Rank the 4 Grand Slams from most difficult to win to the easiest

Grand Slams: Which is the hardest to win?

  • French Open

    Votes: 30 66.7%
  • Wimbledon

    Votes: 12 26.7%
  • US Open

    Votes: 3 6.7%
  • Australian Open

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    45

REKX

Rookie
Ok so in order which grand slam do you think is the hardest to win to the easiest and why.

Of course the logical answer would be they all equally difficult because at any one time you are competing with the best players in the world, and they are seeded which means each game generally gets tougher and tougher.

However this is TT, we do not do logic so here's mine.

So hardest to easiest.

1. French Open - grueling clay court, long rallies, especially in today's game the technique requires a lot more from the body to really hit through. Doing this for two weeks pushes the body to the edge.

2. Australian Open - I was going to say Wimbledon however the weather down under has a massive impact. The slower court, means we have long matches and the weather is really testing.

3. Wimbledon - Only reason I say is because it is easier to hold serve on grass. We see the stats the matches are quickest on this surface, lowest bounce, quickest points etc. Often when two big servers play in Wimbledon, it often goes to the tie breaker.

4. US Open - no real reason, but it just seems like a good balance between speed, weather/conditions. Big servers are still rewarded, and rallies are decent length.

Your thoughts?
 
My question is what year we had the most accurate read on the difficulty. Think about it in terms of players' ages. Top guys are all 30-somethings. So, as an example, presumably USO would be "harder" to win now than it was when they were 24, right?
 
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I think it really depends on the player. Someone raised on a clay court is likely going to find the french open easier because they are used to the type of play it requires.

From an American perspective I would probably say the French is the hardest since many of us are raised on hardcourts, making clay more challenging. Even players like Pete, Davenport and Venus Williams couldn't win the French.

However for others, its different. The heat of the AO makes some players struggle, grass is a novelty...etc. Its all about perspective.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
These days, they're even.

Considering all of history, it goes something like: Wimbledon > US Open > French Open > Australian Open (just because of the strengths of the playing fields).
I agree with this, for the past. In the last 15 years or so, all pretty even.

But clay gives the biggest margins, grass the smallest.
 
D

Deleted member 716271

Guest
What does hardest mean? Most difficult for most players? Or most impressive requiring the highest level of play/effort? Theyre different things.
 

mavsman149

Hall of Fame
I've always thought Australia was just because of the absolutely brutal heat, but I can see an argument for all of them outside of the US Open. Not that winning the US is easy, but it isn't as hot as Australia between the 2 Hard Court Slams and there is no possibility for a ridiculously long 5th set like any of the other slams so you don't have to worry about the extra fatigue from that.
 

ibbi

Legend
It's tough to answer really considering all of the variables you have to take into account. I mean Roland Garros sticks out most from the others in that it was historically played on a completely different surface, and even today when things are more evened up it sticks out compared to the others. So looking at it from the point of view that the other three cater more to one kind of player, and it generally caters to a completely different kind you could call it more difficult. It sticks out too on account of the fact that it requires a different level of mental and physical endurance than the others do. It's winners have historically (until the last decade has started to rebalance the scales) been younger than at the other 3 majors.

Still, go to the other end of the spectrum. Wimbledon and it's favouring the server doesn't make it easier to win. Matches on quicker courts come down to far fewer points, there's fewer breaks of serve, etc. Watch that 2015 Wimbledon semi between Fed and Murray, or the 2010 one between Nadal and Murray, Murray played fine matches, and when it came down to the major points, and the major moments, the other guys snatched it away from him. Take Nadal's match with Muller just now. The guy literally played 2 bad games, and was 2 sets to nothing down. I guess it's easier to win if you have a great serve (but Roland Garros is easier to win if you are a great defender), but still, it's all about holding your nerve, keeping concentration in the key moments, because if you let it slip for a second it could be game over. There will be far less chance to break back.

I don't really think the other two factor into the equation as much, certainly not since they've transferred to hard courts, and travelling around the globe has become so much easier. The factors that make them most difficult (heat in Melbourne, wind in New York, the fatigue more likely to be in play given the later stage in the season of the US Open, the idiocy of the semi final scheduling in Australia) have nothing to do with tennis.

I think it comes down to the other two. They're still the heart and soul of the game for me. Wimbledon I guess also has the issue of coming so close after Roland Garros, so certainly for players who have gone deep in Paris, and just generally having to undergo such an immediate, and complete change is pretty ridiculous, even if again it's less so than it used to be with the added week in there.
 
