The tennis Grand Slam is so uncommon that solely 5 gamers can declare one, and no participant in any respect has achieved the feat since 1988. The Golden Slam, successful all 4 majors and a gold medal in the identical yr, is sort of inconceivable. Only Steffi Graf had ever finished it.
Until Sunday, when it was completed twice.
First got here Diede de Groot of the Netherlands, who received the wheelchair competitors on the U.S. Open to finish a sweep of the yr’s 4 Grand Slam tournaments to go along with her Paralympic gold medal.
Later within the day, Dylan Alcott of Australia accomplished the identical feat within the males’s quad occasion. (As against these within the wheelchair division like de Groot, quad gamers even have important lack of operate in at the very least one higher limb.)
De Groot defeated Yui Kamiji of Japan, the identical girl she defeated in Australia, France and on the Paralympics, 6-Three, 6-2. Her Golden Slam nearly didn’t get began this yr: She wanted a third-set tiebreaker to beat Kamiji on the Australian Open.
Despite the accomplishment, De Groot, 24, mentioned she felt slightly let down by her play: “After such a long time of traveling and just being everywhere in the world, also I think both of us are a little bit tired. I think you could see it in the match, unfortunately.”
Sunday’s Open championship was the 12th in a Grand Slam singles occasion for De Groot, nonetheless behind the document of 21 set by her countrywoman Esther Vergeer within the early a part of this century.
Dylan Alcott celebrating one more victory on Sunday.Credit…Seth Wenig/Associated Press
Alcott defeated the 18-year-old Niels Vink of the Netherlands, 7-5, 6-2, to finish his personal Golden Slam. It was Alcott’s 15th Grand Slam singles title. Because the quad occasion is simply three years outdated on the French Open and Wimbledon, it was the primary probability for any quad athlete to win a Golden Slam.
“Everybody in this room asked me, ‘Are you thinking about the Golden Slam?’” mentioned Alcott, 30. “I’ve said, ‘No, I don’t really care about it,’ all year. Of course I cared about it. It’s nice not to pretend anymore.”
In 1988, Graf mentioned after finishing her Golden Slam on the Seoul Olympics: “I’m very excited. It’s something not many people after me will achieve.”
It took 33 years. And then it solely took just a few hours.