PDA

View Full Version : Grand slam and grand slam?


Tenny
01-10-2005, 10:47 AM
When you win all four of the grand slams, you win THE Grand slam? I now what they mean but it's still confusing to me. Why don't they call it THE grand slam 'Great slam' or 'Super slam' or something?

T.

norcal
01-10-2005, 10:59 AM
Agassi has the 'career' slam.

Craig Sheppard
01-10-2005, 11:33 AM
There's no need to give it another name, because there is only one Grand Slam. If you win just Wimbledon, you don't win a grand slam. The players are so moronic they don't even know this anymore. I can expect casual fans to get this mixed up, but not players. Grand Slam has ONE and ONLY ONE meaning. The four tournaments comprising a Grand Slam are known as MAJORS. If you win Wimbledon, Roland Garros, US Open, or Aussie Open, you've won a major tournament, or simply major. If you win all 4 majors in one year, you've won the Grand Slam.

Craig

Tenny
01-10-2005, 11:54 AM
The four tournaments comprising a Grand Slam are known as MAJORS. If you win Wimbledon, Roland Garros, US Open, or Aussie Open, you've won a major tournament, or simply major. If you win all 4 majors in one year, you've won the Grand Slam.
Craig

Craig,

That's what I thought. I think it's confusing many times people would say or write like this : Pete Sampras, the winner of 14 grand slam titles...instead of 14 major titles.

Craig Sheppard
01-10-2005, 12:14 PM
Exactly Tenny, you're right it should be 14 majors. The media started misusing the phrase at some point and now it has stuck all over the place. I'm not sure when it really started being misused, but I remember growing up in the 80s and 90s hearing "majors" and then all of a sudden in the late '90s and '00s it was "grand slams". It's just not correct.

It does cause confusion for casual fans, because they hear that Pete won 14 "grand slams" according to the media, and then they hear Steffi Graf won a Grand Slam in '88. So they think Steffi's achievement isn't such a big deal, since Pete won 14. But it's a huge distinction of course. And all because some sportswriters who don't know tennis misused the phrase.

Craig

el_mago
01-10-2005, 12:24 PM
Exactly Tenny, you're right it should be 14 majors. The media started misusing the phrase at some point and now it has stuck all over the place. I'm not sure when it really started being misused, but I remember growing up in the 80s and 90s hearing "majors" and then all of a sudden in the late '90s and '00s it was "grand slams". It's just not correct.

It does cause confusion for casual fans, because they hear that Pete won 14 "grand slams" according to the media, and then they hear Steffi Graf won a Grand Slam in '88. So they think Steffi's achievement isn't such a big deal, since Pete won 14. But it's a huge distinction of course. And all because some sportswriters who don't know tennis misused the phrase.

Craig

Exactly, Grand Slam is winning all four in the same calendar year. If you just win one, you say" they won a slam or a major".

rhubarb
01-11-2005, 05:20 AM
The four tournaments comprising a Grand Slam are known as MAJORS.

Don't agree! To me, "major" is golfing terminology, and there it should stay.
Grand Slam tournaments are exactly that: Grand Slam tournaments.

Nobody with any knowledge of tennis would confuse a (calendar-year) Grand Slam with an individual tournament. It's usually completely clear from the context.

Craig Sheppard
01-11-2005, 06:01 AM
Don't agree! To me, "major" is golfing terminology, and there it should stay.

That is true, golf also uses the terminology. It has not always been a golfing term however. Just to either prove or disprove my point: which decade did you start following tennis?

rhubarb
01-11-2005, 06:44 AM
I started following tennis in the 70s, and I'm not in the US. That probably makes the difference. I'm aware that the word is used in the tennis environment, but still find it a reasonably "foreign" concept.

Craig Sheppard
01-11-2005, 07:59 AM
OOoooo throw me a curve with the international part. Not sure about that then, I grew up watching tennis in the US during the '80s. Well, call it what you will. They're majors to me, each of which is only a quarter of a Grand Slam.

Craig

Camilio Pascual
01-11-2005, 09:20 AM
If you win all 4 majors in one year, you've won the Grand Slam.Craig

Nice post, but there isn't agreement even on this. You'll have the majority agreeing with you, but I say winning 4 Majors in a row constitutes a Grand Slam even though it is not a Calendar Slam. Serena has won the Grand Slam. My argument against the conventional definition of a Grand Slam ...Martina Navratilova, another Grand Slam winner. The fact that she won 6 Majors in a row and people don't credit her with a Grand Slam makes the definition of one...not so grand. So, those of you who disagree with this, what is the greater (or ******r) achievement, 6 in a row or a Calendar Slam?

