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The Glam Around Slams

Roy Emerson and Novak Djokovic (6) among men and Margaret Court (11) among women have won the Australian Open most number of times.

Roy Emerson and Novak Djokovic (6) among men and Margaret Court (11) among women have won the Australian Open most number of times.  

When you think of tennis, you think of the four Grand Slam events held every year - Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open. It’s not just us viewers who place these four tournaments in a different pedestal, but the players playing the sport also prioritise these over the others.

As we get caught into the frenzy surrounding this year’s first Grand Slam event, let’s pause and have a look at what makes these events click. From playing surface to prize money, founding year to most recent winners, we highlight some of the salient facts that create the aura around these events.

And if that isn’t enough, we dig into the tennis troves to tell you who has won these tournaments maximum number of times as we strip down the tennis court, end to end. So what are you waiting for? The game is on and it is love all!

Australian Open

Founded 1905

When is it held? Last fortnight of January

Where? Melbourne, Australia

Venue Melbourne Park

About the playing surface

Held in grass from its inception in 1905 to 1987, the Melbourne Park has seen two types of hardcourt surfaces since then.

While Rebound Ace was used from 1988 to 2007, Plexicushion has been employed from 2008. A cushioned hardcourt, the green Rebound Ace is composed of polyurethane rubber, fiberglass and other materials. The “True Blue” Plexicushion courts are acrylic-based that combine consistent bounce and excellent durability along with sure footing for the players.

Men’s singles champion (2016) Novak Djokovic

Women’s singles champion (2016) Angelique Kerber

Total prize money (2016) 44 million AUD

Most men’s singles titles Roy Emerson and Novak Djokovic (6)

Most women’s singles titles Margaret Court (11)

The Glam Around Slams

French Open or Roland Garros

Founded 1891

When is it held? Two weeks between late May and early June

Where? Paris, France

Venue Stade Roland Garros (since 1928)

About the playing surface

Right from the beginning - even when the tournament was only open to players who were members of French clubs - this tournament has been played on a clay court. Clay surfaces slow down the ball and produce greater bounce, when compared to grass courts or hardcourts. As a result, these surfaces can often be physically more demanding on the contestants.

Men’s singles champion (2016) Novak Djokovic

Women’s singles champion (2016) Garbine Muguruza

Total prize money (2016) 32.02 million euros

Most men’s singles titles Rafael Nadal (9)

Most women’s singles titles Chris Evert (7)

The Glam Around Slams

Wimbledon or The Championships, Wimbledon

Founded 1877 (oldest tennis tournament in the world)

When is it held? Two weeks between late June and early July

Where? London, England

Venue The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

About the playing surface

The Wimbledon has always been played on grass courts. With the US Open switching from grass courts in 1975 and Australian open moving to hardcourts in 1988, the Wimbledon is now the only Grand Slam to be played on grass courts.

Since the start of this century, Wimbledon has taken to 100 per cent rye grass that is mowed down to the optimum playing level of 8mm before play begins.

Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam that has a day free of play during the tournament. This is because the day off - the Middle Sunday - gives the ground staff a chance to tend to the grass and get them ready for the second week.

Men’s singles champion (2016) Andy Murray

Women’s singles champion (2016) Serena Williams

Total prize money (2016) 28.1 million GBP

Most men’s singles titles William Renshaw, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer (7)

Most women’s singles titles Martina Navratilova (9)

The Glam Around Slams

US Open

Founded 1881

When is it held? Starting on the last Monday in August, two weeks - running into September

Where? New York, United States of America

Venue USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

About the playing surface

For nearly a century from when the tournament began, the US Open was also a grass court tournament. But then, two switches came in quick succession.

The grass courts were changed to clay for the 1975 tournament and it was in 1975 when floodlights allowed for night play for the first time as well. While the floodlights proved to be an innovation that stood the test of time, clay courts lasted only till 1977.

From 1978 onwards, the US Open has been played on hardcourts. DecoTurf uses layers of acrylic, rubber, silica and other materials on top of the base that is constructed with asphalt or concrete. The DecoTurf hardcourt at the US Open are known for their consistent speed of play and ball bounce, and now sports blue inner courts and green outer courts.

Men’s singles champion (2016) Stanislas Wawrinka

Women’s singles champion (2016) Angelique Kerber

Total prize money (2016) 46.3 million USD

Most men’s singles titles Richard Sears, Bill Larned and Bill Tilden (7)

Most women’s singles titles Molla Bjurstedt Mallory (8)

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 7:53:06 PM |

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