What is a Grand Slam in Tennis & Who Has Won One?

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If you’ve ever watched, played or been around tennis in any capacity, the chances are you’ve heard of a Grand Slam.

But, what is a Grand Slam in tennis anyway?

Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to take a closer look at Grand Slams, who has won them and work out exactly what that means.

Let’s get to it.

What is a Grand Slam in Tennis?

The term “Grand Slam” was originally used to describe the achievement of winning all four major tennis championships within 1 calendar season. These four championships are:

As time progressed, each of these 4 tournaments (also called Majors) became known as Grand Slam events.

It’s also worth mentioning that to win a Grand Slam, you must win all 4 events in the same form of competition, whether that’s single or doubles, mixed double etc…

Types of Grand Slams & Other Slams

Season Grand Slam

This is the most prestigious type of Grand Slam, where a competitor must win all 4 major tournaments in one calendar year.

Career Grand Slam

As the name suggests, this is where a tennis player wins all 4 Grand Slam events throughout their career. While lest prestigious, still a major achievement.

Three-Quarter Slam

For those unfortunate enough to miss out on a Grand Slam by one tournament, they are still rewarded with what is known as a three-quarter slam. Named for obvious reasons, this is where three out of the 4 major Grand Slam events are won by a player or doubles pair in the same calendar season.

Golden Slam (Calendar and Career)

The Golden Slam takes things to the next level, requiring a player to win both all 4 Grand Slam events, as well as winning gold in the Olympics. For obvious reasons, this can only happen every 4 years, making it one of the hardest achievements in sports.

Super Slam (Calendar and Career)

Another notorious slam is the Super Slam, which comes once every blue moon…at the least. This requires a player to win all 4 Grand Slam events, Olympic Gold and the year-end championship (ATP Finals for men and WTA Finals for women).

Boxed Set Slam

Another ridiculous, yet achievable slam is the Boxed Set Slam. This requires an individual to win all 4 Grand Slam events in singles, doubles and mixed doubles… that’s a lot of winning.

Grand Slam Winners

Right then, who has won a Grand Slam in tennis?

Below you’ll find a list of athletes who have managed to achieve the variety of different slams you’ll find in tennis.

Calendar Grand Slam Winners

Singles

NameDate
Don Budge1938
Maureen Connolly1953
Rod Laver X21962 & 1969
Margaret Smith Court1970
Steffi Graf1988

Don Budge was the first tennis player to win all four major events in the same calendar year.

Interestingly, the term “Grand Slam” was created 5 years earlier, when Jack Crawford faced Fred Perry in the final of the US Open. Should Crawford have won that match, he would have been crowned the first Grand Slam winner.

Leading up to the match, the term Grand Slam was first used to describe the feat, should Crawford have beaten Perry.

It’s also worth noting here that Margaret Court currently holds the record for the most Women’s Grand Slam event wins, with 24 in total. She is closely followed by Serena Williams, who has won a total of 23 Grand Slam events.

Doubles

NamesDate
Frank Sedgman & Ken McGregor1951
Marina Bueno & Two Teammates*1960
Martina Navratilova & Pam Shriver1984
Martina Hingis & Two Teammates**1998

*Marina Bueno won the Grand Slam in 1960 playing with two different team mates. These were Christine Truman Janes and Darlene Hard. Bueno won the Australian Open with Truman Janes, whilst winning the remaining Grand Slam events with Darlene Hard.

**Martina Hingis won the Grand Slam in 1998 playing alongside two different teammates. She won the Australian open with Croatia’s Mirjana Lučić and the remaining 3 events with Jana Novotná.

Mixed Doubles

NamesDate
Margaret Smith & Ken Fletcher1963
Owen Davidson & Two Teammates*1967

Owen Davidson won the Australian Open with Lesley Turner Bowrey and won the remaining three events with Billie Jean King.

Wheelchair Tennis

NamesDate
Esther Vergeer & Korie Homan2009
Esther Vergeer & Sharon Walraven2011
Aniek van Koot & Jiske Griffioen2013
Stéphane Houdet & Two Teammates*2014
Yui Kamiji & Jordanne Whiley2014
Diede de Groot & Aniek van Koot2019

No singles wheelchair tennis players have currently won a Grand Slam. While a number of players have achieved a three-quarter Slam, a full Grand Slam is yet to be one in singles wheelchair tennis.