Tenny
01-11-2005, 09:37 AM
For me, if I won Wimbledon, USopen in 2005, and AO, FO in 2006, I should be a GrandSlam winner (holding all four MAJORS).

rhubarb
01-11-2005, 09:51 AM
OOoooo throw me a curve with the international part. Not sure about that then, I grew up watching tennis in the US during the '80s. Well, call it what you will. They're majors to me, each of which is only a quarter of a Grand Slam.

Craig

Yep, call them what ever you like <g>. The word "major" certainly gets used a lot over here too, it's just that I'm not very fond of it.

bigserving
01-11-2005, 09:59 AM
Actually, the term, "Grand Slam" comes from the card game Bridge. The term was plagarized by baseball, then plagarized and misused by the game of tennis.

rhubarb
01-11-2005, 10:01 AM
For me, if I won Wimbledon, USopen in 2005, and AO, FO in 2006, I should be a GrandSlam winner (holding all four MAJORS).

I do agree with you there, but there are quite a lot of sticklers around who require all the wins to be in a single calendar year. There was a lot of hoo-haa in 1984 when Martina Navratilova held all 4 (she won 6 in a row in fact), but didn't win all four in the same calendar year. History records that she didn't win a Grand Slam, and similarly for Serena Williams more recently.

It will be interesting to see if Federer defends the AO successfully and wins RG whether the tennis world would react any differently. I expect not.

rhubarb
01-11-2005, 10:03 AM
Actually, the term, "Grand Slam" comes from the card game Bridge. The term was plagarized by baseball, then plagarized and misused by the game of tennis.

True, it did come from bridge. It was a long time ago though, before WWII.

Camilio Pascual
01-12-2005, 08:02 AM
True, it did come from bridge. It was a long time ago though, before WWII.

Rhubarb - Maybe somebody will firure out how to pull a "finesse" on Rajah.

Tenny
01-12-2005, 01:46 PM
MICHAEL CHANG: Andre and I are different. I don't really want to go out and compare myself with Andre. I don't think he really wants to do the same. You could easily say that. But then Andre could say, "I have five or six

"Grand Slams"

under my belt, Mike only has one." When you come down to it, Andre and I, we come out and try to play the best tennis we can play. For me, I think what Andre has accomplished in his career is great. I think for me, I don't feel like it's important so much to compare, but just to go out and give my all. Whenever that falls, then great. It's a disappointment for the tournament to lose the No. 1 player, having played so well for the last year, year and a half. Sometimes that's just the way things go.

Not sure whether it's Chang or Agassi though.

Deuce
01-12-2005, 11:39 PM
I agree with Craig's first two posts.

As for the argument whether 4 in a row, or 6 in a row, without winning 4 in a calendar year, should be considered a Grand Slam, I say Absolutely Not.

This is like saying that if you hit a three run home run and a solo homer (or a 2 run homer, or another 3 run homer) in one game, you should be credited with a Grand Slam. A Grand Slam in baseball is to hit a home run with the bases loaded. There are no convenient variations. Although it could easily be argued that hitting two 3 run homers in a game is more impressive than hitting one 4 run homer, only the 4 run homer will ever be called a Grand Slam, of course.

On the subject of how to refer to the Aussie Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open... how about we call each of them 'Quarters' - as in 1/4 of a Grand Slam...

Camilio Pascual
01-14-2005, 03:49 AM
Well, we need some time of meaningful term to describe one who is the concurrent holder of all 4 Majors. My suggestion is, "Grand Slam" with the title "Calendar Slam" to describe the particular instance of holding all 4 Majors in the same year. I'm open to suggestions for an alternate term, but until then, Grand Slam is the term that describes the situation best. So, Serena Williams and Martina Navratilova have won Grand Slams as far as I am concerned.

Deuce
01-14-2005, 09:35 PM
But, Camilio, the term 'Grand Slam' in tennis refers, as far as we can determine, to winning all four Majors within one calendar year. So, if you refer to Navratilova and Serena as winners of the Grand Slam, you are wrong, according to the original intention and description of the term 'Grand Slam', which should be the only standard of measure.