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Incognito

Legend
I remember in the 90s, they used to play the finals of the AO at noon. It was scorching hot. They dont do that today, plus they have a roof at the RLA. Agassi had to suffer for his titles and should be given more credit for what he achieved down under. Because of the heat, AO was more punishing for the body back in the day than the FO IMO.
 

sabrelight

New User
FO is brutal physically. But there is margin for error if you have a bad service game.

Wimbledon : Grass is physically not demanding but one error and the set could be over.

USO: Players are struggling with injuries after a gruelling season and conditons in New York are stifling and the New York crowd can make or break a player.

AO: Probably the easiest as a lot of players are not at peak level after the Xmas break so the AO favours those who trained hardest in off season.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
French Open. Other than Rafa, there rarely has been a pro dominate on that surface. Maybe Borg was the only other. Unlike Wimbledon, which had guys like Borg, Sampras,Fed, Navratilova and Serena dominate for much of their careers.
 

guitarra

Professional
I think it's the wrong question because it very much depends on the era.

For example: between 2005 and 2014 Roland Garros was the most difficult to win because it was owned by the clay GOAT Rafael Nadal. Only Fed managed to steal one, should he play in any other era he would have 3-4 French Open titles, Djokovic could have more two.

But in other eras other slams were more difficult to win, Sampras era at Wimbledon being a great example. Only goating Krajicek managed to sneak one grass slams during that period although many great players tried.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
It really depends on what is meant by 'difficult'. Of the 4 Slams, this is the number of different players who have won them in the last decade:

1. Australian Open: Federer, Djokovic, Nadal and Wawrinka = 4.
2. Roland Garros: Nadal, Federer, Wawrinka and Djokovic = 4.
3. Wimbledon: Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray = 4.
4. US Open: Federer, Del Potro, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Cilic and Wawrinka = 7.

The US Open currently seems to be the one where more different players have a chance to win than any of the others (who all seem to be pretty much the same). Does this mean it is less difficult to win than the others?
 
Wimbledon > US Open > Australian

No point discussing the French in the same breath. Would be more comparable to Washington or Rotterdam
 

BGod

Legend
USO hasn't had a repeat champion since Fed won 5 in a row ending in 08. Prior to that it was Rafter 97-98, Pete in 95-96 and then Lendl with 3 in the 80s.

Wimbledon has had Novak, Fed, Sampras x2, Becker, McEnroe, Borg.

French had Nadal x2, Kuerten, Brugera, Courier, Lendl, Borg x2.

USO has the lowest record at 5 tied by 3 guys.

So USO is the answer followed by Wimbledon.
 

Big_Dangerous

Talk Tennis Guru
I've always thought Australia was just because of the absolutely brutal heat, but I can see an argument for all of them outside of the US Open. Not that winning the US is easy, but it isn't as hot as Australia between the 2 Hard Court Slams and there is no possibility for a ridiculously long 5th set like any of the other slams so you don't have to worry about the extra fatigue from that.
Honestly, having been to Melbourne for the better part of a week, it really was nothing compared to Texas heat + humidity. Hell, one of the days it was rainy and drizzly and got down into the 60's. At night you kind of needed a coat. In Texas, between about May to early October, you do not need a jacket/coat.
 

Centre Court

Semi-Pro
Surely if all the majors were considered "equal" in terms of difficulty then we would have more people winning CYGS, although I'd say they were all very difficult. The French has to be the hardest because it requires insane endurance and stamina, then I'd say grass, because of the footwork involved and pace of the court, I'd say us and aus could potentially be equal as they are both hard courts
 

xFullCourtTenniSx

Hall of Fame
Depends on your definition of difficult.

If we're talking about difficulty given the field of the past decade (or 13 years) while not being named Nadal, obviously the French is the hardest.

If we're talking about difficulty to consistently win the title, the French is by far the easiest.

If we're talking about the most physically debilitating conditions, it's the Australian (people have passed out and had to retire due to heat strokes here), followed by the French.

If we're talking about most disruptive conditions, it's the USO followed by Wimbledon, which can be flipped around if the rain won't stop.

