What is a Grand Slam / Why is Called Grand Slam – The term “Grand Slam” is sometimes used to refer to winning all of the major tennis tournaments within one of the three playing surfaces, but usually, it specifically refers to winning the four major tournaments in succession. It can also be used for two related accomplishments that are not always regarded as being equally significant: The Grand Slam Tournaments comprise The Australian Open, The French Open (France), Wimbledon (Great Britain), and The U.S. Open (USA).
Winning all four Grand Slam tournaments is called winning a calendar year Grand Slam, and since 1978 it has been possible to do this on two surfaces (hard courts (Australian Open), clay courts (French Open), grass courts (Wimbledon) and hard courts (U.S. Open).
Why are only four Grand slam tournaments in lawn tennis?
The Grand Slam Tournaments comprise four different competitions throughout the year: The Australian Open, French Open (France), Wimbledon, and U.S open – these are some of the most prestigious tennis events in long history! However, why there are only four remains a mystery to many fans and scholars.
: The Australian Open, French Open (France), Wimbledon, and U.S open – these are some of the most prestigious tennis events in long history! However, why there are only four remains a mystery to many fans and scholars.
It is apparent that other than these four no others have survived and at one point there were more than four taking place every year. It is commonly thought that the Australian Open emerged from either the French Championships or Wimbledon, while this is partially true it does not explain why only four have survived into the current generation.
The truth behind this mystery can be traced back to 1926 when professionals were banned from entering all of these tournaments by the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF). The reason for this ban was that the ILTF believed that all of these tennis professionals were “shamateurs”. The idea that they should be paid to play was ludicrous, as professionals would take away valuable prize money from amateurs who trained just as hard if not more.
The ILTF ruled until 1968 when amateur players were allowed to compete in all four Grand slam events. It was common knowledge that this ruling would not last as professionals wanted the chance to play in these competitions and be allowed prize money for their efforts. The ILTF realized that it would have a difficult time controlling professionals so it ceded from its responsibility entirely and handed over control to the newly founded International Tennis Federation (ITF).
When the ITF took over there were only three Grand Slam tournaments, as the US Open was not created until 1947. After this decision was made by the ILTF a prerequisite for a tournament to become a Grand slam event is that it had to be open to professionals. This meant that amateur players were no longer allowed to compete in these events and that only professionals were allowed to win the prize money.
Although it cannot be proven, this is probably why since 1968 there have only been four Grand Slams as the amateur French Championships could not survive without amateurs playing and no other tournament wanted to forfeit prize money that was handed out for winning a professional event.
This however does not explain why there were more than four at one stage. In fact, there were seven from the years 1891 to 1925, which included Australia, Germany, and Great Britain.