Tennis grand slams are extremely rare, with only five players claiming one, and no player has achieved this feat since 1988. A golden slam that won all four majors and gold medals in the same year is almost impossible. Only Steffi Graf has done it.
Until Sunday when it was achieved twice.
First came to Dide Groot, the Netherlands, who completed a sweep of four Grand Slam tournaments this year to win a wheelchair competition at the US Open and win the Paralympic gold medal.
Later that day, Australia’s Dylan Alcott achieved the same feat at the Men’s Quadrant. (In contrast to wheelchair players like de Groot, quad players lose significant functionality in at least one upper limb.)
De Groot defeated Japan’s Yui Kamiji 6-3, 6-2, the same woman who lost in Australia, France and the Paralympics. Her golden slum was barely started this year. She needed a third set of tiebreakers to defeat Kamiji at the Australian Open.
Despite achieving it, 24-year-old De Groot said he was a little disappointed in his play. Unfortunately, I think I was able to see it in the match. “
Sunday’s British Open Championship was the twelfth Grand Slam singles event in Groot, but still below the 21 records set by her country woman Esther Vergeer earlier this century.
Alcott defeated 18-year-old Dutch Niels Vink 7-5, 6-2 to complete his own golden slam. This was Alcott’s 15th Grand Slam singles title. The French Open and the quad event at Wimbledon are only three years old, so it was the first chance for a quad athlete to win a golden slam.
“Everyone in this room asked me,’Are you thinking about the Golden Slum?'” Said Alcott, 30,. Of course I was interested. It’s good not to pretend anymore. “
After finishing the Golden Slam at the Seoul Olympics in 1988, Graf said: That’s not what many people achieve after me. “
It took 33 years. And it only took a few hours.