What is a golden slam in tennis?

The four biggest tournaments in tennis are referred as the slams or majors. These four tournaments are the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open. The Australian Open and US Open are played on hard courts, Wimbledon on grass and French Open on clay courts. Each of these events offer the winner 2000 ranking points and a chance to permanently etch their names in tennis’ history books.

Tennis had a topsy-turvy start as an Olympic sport. First introduced in the Summer Olympics in 1896, it was soon dropped from the Olympics in 1924. It made a return to Olympics in 1988 after which it became one of the most integral Olympic sports. The introduction of Olympics opened up a chance for the players to complete a Golden Slam. A golden slam can be achieved by a player in one year, within twelve months or across the length of his or her career. A Calendar Golden Slam is achieved by a player when he or she wins all four slams and an Olympic Gold Medal in the same year. A Non-Calendar Golden Slam is won by a player when he or she wins all four slams and an Olympic Gold within twelve months but across two different calendar years.

Steffi Graf is the only player, male or female, to complete the Golden Slam in the same calendar year (1988). The doubles team of Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan completed the Non-Calendar year Golden Slam in 2012-13. A Golden Slam not bound by a year or twelve months is called a Career Golden Slam. This means that a player can achieve this by winning all four slams and the Olympic Gold throughout the length of his or her career. There are 24 players across all disciplines of tennis (men’s and women’s singles, doubles, mixed doubles and wheelchair singles, doubles and mixed doubles) who have managed to complete the Career Golden Slam.

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