Grand Slam Tennis – What is a Grand Slam and how to apply it ?!

Dear friends here is an interesting text from “SPORTBIKE CENTRALE” that is worth reading.

When Rafael Nadal arrived in Melbourne in January 2011, everyone was just talking about how he could become the first tennis player after Don Badge and Rod Laver to win the Grand Slam.

Tennis fans and connoisseurs have often been at loggerheads over what the term “Grand Slam” really means, with some claiming it only refers to the four biggest tournaments won during the same year, while others have convinced everyone around them how it is. in fact, the tennis player who holds all four Grand Slam titles at the same time is the one who is said to have won the Grand Slam, regardless of when the series began, or whether it started and ended in the same calendar year.

Confirmation of this second theory was established by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), which in 1980 introduced a special bonus of one million dollars (three million in today’s dollars) for a player who holds the titles of all four Grand Slam tournaments at the same time.

So before the Australian Open in 2011, Rafa was told:

– After Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and the US Open last year, Nadal could become only the third player in history to win all four titles by winning the Australian Open. Many traditionalists continue to insist that the term “Grand Slam” should refer only to winning all four titles in the same calendar year. However, even the ITF believes that “players who hold all four titles at the same time win the Grand Slam,” wrote Paul Newman, then co-president of the International Tennis Association.

Rafa did not manage to win the fourth Grand Slam, as his compatriot David Ferrer was better than him in the quarterfinals.

However, a year later, after winning the Australian Open, another player was on the best path to holding all four Grand Slam titles at the same time – Novak Djokovic.

The Serbian tennis player had an incredible season in 2011, became the best player in the world and completely broke the “Federal” duopoly at the top. ITF officials, allegedly under great pressure from Western journalists from influential media, therefore decided to set a real precedent and change the official definition of the Grand Slam sooner or later.

Instead of the previous definition that the Grand Slam was won by a player who holds all four titles from the biggest tournaments in Australia, France, England, and America, the ITF changed this rule in its rules in March or April 2012, adding “in one calendar year”. Thus, the eventual success of Djokovic at Roland Garros in 2012 was devalued, although, in the end, Novak did not even manage to win the title in Paris at that time. It remains unknown who initiated the change, as well as a detailed explanation of why it came about in vain.

However, what he failed to do in 2012, Djokovic did in 2016, when after Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open, he finally won Roland Garros. He thus became only the third player in the entire history of men’s tennis to succeed. In addition, Don Badge succeeded back in 1938, when tennis was not what it is today, and Rod Laver for the first time in 1962, when tennis was still not a fully professional sport.

The legendary Laver repeated this success in 1969, when the “Open Era” (professionalism in tennis) had already begun and when the world’s best players could participate in all major tournaments.

From 1969 until 2016, no player managed to do that anymore, until Novak Djokovic appeared on the scene. Whatever the official terminology of the International Tennis Federation regarding the Grand Slam, the fact is that Novak’s feat is the biggest event not only in the last tennis season but also in the past 47 tennis years.

Despite this historic success, the Western media did not want Novak to be “starred”. At the end of the year, a large number of lists of “the greatest sporting successes in 2016” appeared. but Djokovic was not on them. The New York Times even cited Djokovic’s Grand Slam as one of the biggest sporting successes in 2016, only to change the article shortly afterward and devalue the story into the mere “final conquest of Roland Garros by Djokovic.”

Other major American media outlets such as USA Today, Sports Illustrated, or the specialized Tennis Channel did not even mention Djokovic in the context of the simultaneous polishing of all four Grand Slam trophies.

The situation was no better in England either, while only the free (but also circulation) “Metro” counted Djokovic’s cups among the greatest sports stories from last year. The London “Times”, “Independent” or “Guardian” ignored what the Serbian tennis player achieved, although when Roger Federer was in a situation where he was missing only one trophy for the Grand Slam, they called it “almost a mythical success”.

We could hardly have expected anything else from the Western media, but it is precise because of that that the shocking fact is that the International Tennis Federation got its fingers in the whole story, in order to belittle Novak’s successes in some way.

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