I agree that making a distinction between winning 4 Majors in a row in one calendar year, and winning 4 Majors in a row outside of the same calendar year seems to be a rather petty distinction - especially in light of the Aussie Open being changed from being the LAST Major of the Year to being now the FIRST Major of the year. Had all 4 Majors remained exactly where they were within the calendar when the 'Grand Slam' concept was originated, then winning all 4 Majors in a calendar year would have always meant winning all 4 in a particular sequence, and so any alteration of that sequence would constitute a breach in the original and intended format. But that breach was made when the Aussie Open changed dates, I suppose.

Nonetheless, Camilio... rather than change the description of winning 4 Majors in one calendar year to a "Calendar Slam", and thus 'mess' with the history of the game, you should come up with a new term for YOUR 4 Majors in a row, NOT accomplished within one calendar year.

bigserving
01-16-2005, 08:41 AM
This topic will be very interesting if things hold to form and Fed wins Australia and Roland Garros this year.

With all of the worldwide attention and discussion that the topic would generate. It could be a great chance for the game of tennis to get a ton of exposure.

Craig Sheppard
01-16-2005, 11:18 AM
I think this 4 slams in one year vs 4 slams in a row all stems from the fact there is no real "off season". If there were an official off season, then you could determine what the stopping and starting points of the season are.

For example in other sports, season streaks aren't really extended beyond the end of the season. E.g. In baseball, if you had 2 game hit streak at the end of one year, and started the next year with a 20 game hit streak, no one would say you have a 22 game hit streak going because there's been so much time off.

A new year and a new season are a time to "reset" for the next year. I don't recognize Serena's achievement as a Grand Slam one bit. A season is a specific definition, it starts at the beginning of the year, ends at the end. And a Grand Slam is defined as winning all 4 majors in one season. That's just the way it's defined, too bad.

If you want to win a Grand Slam, well then take off after the US Open and make sure you're in tip-top shape to win the Australian at the start of the new year.

Craig

Camilio Pascual
01-18-2005, 03:51 AM
But, Camilio, the term 'Grand Slam' in tennis refers, as far as we can determine, to winning all four Majors within one calendar year. So, if you refer to Navratilova and Serena as winners of the Grand Slam, you are wrong, according to the original intention and description of the term 'Grand Slam', which should be the only standard of measure.

I agree that making a distinction between winning 4 Majors in a row in one calendar year, and winning 4 Majors in a row outside of the same calendar year seems to be a rather petty distinction - especially in light of the Aussie Open being changed from being the LAST Major of the Year to being now the FIRST Major of the year. Had all 4 Majors remained exactly where they were within the calendar when the 'Grand Slam' concept was originated, then winning all 4 Majors in a calendar year would have always meant winning all 4 in a particular sequence, and so any alteration of that sequence would constitute a breach in the original and intended format. But that breach was made when the Aussie Open changed dates, I suppose.

Nonetheless, Camilio... rather than change the description of winning 4 Majors in one calendar year to a "Calendar Slam", and thus 'mess' with the history of the game, you should come up with a new term for YOUR 4 Majors in a row, NOT accomplished within one calendar year.

The fact that the term Calendar Slam exists implies to me that we do not necessarily have to accept the definition of a "Grand Slam" as being within one calendar year. Especially since "Career Grand Slam" is now a term. I, too, think the calendar distinction petty, when it leaves Martina's 6 in a row overlooked because they didn't happen within one calendar year. As far as original intention and description goes, we don't have to accept it in the light of how tennis has changed so much since then. What WAS the original description and intention, anyway? I'd like to critique that and posit what the author would say if he was told somebody would win 6 in a row and not get credit for a Grand Slam. If no credit, then the term "Grand Slam" is diminished, and describing something equal to Serena's and MUCH lesser than Martina's accomplishment, making it somewhat less "Grand." As a matter of fact, I would view one who held the Slams starting with Wimby, instead of Oz, and ending in Roland Garros as being the most impressive of any sequence, since it spans the widest time period.
My suggestion: The concurrent holder of all 4 Majors possesses a "Grand Slam" and one who holds them all from one year would be holding a subset of Grand Slams known as a "Calendar Slam."

Deuce
01-21-2005, 12:28 AM
It serves no purpose to reiterate why I disagree with changing the criteria of what a Grand Slam is...

but, I will comment briefly on this...

"As a matter of fact, I would view one who held the Slams starting with Wimby, instead of Oz, and ending in Roland Garros as being the most impressive of any sequence, since it spans the widest time period."

