Tennis has many tournaments in each season or year, but there are only four tournaments that mean the most to players who desire praise. The four Grand Slam tournaments are the Australian Open, the French Open, the Championships Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open. Let me tell you a little bit about the history of each of these four glorious events of tennis. First up, the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open. It has been played in seven different locations since 1905, when it was first played on grass. In 1988, the surface changed to hard courts, and the location of the Grand Slam stayed permanently in Melbourne, Australia. And here is a twist: the Australian Open was not even a Grand Slam until 1924! Since this tournament is played in the summertime of the southern hemisphere, there is a extreme-heat policy, since the temperatures can reach dangerous levels that could harm players.
Next up is the French Open, also known as Roland Garros, which is played in the city of love: Paris, France. This event has been played in four different venues since it started in 1891, (1897 for the women), and it was not official a Grand Slam tournament until 1925, when it was known as the French Championships. The French Open played on clay, is usually played around the end of May, and carries on for two weeks, just like all of the other Grand Slam tournaments. There was talk in 2010 about the French Open venue, as it was thought as being too small, and there was talk that it would be played in a bigger venue, but the rumors were put to a halt when the French Tennis Federation decided to keep the venue and build bigger stadiums, as well as build a roof on the main stadium.
The third Grand Slam of the year is quite special, as it is played on grass that is mowed down to a length on 8 millimeters! This event is called The Championships Wimbledon, or simply Wimbledon, and is played in Wimbledon, London, England. Here are some cool facts about this Grand Slam: it is sometimes called SW19, because that is the post code of the area where Wimbledon’s venue is, which is the All England Club; the event started all the back at 1877; and Wimbledon was not played twice in its history, due to the outbreak of Word War I and Word War II. Wimbledon has had a roof since 2009, when it was decided that at least one court, the main stadium, should have a roof due to the annual rain reports at the tournament.
The last Grand Slam of the year is the U.S. Open, which is held in the Big Apple: New York, USA. Some fun facts about it are that it was first held in 1881 the state of Rhode Island; the U.S. Open has been played on three different surfaces, grass, then clay, then hard, in its history; it is held every year for two weeks, with one week before the Labor Day weekend, and one week after; and the main stadium of the venue is Arthur Ashe Stadium, which is the largest outdoor tennis-only stadium in the world!
The Grand Slams have a great history behind them, and that is why the history of these great tournaments is well worth knowing!