To win a Grand Slam title is something every tennis player dreams of from the day they starting swinging their racquet.
Despite the difficulty of winning a Grand Slam tournament, a number of names have dominated on the biggest stage throughout the years.
The past two decades have in particular seen a number of names cement their place in history by winning a record number of Grand Slam titles.
In 2023, the battle for that records looks set to continue despite Roger Federer’s retirement.
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What are the four Grand Slam tournaments?
In running order, the four Grand Slam events held each year are the: Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open.
The French Open is played on clay, Wimbledon on grass and remaining two are competed on hard courts.
Wimbledon is the oldest Grand Slam event, founded in 1877, followed by the US Open four years later, the French Open in 1891, and the Australian Open in 1905.
Who has won the most Grand Slam titles?
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Margaret Court currently hold the record for most Grand Slam titles in their respective singles fields.
Nadal became the sole holder of the men’s singles record after edging past Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic with his 2022 Australian Open triumph. He then extended his lead at the French Open, before Djokovic pulled back within one at Wimbledon.
Djokovic’s triumph in the 2023 Australian Open final where he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas saw him draw level with Nadal at the top of the men’s standings.
Swiss icon Federer will not have the chance to add to his Grand Slam haul after announcing his retirement following the Laver Cup in September 2022.
Court, meanwhile, looked set to be caught by Serena Williams but the American failed to win any of her last four Grand Slam finals and like Federer, recently retired from the sport.
Most Grand Slam titles won by a player in men’s singles
|Player||Grand Slam titles|
*Active players have been bolded
Most Grand Slam titles won by a player in women’s singles
|Player||Grand Slam titles|
|Billie Jean King||12|
Who has won all four Grand Slams in the same year?
The term ‘Grand Slam’ actually relates to the achievement of winning all four tournaments in the same year.
Winning one title is hard enough, but winning all four straight is extremely difficult.
American Don Budge was the first to achieve a Grand Slam in 1938, with Australian Rod Laver the only other men’s singles player to repeat the feat.
Maureen Connolly was the first woman to pull it off in women’s singles when she did so in 1953. Margaret Court and Steffi Graf are the only other players to have done the same since.
Dylan Alcott was the last player to complete a Grand Slam in 2021 when he did so in the wheelchair quad singles.
What is a Golden Slam and who has completed it?
If a Grand Slam wasn’t rare enough, a Golden Slam requires players to also win Olympic gold on top of the four Grand Slam events in the same year.
Steffi Graf was the first to complete a Golden Slam in 1988, with only wheelchair players Diede de Groot and Dylan Alcott managing to replicate the feat since.