Grand Slam Tennis
The tennis grand slam season reaches its gripping finale at the end of August, with the US Open. The competition has been intense but who has gained supremacy on the tennis circuit so far this year and who will finish the year on top?
Australian Open (15th- 28th January)
The first Grand Slam of the New Year came from down under, in Melbourne, Australia. Roger Federer and Serena Williams were the defending champions heading into the event. The one main difference between this tournament and the other three top tournaments is that this Grand Slam is the most gruelling with the weather conditions- as it is played in the height of the Australian Summer.
Federer did indeed successfully defend his title and went on to win his sixth Australian open title beating Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in the final. While, Caroline Wozniacki took Williams’ crown by beating Simona Halep 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 in the women’s final.
French Open (27th May- 10th June)
The stars had to wait a few months before locking horns with their rivals again, as the French Open took place nearly four months after the curtain raiser for the season. The picturesque Rolland Garros played host once again to the French Grand Slam, and this is the only Slam which is played on a clay surface. The king of clay and last year’s winner was Spaniard, Rafael Nadal. The women's champion heading into this year’s event was Jelena Ostapenko.
Nadal had won the French Open ten times, an achievement that has or never will be equalled, last year he beat Stan Wawrinka in straight sets in the final.
Because of the dominance of Nadal on clay there seemed a feeling of somewhat expectation and that was fulfilled when he fired his way to an eleventh French Open title, comprehensively beating youngster Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 . On the women’s side of the draw, Halep got retribution following her Australian Open loss when she beat American Sloane Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 to win her maiden Grand Slam.
Wimbledon (2nd-15th July)
The biggest and best Grand Slam of the year took place in mid-summer at London's Wimbledon. The grass tournament is the most spectacular of the year and the history that comes with it reflects with the importance that the players rank it.
The previous year’s extravaganza was won by Roger Federer- for the record eighth time and the women's champion was Garbine Muguruza. British hopes were dashed in the men's quarter finals as Murray was knocked out by American, Sam Querrey. But, in the women's half of the draw, Johanna Konta shocked the world as she blasted her way through to the semi-finals, the furthest any British women has made it at Wimbledon since Virginia Wade in 1978.
British hopes were dashed pretty quickly this year after Murray withdrew and British number two, Kyle Edmund was dumped out by Novak Djokovic. The Serb went on to win the men’s final beating South African Kevin Anderson 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 in a comprehensive final. The ladies singles was far less predictable when German Angelique Kerber defeated the legendary Serena Williams 6-3, 6-3 in what was meant to be her fairytale return.
US Open (27th August- 9th September)
The final Grand Slam of the year comes from New York City and the US Open. The Grand Slam played on a hard court at Flushing Meadows is the most lucrative of the season and all players will be looking for the millions of dollars that come with winning the title.
Wawrinka and Angelique Kerber were the 2016 winners, but for the first time in Grand Slam history, neither of them were able to defend their titles at the 2017 competition as they were both out with injuries.
With both the crowns vacant and up for grabs, they were claimed by the prolific Rafael Nadal and up-and-coming American Sloane Stephens. They will both be returning for next year’s tournament but both will be up against tough competition.
Nadal is among the favourites in the betting for the men’s title but the current market leader is Novak Djokovic with Roger Federer squeezed between them. Bookmakers feel like Serena Williams will finally get her fairytale ending as she is the clear favourite in the women’s market ahead of Angelique Kerber.