What is a Grand Slam in Tennis?

By Lin
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A grand slam in tennis is winning all four major tournament championships in a calendar year, including Australia Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and US Open. Despite the fact that grand slams are relatively rare among the world’s greatest tennis players, it is commonly used as a synonym for any of the four tournaments. 

Table of Contents

Who has completed a Grand Slam?

  • Don Budge in 1938
  • Maureen Connolly in 1953
  • Rod Laver in 1962 & 1969
  • Margaret Court in 1970
  • Steffi Graf in 1988

What is a Career Grand Slam in tennis?

A player who wins all four major tournaments—the Australia Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and US Open—during their career is said to have achieved a Career Grand Slam. 

Who has completed the Career Grand Slam?


  • Fred Perry, 1935
  • Don Budge, 1938
  • Roy Emerson, 1964
  • Rod Laver, 1962
  • Andre Agassi, 1999
  • Roger Federer, 2009
  • Rafael Nadal, 2010
  • Novak Djokovic, 2016


  • Maureen Connolly, 1953
  • Doris Hart, 1954
  • Shirley Fry Irvin, 1957
  • Margaret Court, 1963
  • Billie Jean King, 1972
  • Chris Evert, 1982
  • Martina Navratilova, 1983
  • Steffi Graf, 1988
  • Serena Williams, 2003
  • Maria Sharapova. 2012

Grand Slam Tournaments Schedule

Each of the four major championships will be staged from January to September. The Australian Open and the US Open are held on hard courts, while the French Open and Wimbledon are held on clay and grass, respectively. 

Australia Open

Australia open stadium
Photo Credit: Scott Barbour

The Australian Open has been hosted at Melbourne Park since 1988, and is the first of the four Grand Slams on the calendar – held every January.

Novak Djokovic has been crowned singles champion the most, with 9 titles between 2008 and 2021. Margaret Court is by far and away the most prolific singles champion with 11 victories, 7 in the amateur era and 4 in the open Eras.

Roland Garros

french open stadium
Photo Credit: Twitter

Roland Garros, unofficially known as the French Open, is held over two weeks at the Stade Roland Garros and usually takes place in late May each year. 

Rafael Nadal firmly established himself as the King of Clay by collecting 14 titles at the tournament between 2005 and 2022. Chris Evert has won the most Roland Garros titles with seven, closely followed by Steffi Graf’s six.


wimbledon stadium
Photo Credit: Twitter

Wimbledon is the world’s oldest tennis tournament since 1877 and is considered the most prestigious tournament by many people. It’s held from late June to early July for over two weeks.

Roger Federer won a record eighth men’s singles title in 2017, closely followed by William Renshaw and Pete Sampras with a record of seven. Martina Navratilova has won a record of 9 titles between 1978 and 1990 followed by Steffi Graf and Serena Williams (both seven).

US Open

us open open stadium
Photo Credit: Twitter

The U.S. Open takes place from late August to early September and is the last of the four major tournaments every year. It is the only Grand Slam tournament that has been held annually since its inception, as well as the USA’s second-oldest major sports event.

Three U.S. tennis professionals share the record for seven singles titles, which includes Richard Sears, Bill Larned, and Bill Tilden. Helen Wills set the record for most singles titles (7) prior to the open era, which is still unmatched. Christ Evert and Serena Williams share the record for most singles titles (6). 

If you want to know more about the pros and cons of each court surface of the tournament? Check out our article on Types of Tennis Courts.

Most Grand Slam Singles Titles (Men)

NameNumber of Titles
Rafael Nadal22
Novak Djokovic21
Roger Federer20
Pete Sampras14
Roy Emerson12
Björn Borg11
Rod Laver11
Bill Tilden10
Ken Rosewall8
Andre Agassi8
Jimmy Connors8
Ivan Lendl8
Fred Perry8
John McEnroe7
John Newcombe7

Most Grand Slam Singles Titles (Women)

NameNumber of Titles
Margaret Court24
Serena Williams23
Steffi Graff22
Helen Wills19
Martina Navratilova18
Chris Evert18
Billie Jean King12
Monica Seles9
Maureen Connolly9
Nancye Wynne Bolton6
Suzanne Lenglen8
Molla Bjurstedt Mallory8
Justine Henin7
Venus Williams7
Evonne Goolagong7

Related Grand Slam Tournament Achievements

Boxed set

Winning one of every possible major title in the singles, doubles, and mixed doubles disciplines throughout a player’s career

Players achieved the feat: Doris Hart, Margaret Court (twice), and Martina Navratilova

Golden slam

A player who wins all four Grand Slam tournaments and the Olympic gold medal in a calendar year. Steffi Grad is the only tennis player who achieved the Golden Slam in 1988.

Career Golden Slam

A player who wins all four Grand Slam tournaments and the Olympic gold medal during his or her career.

Players achieved the feat: Steffi Graf, Andre Agassi, Serena Williams (twice), and Rafael Nadal.

Career Super slam

Win the Golden Slam and Year-end Championship title in during a player’s career.

Players achieved the feat: Steffi Graf, Andre Agassi, and Serena Williams.

Three-Quarter Slam

Win three of the four majors in the same year, missing out on the Grand Slam by only one title.

Players achieved the feat: Jack Crawford, Don Budge, Lew Hoad, Rod Laver, Novak Djokovic, Mats Wilander, Fred Perry, Ashley Cooper, Roy Emerson, Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer, Tony Trabert, Rafael Nadal, Maureen Connolly, Margaret Court, Steffi Graf, Serena Williams, Monica Seles, Martina Navratilova, Martina Hingis, Helen Wills, Billie Jean King.

Surface slam

A player who wins a major title on each of those three current surfaces in a calendar year 

Players achieved the feat: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, and Serena Williams.

Channel slam

Players who win the French Open and Wimbledon championships in the same year are so-called channel slam. Because Wimbledon begins several weeks after the French Open ends, players who make it deep into the French Open have little time to recover psychologically and physically or to adjust to the different surface conditions of Wimbledon. 

Players achieved the feat: René Lacoste, Jack Crawford, Fred Perry, Don Budge, Budge Patty, Tony Trabert, Lew Hoad, Rod Laver (twice), Björn Borg(triple), Rafael Nadal(twice), Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Suzanne Lenglen, Helen Wills, Maureen Connolly, Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Serena Williams

What’s Next

Since the open era of tennis began in 1968, it has become harder to capture the Grand Slam. In my opinion, the two records that are the most significant in a player’s career are the Grand Slam and the number of Grand Slam titles. To achieve the former, a player must triumph in all four majors in the same year, while the latter refers to how many Grand Slams they have won throughout their career. 

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Editor of All Points Tennis and a huge Roger Federer fan, I've spent countless hours studying his moves, especially his forehand and one-handed backhand. I also love writing about all the technical stuff like rackets and strings. I'm super pumped to share my insights with fellow tennis lovers here.