*Stéphane Houdet won the 2014 doubles Grand Slam playing alongside Joachim Gérard for the French Open and Japan’s Shingo Kunieda for the other three events.

Career Grand Slam Winners

It’s worth noting here that the date stated below is the date that they won the 4th of the 4 Grand Slam events in their career.

So let’s take a look at which tennis players have managed to win a career Grand Slam.

Men’s Singles

NameDate
Fred Perry1935
Don Budge1938
Rod Laver*1962
Roy Emerson*1964
Andre Agassi1999
Roger Federer2009
Rafael Nadal2010
Novak Djokovic2016

*Rod Laver and Roy Emerson are the only men’s singles tennis players to have won two career Grand Slams at the time of writing.

Women’s Singles

NameDate
Doris Hart1954
Shirley Fry1957
Billie Jean King1972
Chris Evert1982
Martina Navratilova1983
Serena Williams2003
Maria Sharapova2013

Men’s Doubles

NameDate
Adrian Quist1939
Frank Sedgman1951
Ken McGregor1951
Lew Hoad1956
Ken Rosewall1956
Neale Fraser1959
Fred Stolle1965
John Newcombe1967
Tony Roche1967
Bob Hewitt1977
John Fitzgerald1989
Anders Järryd1989
Jacco Eltingh1998
Paul Haarhuis1998
Mark Woodforde2000
Todd Woodbridge2000
Jonas Björkman2005
Bob Bryan2006
Mike Bryan2006
Daniel Nestor2008
Leander Paes2012
Pierre-Hugues Herbert2019
Nicolas Mahut2019

A total of 23 players have won a Career Grand Slam in men’s doubles. Adrian Quist was the first person to win a Career Grand Slam in men’s doubles. Winning the US Open in 1939 marked the achievement for Quist.

The Bryan Brothers, Bob, and Mike currently own the record for the most Grand Slam doubles titles per team, clocking in a whopping 17 titles, 7 of which were won consecutively.

Women’s Doubles

21 female tennis players have been able to add the doubles career Grand Slam to their accolades. These include Doris Hart, Shirley Fry, Pam Shriver, and more recently, the Williams sisters, Serena and Venus.

Louise Brough Clapp was the first tennis player to win all 4 Grand Slam events in women’s doubles. She achieved this by winning the Australian Open in 1950, playing alongside Dorris Hart.

Mixed Doubles

In terms of mixed doubles, a total of 17 tennis players have won the career Grand Slam. These include Martina Navratilova (2003), Martina Hingis and Leander Paes.

what is a grand slam in tennis

Three-Quarter Slam (Calendar)

We’ll just be taking a look at who has won a three-quarter slam in the same calendar season, otherwise the list would be insanely long.

Men’s Singles

NameDateGand Slams Won
Jack Crawford1933Australian, French, Wimbledon
Fred Perry1934Australian, Wimbledon, U.S
Tony Trabert1955French, Wimbledon, U.S
Lew Hoad1956Australian, French, Wimbledon
Ashley Cooper1958Australian, Wimbledon, U.S
Roy Emerson1964Australian, Wimbledon, U.S
Jimmy Connors1974Australian, Wimbledon, U.S
Mats Wilander1988Australian, French, U.S
Roger Federer2004Australian, Wimbledon, U.S
Roger Federer2006Australian, Wimbledon, U.S
Roger Federer2007Australian, Wimbledon, U.S
Rafael Nadal2010French, Wimbledon, U.S.)
Novak Djokovic2011Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open
Novak Djokovic2015Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open

As you can see, as of recent years, Djokovic has come close to winning a Calendar Grand Slam a couple of times, however has just fallen short at the French Open, to the king of clay himself, Nadal.

If anyone is going to win a Calendar Grand Slam in the coming years, my money would be on Djokovic. He’s won on clay before, and can definitely do it again.

Women’s Singles

Below is a list of women’s tennis players, from all eras who have won the three-quarter slam in a single calendar season.