But difficult to win means that it's difficult to win the even just a single time. The odds to win will be low. As such, the odds of multiple (and worse, successive) victories becomes even lower. Even if your odds to win are 50% because you're the favorite, winning 10 times would equate to less than 0.1% Now, for most, this would immediately drop the USO and Wimbledon because many (correctly) recall that those events have been won 5 times in a row by Federer (and Borg, for Wimbledon). But Nadal has also won RG 5 straight times. The closest that has been achieved for the AO was 3 by Djokovic, though he won 6 titles there. So, the most difficult majors to win are the USO and AO. It comes down to whether you believe the 3,6 pair beats out 5,5 (consecutive, total). All things taken into consideration, I'd say the (old) Australian Open was the most difficult to win. It was the major known for upsets and dark horse finalists. Since the introduction of Plexicushion though, the list of finalists has stabilized significantly, with Tsonga being the only dark horse finalist, appearing in Plexicushion's inaugural year. You could argue that it's the result of the solidification of the "Big 4" rather than the surface.

Number of different finalists since 2010:
AO: Federer, Murray, Djokovic, Nadal, Wawrinka (5)
RG: Nadal, Soderling, Federer, Djokovic, Ferrer, Wawrinka, Murray (7)
W: Nadal, Berdych, Djokovic, Federer, Murray, Raonic, Cilic (7)
USO: Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Cilic, Nishikori, Federer, Wawrinka (7)

Of the 4 majors, only the USO and Wimbledon gain an additional finalist for including 2009 (Roddick, W; del Potro, USO).

Number of times a major was won without dropping a set (all time men):
AO: 5 (Budge 38, Bromwich 39, Emerson 64, Rosewall 71, Federer 07)
RG: 6 (Nastase 73, Borg 78, Borg 80, Nadal 08, Nadal 10, Nadal 17)
W: 5 (Budge 38, Trabert 55, McKinley 63, Borg 76, Federer 17)
USO: 1 (Fraser 60)

Looking at the number of times a major has been won without dropping a set, it also supports the notion that RG (followed by Wimbledon) is the easiest event. It has been done 6 times in the open era in RG, twice at the AO and W, and never at the USO. Keep in mind, that until 1988, the AO didn't even play a full draw, so 4 of the 5 times this was achieved at the AO were definitively easier. Only Federer played through a full draw. Twice it happened at Wimbledon in the open era, with full draws. And it has only happened once at the USO, not even during the open era.

Overall, between the USO and AO (past or present, given the absurd heat levels that can occur), both are incredibly tough and are the most difficult to win. Keep in mind before anyone complains that RG or (God forbid) Wimbledon are harder to win, Borg set records at both events when the supposed short time between the events made it incredibly tough to peak for both events. If I had to pick... USO>AO. 5th set tiebreaks add a level of variance that goes against what the better player would want.
 
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Get A Grip

Hall of Fame
French is the easiest, since the GOAT doesn't even bother to play it any more. Means it's got by far the weakest field.
That takes the cake for massive idiocy.
Fed didn't play because he knew he would lose, and there are actually way more strong players on clay then there are currently on grass. There no equivalents on grass to Thiem and wawrinka.
The French open is the slam most often missing from tennis great's CVs, so it becomes the hardest slam to win.

The stupidity here is sometimes just spectacular. Well done!
 

titoelcolombiano

Hall of Fame
Doesn't it depend on the quality of player in the tournament in any given year?

The AO is hard to win with a peak Djokovic in the draw
RG is hard to win with a peak Nadal in the draw
Wimbledon is hard to win with a peak Federer / Djokovic in the draw
The US doesn't follow along the lines of the other three but it tends to be won by a combination of who has survived the season the fresh, without injury and in good hard court form. Being the slam at the end of the gruelling ATP season is the reason why it is hart to win.
 

Federer and Del Potro

Talk Tennis Guru
Doesn't it depend on the quality of player in the tournament in any given year?

The AO is hard to win with a peak Djokovic in the draw
RG is hard to win with a peak Nadal in the draw
Wimbledon is hard to win with a peak Federer / Djokovic in the draw
The US doesn't follow along the lines of the other three but it tends to be won by a combination of who has survived the season the fresh, without injury and in good hard court form. Being the slam at the end of the gruelling ATP season is the reason why it is hart to win.
Couldn't have said it better myself. Agree completely, especially the description of the USO. Scarily accurate.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
Depends on who's playing. If you are not named Nadal, the FO is the hardest. If you are named Nadal, then it is the easiest. Same idea for Wimbledon, if you are named Federer...
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
The slower the court and longer the rallys the lower the variance in "correctness of result" will be generally, and vice versa. This "correctness of result" is basically - if you took each match and got those players to play 10 times each instead of once to see who goes through to the next round the better player would invariably be much more likely to go through. On a faster, more erratic court with varying conditions and lower margins like grass - that variance is much higher and the better player is more likely to suffer an upset (Notwithstanding that the playing characteristics of grass change the most during the tournament too.)

