Tennis Grand Slam Competitions

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The four Grand Slam championships, or Majors (Australian Open, French Open, US Open and Wimbledon), are without doubt the most important tennis events of the year. The term Grand Slam refers to a victory in all four tournaments gained by a player or a doubles team in the same year. A Non-Calendar Year Grand Slam is four consecutive wins, but not in the same year; and a Career Grand Slam is winning all four at some point of a tennis career.

The first tennis tournament ever played in Australia (called the Championship of the Colony of Victoria) was held in January 1880, on the courts of the Melbourne Cricket Club. In 1905, the Australasian Tennis Championship was established at the Warehouseman's Cricket Ground in Melbourne. It became the Australian Championship in 1927 and the Australian Open in 1969. Women's events were added in 1922. The Australian Open is a tennis grand slam tournament, the first one to be conducted every year.

The French Open, officially known as Roland Garros (after the name of the venue), is a tennis tournament held over two weeks between mid-May and early June in Paris, France. What differs this event from other tennis championships, is that it takes place on a clay court. The very first French Championship was held way back in 1891; it was a poorly attended one-day event. It took 34 years before the competition became fully international and an accepted tennis grand slam event. In 1928, the tournament was moved to its current home, Roland Garros.

In 1881 the US Open, initially known as the US National Singles Championship, was first held at the Newport Casino. The competitors were all male; Richard Sears was the first men’s singles champion who won first seven consecutive championships. In 1887, the first US Women's National Singles was held at the Philadelphia Cricket Club; two years later a women's doubles championship was established, and in 1892, the first mixed doubles championship was held. Nowadays US Open is a hugely popular event with millions of fans worldwide and thousands of usopen tickets sold each year.

The Wimbledon is the oldest and the most prestigious of Grand Slam tournaments according to public attention and prize-money awarded. In 1875, the first tennis court was built at Wimbledon’s All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club (previously All England Croquet Club). Two years later the club hosted the first tennis championship in history, which was such a success, that it was immediately accepted as Britain’s national championship and a tennis grand slam. The men's doubles event was added in 1879, ladies' singles in 1884, and ladies' doubles and mixed doubles in 1913.

Premiere tennis grand slam wasn’t won until 1938 by Donald Budge. It’s worth mentioning that Martina Navratilova won six consecutive premiere tennis grand slam tournaments, and Serena Williams won four consecutive grand slams. The first Wimbledon final was attended by two hundred spectators who paid a shilling apiece to watch the game; to compare, nowadays the price of usopen tickets can go as high as $5000. And the popularity of this sport keeps growing.

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