THROWBACK: Steffi Graf’s 33-Year Unique Record Unmatched by Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Serena Williams

Published 10/01/2021, 1:50 PM EDT
MADRID, SPAIN – MAY 05: Tennis players including Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams arrive on court to observe a moment of silence for Brad Drewett during day two of the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament at the Caja Magica on May 5, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. He was a former tour player who led the ATP as executive chairman and president since January 2012, died Friday after a battle with motor neurone disease. He was 54. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


Ever since Novak Djokovic won the Wimbledon Championships this year after ousting Matteo Berrettini in straight sets on Center Court, fans began to dream the possibility of the World No.1 player achieving the calendar golden slam for the first time since 1988. For that to happen, the Serb had to win a gold medal in Tokyo and the US Open title.

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Of-course, both these events didn’t happen as Steffi Graf remains the only tennis player to have ever won all the four slams along with Olympics singles gold medal in a calendar year. The legendary German player achieved this feat in 1988. Before entering the Seoul Olympics, Graf achieved the Grand Slam after defeating Gabriela Sabatini in the finals of US Open.

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Steffi Graf achieved an invincible record in tennis on this day in 1988

The specialty of this grand slam record by Steffi Graf was that it was the first time that a player achieved this feat by winning majors on three different surfaces(hard, grass, and clay).

So, when the German defeated Sabatini once again to win the gold medal in Seoul, the calendar golden slam became even more special and Graf’s name was scripted in the record books at just 19 years of age.

Watch this story: Alexander Zverev, John McEnroe, and Other Top Tennis Stars Fun Moments at Laver Cup 2021

That’s the reason why October 1st will be special to Steffi Graf and her scores of fans across the globe. Now, coming to the Big-3, it was only Rafael Nadal who managed to have a career golden slam to his name. The Spaniard won the singles gold medal in 2008 Beijing Olympics after defeating Fernando Gonzalez in the final.

However, the 20-time major champion had to wait for a couple of years to win his first US Open title, thereby achieving the career golden slam. By winning the US Open in 2010, Nadal became the first man to win all three majors on different surfaces in the same year.

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Serena Williams couldn’t achieve the calendar golden slam

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In comparison to Djokovic and Nadal, it was Roger Federer who fell short of winning back-to-back major titles in a single calendar year. Even though the Swiss Maestro achieved the grand slam by winning the French Open in 2009, he couldn’t win a gold medal in any of the Olympic events.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerlan wait to go on stage during the ATP Heritage Celebration at The Waldorf=Astoria on in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Federer came close to winning one at the 2012 London Olympics, where he lost to Andy Murray in the final. At this stage of his career, it’s safe to say that the Swiss star will never have the opportunity to participate in the prestigious Olympics event again.

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Amongst the women’s elite players, it was only Serena Williams who achieved the career golden slam in 2012 after defeating arch-rival Maria Sharapova in the gold medal match at London Olympics. However, the American went onto win all four slams in a row twice in her career. It was a record that might never be broken again in women’s tennis.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

466 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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