This means the French Open should be the easiest to win for the player(s) who have the potential to win it, and Wimbledon the hardest for the player(s) who have the potential to win it.

Of course when you get clusters of similar players that has a partial reversing effect on this. For example, a bunch of claycourt-focused players such as we've seen in the last 20 years (ones who do poorly elsewhere generally) shortens that variance somewhat - but only among that group of players relative to each other.

Grass has the shortest season and has is given the least focus style-wise across almost the whole tour so the variance is generally higher between players - making winning it generally harder.
 

Tommy Haas

Hall of Fame
Obviously it's RG because of Nadal. In the last 13 years, there have been only 4 winners. 10 have been Nadal, and one each for Fed, Djoko and Wawrinka. When Nadal retires, the answer would be different.

I think the easiest currently is the USO because there's been the widest variety of winners. Fed, Nadal, Djoko, Murray, Delpo, Cilic and Wawrinka.
 
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mavsman149

Hall of Fame
Honestly, having been to Melbourne for the better part of a week, it really was nothing compared to Texas heat + humidity. Hell, one of the days it was rainy and drizzly and got down into the 60's. At night you kind of needed a coat. In Texas, between about May to early October, you do not need a jacket/coat.
That's awesome you got to go! Australia has always been my dream vacation.

Isn't Melbourne supposed to be hottest around the Australian Open though? I could be totally wrong about that
 

Atennisone

Hall of Fame
Ok so in order which grand slam do you think is the hardest to win to the easiest and why.

Of course the logical answer would be they all equally difficult because at any one time you are competing with the best players in the world, and they are seeded which means each game generally gets tougher and tougher.

However this is TT, we do not do logic so here's mine.

So hardest to easiest.

1. French Open - grueling clay court, long rallies, especially in today's game the technique requires a lot more from the body to really hit through. Doing this for two weeks pushes the body to the edge.

2. Australian Open - I was going to say Wimbledon however the weather down under has a massive impact. The slower court, means we have long matches and the weather is really testing.

3. Wimbledon - Only reason I say is because it is easier to hold serve on grass. We see the stats the matches are quickest on this surface, lowest bounce, quickest points etc. Often when two big servers play in Wimbledon, it often goes to the tie breaker.

4. US Open - no real reason, but it just seems like a good balance between speed, weather/conditions. Big servers are still rewarded, and rallies are decent length.

Your thoughts?
Hardest to easiest:

1. Roland Garros
(A lot of high ranked tennis players have their serve as a major weapon. On clay, good serving, is a much less effective weapon that on the other surfaces, Becker, Edberg, McEnroe, Sampras, Venus Williams never won in Roland Garros, and Serena only holds 3 of her many GS titles at RG, and also all spaniards, and south american players can be exceptionally good on clay, (Nadal, Ferrer, Kuerten, Schwartzman), and they can make a lot of upsets. Also Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, only won this tournament once.

2. Wimbledon (Well eaiser than RG, because if one of your biggest weapons is your serve (which it is for many, like Federer, Zverev, Cilic, Dimitrov, Del Potro, Anderson, Isner) you have a big advantage already, especially against clay court specialist, see Gilles Müller for example, in RG he loses often very early, last year he was just one set after beating Nadal, to qualify for the SF's at Wimbledon. But this being the most prestigious slam, a lot of players also almost want to win it more than the other GS, so it is a difficult GS to win, but the surface suits a lot of high ranked players)

3. Australian Open (Maybe the least prestigious GS, but still the GS have had very few "suprising" winners or "one Grand Slam wonder" winners. (especially the last years). So that makes it difficult)

4. US Open (Maybe a lot of tennis players are tired, or have gotten injury in this late GS, so maybe they don't play full level, therefore this is probably the least difficult GS, and also it has had a lot of "1 Good Tournament wonder", like Cilic and Del Potro have won it, and Anderson having been a finalist)
 
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titoelcolombiano

Hall of Fame
This is a difficult question to answer. All of the past greats say that RG is mentally and physically the toughest to win and if it were in the period 05 - 18 (Rafa) almost impossible. And I guess if you are a player in the 90's (Sampras) and the 00's (Federer) Wimby is just about impossible to win. If you are a player in the period 2011 - 2016 (Djoker) AO is just about impossible to win.

Too many variables.
 
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