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If you’re just starting to follow tennis tournaments, or even if you’ve been enjoying watching the matches for a while, you may have some doubts about what the Grand Slam of tennis is. Is it a championship? Or is it the world tennis championship? Are there several Grand Slams or just one?

To cut to the chase, Grand Slam is the name given to the four most prestigious and coveted events on the professional circuit: Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open.

These championships are worth more points in the ATP rankings, as well as distributing the biggest cash prizes of the season and increasing the prestige of those who win each one.

Now that you have a general idea of what a tennis Grand Slam is, let’s delve deeper into the subject and present the main curiosities about these events. So, read on!

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What does Grand Slam tennis mean?

In the context of tennis, “Grand Slam” refers to the four most important tennis tournaments of the year: the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open. These tournaments offer the biggest cash prizes and a large amount of ATP and WTA ranking points, and are coveted by players because of their historical and cultural prestige.

ATP Ranking Points for a Grand Slam

Winning a Grand Slam means earning a lot of points in the rankings that list the best athletes of the season, such as the ATP (men) and the WTA (women).

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But how many points does an athlete get for winning a tennis Grand Slam? Check out the table below:

  • Champion: 2000 points
  • Runner-up: 1200 points
  • Semi-finalist: 720 points
  • Quarter-finals: 360 points
  • Round of 16: 180 points
  • Third round: 90 points
  • Second round: 45 points
  • First round: 10 points

You don’t necessarily have to be a Grand Slam champion to collect points. With each stage you complete, more points come your way.

This score is also important in determining whether an athlete can take part in a particular competition, whether they can go straight to the main stages or whether they have to go through qualifying stages.

Grand Slam prize money

The prize money varies each year and between tournaments. In 2023, the approximate prize pools were:

The individual champions receive a significant share of the total prize pool, while the other athletes also receive a percentage of the total prize pool, with decreasing distributions for the finalists and other participants.

What are the Grand Slam tournaments in tennis?

The four Grand Slam tournaments are:

  1. Australian Open: Held in Melbourne, Australia, usually in January. Played on hard courts.
  2. Roland Garros (French Open): Held in Paris, France, at the end of May and beginning of June. Played on clay courts.
  3. Wimbledon: Held in London, UK, at the end of June and beginning of July. Played on grass courts.
  4. US Open: Held in New York, USA, at the end of August and beginning of September. Played on hard courts.

What is the format of the Grand Slams?

Tennis Grand Slam tournaments follow a direct elimination format, where players compete in best-of-five sets for men and best-of-three sets for women and doubles. The tournament starts with a 128-player singles bracket and includes doubles and mixed doubles competitions.

The tournaments generally last two weeks and follow a strict schedule to accommodate all the rounds until the finals.

As mentioned, elimination is straightforward, i.e. you lose, you’re out. It’s the classic knockout we’re used to in soccer.

That’s one of the reasons why a tennis Grand Slam is so hotly contested and has such exciting matches – after all, losing is not an option!

List of all tennis Grand Slam winners

Some athletes have gone beyond winning one tennis Grand Slam, and have gone on to win all four in a single season. By the way, Djokovic almost achieved this feat in 2023, when he won the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon, but the US Open went to Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz.

But back to the tennis players who have won all the Grand Slams in the same season:

  • Donald Budge (1938)
  • Maureen Connolly (1953)
  • Rod Laver (1962 e 1969)
  • Margaret Court (1970)
  • Steffi Graf (1988)

In the doubles, some athletes also achieved the feat:

  • Frank Sedgman e Ken McGregor (1951)
  • Margaret Smith e Ken Fletcher (1963)
  • Martina Navratilova e Pam Shriver (1984)

But it doesn’t stop there, because some athletes have won all four Grand Slam titles in a single season, in doubles, but with different partners:

  • Maria Esther Bueno (1960)
  • Owen Davidson (1967)
  • Martina Hingis (1998)

And look at our wonderful Maria Esther Bueno! We’re talking about Brazil’s greatest tennis player, who has won the US Open four times and Wimbledon three times, occupying the top spot in the world rankings, being the only Brazilian to achieve this feat to date.

In men’s tennis, Guga has also held the top spot in the ATP rankings.

In fact, Maria Esther Bueno and Guga are the greatest Brazilian Grand Slam champions in history:

  • Gustavo Kuerten: Three Roland Garros titles (1997, 2000, 2001)
  • Maria Esther Bueno: Seven Grand Slam singles titles (Wimbledon: 1959, 1960, 1964; US Open: 1959, 1963, 1964, 1966)

Greatest Grand Slam champions in history

Winning a tennis Grand Slam is already a difficult task, but the greatest champions in history have amassed dozens of victories, both for men and women.


  • Novak Djokovic: 23 titles
  • Rafael Nadal: 22 titles
  • Roger Federer: 20 titles


  • Margaret Court: 24 titles
  • Serena Williams: 23 titles
  • Steffi Graf: 22 titles

In the table below, we’ve put together the 10 greatest Grand Slam champions in history.

Tennis playerTotal titlesAustralian OpenRoland GarrosWimbledonUS Open
Margaret Court (EUA)2411553
Novak Djokovic (SER)2410374
Serena Williams (EUA)237367
Rafael Nadal (ESP)2221442
Steffi Graff (ALE)224657
Roger Federer (SUI)206158
Helen Wills (EUA)190478
Chris Evert (EUA)182763
Martina Navratilova (CHE)183249
Pete Sampras (EUA)142057

Without a doubt, the Grand Slam tournaments are the most prestigious events in professional tennis, offering big prize money and crucial ranking points, so they continue to be the stage where the world’s greatest tennis players showcase their talent and fight for a place on the podium.

And who do you think will win the next Grand Slam? Get your fans ready!

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