When we begin at the beginning of the year, the player must win Roland Garros, and then win Wimbledon a mere month or so later - no small feat, considering the differences in surface and speed. Your way, Wimbledon and Roland Garros are separated by 11 months, which makes it easier. No two tournaments would fall within a month of each other your way - so it could easily be argued that that makes it less difficult, and another reason why the Grand Slam in the same calendar year is of higher value.

AndrewD
01-21-2005, 08:39 PM
To my mind the term 'Grand Slam' has one definition and one definition only. Despite it being an amazing accomplishment to win four of the major titles in any sequence it doesn't change the fact that, regardless of date changes to the tournaments, a 'Grand Slam' by intent and definition must be within the one calendar year.

When the person coined the term in relation to tennis, or appropriated it for use in a tennis context, they had that definition in mind. You can't turn around and amend it at a later date. If that was possible what would they have said about Margaret Court's 1969-1970 seasons? She won the US and Australian Opens in 69 and followed up by winning all four in 1970. That's not four in succession but six (in those two years Wimbledon was the only one she lost so that's 7 of 8). No-one said anything other than 'nice try but you need to win all four in the same year'.

Four in a row, in the one year, is a standard of excellance and too often it seems we're willing to lower standards to be more inclusive. The idea of the Grand Slam is not to be inclusive but exclusive and to celebrate something very difficult and extremely specific.

Camilio Pascual
01-30-2005, 02:19 PM
I liked it that during the OZ coverage, Serena and Martina were included amongst the Grand Slams. I believe Martina's accomplishment of 6 in a row made the distinction of the Calendar Slam seem silly and unimportant. Are you going to seriously argue that 6 in a row is lowering the standard???
Apparently you know who coined the term since you know what they meant. Who was it and why are we bound by his/her definition?

Phil
01-30-2005, 04:35 PM
A G.S. must be won in a calendar year, period. That Serena all of a sudden decided, one day, to declare that SHE is a G.S. winner, too, doesn't make it so. Winning all four Majors in a calendar year is a practically impossible feat these days-and even in this day of entitlement where everyone seems to think they have something coming to them and they TOO should be able to achieve what others have done before-LEGITIMATELY-doesn't cut it. People want to see a Slam winner so bad that they'll go so far as to try to change the criteria for winning one. But a G.S. is what it is. There are no half slams or "Slam over the course of two seasons"-it is what it is.

Datacipher
01-30-2005, 06:57 PM
A G.S. must be won in a calendar year, period. That Serena all of a sudden decided, one day, to declare that SHE is a G.S. winner, too, doesn't make it so. .

Agree completely Phil. If someone wants to regard her accomplishment as being as good as a grand slam, that's their perrogative, but it is not a grand slam.

Incidently, there is nothing wrong with saying "Sampras won 14 grand slam titles/tournaments". It's perfectly correct. You cannot say "Sampras won 14 Grand slam's".

Rod Laver once asked that the distinction be made between winning a "grand slam" and winning a "grand slam tournament" as people had gotten into the habit of saying "he won a grand slam". It's very easy to get sloppy and lazy when you talk about it, which is what the serious fans and players do(myself included). It does lead to some confusion among the casual fan though. Since Laver complains so little and it so modest and generous when discussing the modern game, I think his request should be honored.

gregraven
01-31-2005, 04:16 AM
Don't agree! To me, "major" is golfing terminology, and there it should stay.
Grand Slam tournaments are exactly that: Grand Slam tournaments.

Nobody with any knowledge of tennis would confuse a (calendar-year) Grand Slam with an individual tournament. It's usually completely clear from the context.

Is "open" also a golf term? How about "grand slam," isn't that a baseball term? The whole point of calling something a grand slam is that there are four aspects involved, as there are four bases in baseball. Winning a single major is NOT the same as winning all four majors in a calendar year.

We could use the same word or term to describe lots of similar but distinct items or events, and hope that the context and the knowledge of those listening would allow our message to get through. However, it is needlessly confusing. We have perfectly good separate names for the major tournaments, and for the winning of those four major tournaments in one calendar year. Why not use them?

I think that the mis-use of the term "grand slam" by knowledgeable persons is an indication of a desperate effort to make tennis seem exciting, as if they can trick the unaware into watching a tournament if it's called a "grand slam" instead of a "major." It is horrendous, and further evidence that those supposedly in charge of the sport are attempting to debase it for reasons of their own.

I am disgusted by this trend, and urge others to write to those in charge to protest it. Don't expect ever to get a response, however. I've been doing it for years and not once has anyone even acknowledged receipt of a letter from me.