You may remember the incredibly popular MTR series “What’s In A Hard Court?” where I contemplate what makes up the material of hard courts, the differences, and other deep questions about life.
Well get excited about the first part in a one part series, “What’s In A Grand Slam?”!
Well, if you think you know, Rod Laver sure has something to say about it. He essentially tells us that Trix are for kids, and a real “Grand Slam” is getting all four big tournaments in a calendar year.
First off, let’s take a look at where the phrase “Grand Slam” comes from. Interestingly, Patrick McEnroe tackles this issue in his book and goes over some of the complications of it. Back in the good ole days, what we now call “slams” (we’ll call them “small s” slams) were simply called “majors”. This term gets thrown around nowadays but seems almost ancient to a new generation’s ears. That or a golf term (equally as ancient, I believe).
This means that a “Grand Slam” (we’ll say “capital S” Slam) was winning all four “majors” in the same calendar year. Thus, a “slam” is different than a “Grand Slam”. I guess what I’m saying here is that really, a “Grand Slam” is winning all of the “slams”, but in the same calendar year.
If it’s over 2 years, we just name it after your first name. For example, “the Serena Slam” or my personal favourite, “the Brodie Slam”.
So what of a Rafa slam? Is it slightly less impressive than a Grand Slam? Yes. By a hair width, I’d say. In today’s day in age, a legit Grand Slam is a hell of a lot to ask for. Proof? Mr. Goat himself has never done it.
Don’t kid yourself, a lot needs to happen for a “Rafa slam” and I think it’s a tad ridiculous to be talking about it before it even happens.