The four most prestigious tennis championships in the world are classed as the Grand Slam tournaments.
The four tournaments are; The Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) works closely with each tournament providing administrative, officiating and media support.
Although the country’s own National Associations control each Grand Slam event the ITF as an overall governing body overlooks the running of the Grand Slams.
The Australian Open
The Australian Open takes place in Melbourne and is normally the first of the Grand Slam events in the calendar year being played in January.
This year was the 105th time the Australian Open had been held and Novak Djokovic came out victorious in the Men’s Singles.
In previous years the Australian Open has been famous for providing the platform for unheralded players to emerge with names such as; Jo-Wilfred Tsonga (2008), Marcos Baghdatis (2006), Rainer Schuettler (2003), and Arnaud Clement (2001) among the surprise finalists.
In 2014, Stanislas Wawrinka defeated Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal to win his first Grand Slam title. A year later, Djokovic became the first man to win five Australian Open titles.
Roland Garros is situated in Paris and was the first Grand Slam tournament to join the “Open” era in 1968, and since then many tennis greats have graced the famous clay courts, including; Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, Gustavo Kuerten, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
One of the most memorable finals especially for Frenchmen was in 1983 when Yannick Noah became the first and only French player to win the singles title. Also in 2014 Rafael Nadal became the first man in tennis history to win nine titles at the same Grand Slam championship.
Wimbledon is a town in south London which is home to the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and for many is the most prestigious.
It has been held at the All England Club in Wimbledon since 1877 and is the only major played on grass.
Wimbledon traditions are deep rooted and they include a strict dress code for competitors and attracts Royal patronage as part of it’s special stature. For spectators the eating of strawberries and cream and the drinking of champagne are some of the unique happenings at Wimbledon.
Also the tournament is famous for the absence of advertising around the courts, because of the famous English weather a retractable roof was fitted on the famous Centre Court in 2009.
The US Open
The fourth of the Grand Slam tournaments to be played of the year the US Open takes place at Flushing Meadows in New York.
The US Open is the only major that employs tie-breakers in every set of a match. If a match reaches a 6-6 tie in the final set of the other 3 majors then match continues until one of the players wins by two clear games.
These four tournaments constitute the Grand Slams in tennis and each tournament throws up different problems and difficulties unique to itself.