NameDateGrand Slams Won
Helen Wills Moody1928French, Wimbledon, U.S
Margaret Smith1962Australian, French, U.S
Margaret Smith1965Australian, Wimbledon, U.S
Margaret Smith1969Australian, French, U.S
Billie Jean King1972French, Wimbledon, U.S
Margaret Smit1973Australian, French, U.S
Martina Navratilova1983Australian, Wimbledon, U.S
Steffi Graf1989Australian, Wimbledon, U.S
Monica Seles1991Australian, French, U.S
Monica Seles1992Australian, French, U.S
Steffi Graf1993French, Wimbledon, U.S
Steffi Graf1995French, Wimbledon, U.S
Steffi Graf1996French, Wimbledon, U.S
Martina Hingis1997Australian, Wimbledon, U.S
Serena Williams2002French, Wimbledon, U.S
Serena Williams2015Australian, French, Wimbledon

Don’t feel too bad for Steffi Graf coming close to a Calendar Grand Slam on three separate occasions. She managed to achieve this in 1988 when she was finally able to conquer the Australian open alongside the other 3 Majors.

what is a grand slam in tennis

Golden Slam Winners

Just as a quick refresher, a Golden Slam winner is someone who has achieved a Grand Slam as well as won an Olympic Gold medal.

Only one tennis player, Steffi Graf, has been able to achieve a Calendar Golden Slam. She did this in 1988, winning all 4 of the Majors as well as the Seoul Olympics – absolutely incredible.

Other players who have managed to achieve a Career Golden Slam are as follows.

Singles

It’s worth noting that the dates specified below, are the dates that the players achieved their Golden Slam by winning the last tournament out of the 5 required.

NameDate
Andre Agassi1999 by winning French Open
Rafael Nadal2010 by winning US Open
Serena Williams2012 by winning the Olympics

Doubles

NameDate
Pam Shriver1988 by winning the Olympics
Gigi Fernandez1993 by winning Australian Open
Daniel Nestor2008 by winning the Wimbledon
Bob & Make Bryan2012 by winning the Olympics
Serena & Venus Williams2001 by winning Australian Open
Tod Woodbridge2000 by winning the French Open
Mark Woodforde2000 by winning the French Open

Serena Williams is the only tennis player to have one the career Golden Slam in both singles and doubles tennis. This is an incredible achievement, one that we’re not likely to see again for a long time.

Super Slam Winners

Before we dive into this section, it’s worth mentioning that no tennis player has managed to win a Calendar Super Slam. With that in mind, the players listed below have managed to achieve a Super Slam throughout the duration of their career.

The closest any player has come to a Calendar Super Slam, was when Steffi Graf was able to win all required tournaments within a 12-month period. These were won in different calendar seasons however, meaning that the Graf wasn’t able to add the Calendar Super Slam to her list of remarkable achievements. Still though, winning any kind of Super Slam is nothing short of incredible.

Singles

NameDate
Andre Agassi1999 by winning French Open
Serena Williams2012 by winning the Olympics

Doubles

NameDate
Pam Shriver1998 by winning the Olympics
Gigi Fernández1993 by winning WTA Year End
Todd Woodbridge2000 by winning the French Open
Mark Woodforde2000 by winning the French Open
Daniel Nestor2008 by winning Wimbledon
Bob & Mike Bryan2012 by winning the Olympics

Boxed Set Slam

Lastly we have the Boxed Set Slam, which requires a player to win all 4 Majors in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. No male tennis player has ever achieved this, however 3 women’s players have managed to do complete the Boxed Set Slam. These are:

  • Margaret Court
  • Doris Hart
  • Martina Navratilova

In recent memory, Serena Williams is the closet to achieving the Boxed Set Slam. The only 2 championships she has not won are the mixed doubles at the French and Australian Opens.

Final Thoughts

There we have it folks. Hopefully you’ve got a better idea of what a Grand Slam in tennis is, as well as a good understanding of who has won a Grand Slam in tennis.

If you’ve got any questions at all, please feel free to get in touch via the comment seciton below.

Thanks for stopping by.

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