record books as both the youngest and oldest ever winners of the Australian Open. You’ll also discover that the engraver of the 2013 Australian Open trophy got Victoria Azarenka’s country of origin completely wrong, and find out just how many strawberries Wimbledon spectators consume during the Championships each year!
Our Grand Slam profile pages are intended to intrigue and inform tennis fans worldwide. By looking at the background, evolution, classic matches and past champions of each event, we aim to build a picture of that tournament’s place in history, as well as its distinctive character and atmosphere.
So feel free to check out each page, react to what you have read in our comments sections, and tell us what each Grand Slam means to you. Do you revel in the deference and sense of tradition that characterises Wimbledon, or do you prefer the more laid-back vibe of the US Open? Who is the greatest clay courter never to have won the French Open? And what would the Australian Open roll of honour look like if the tournament had never made the switch from grass to hard courts? We want to hear from fans old and new, from across the globe, so get clicking, get reading and tell us what you think!