The four Grand Slam tournaments, also called Majors, are the most important annual tennis events. They offer the most ranking points and prize money, the greatest strength and size of field, and attract the most public and media attention. The Grand Slam itinerary consists of the Australian Open in January, theFrench Open in May/June, Wimbledon in June/July, and the US Open in August/September. Each tournament is played over a period of two weeks. The Australian and US tournaments are played on hard courts, the French on clay, and Wimbledon on grass. Wimbledon is the oldest Major, founded in 1877, followed by the US in 1881, the French in 1891, and the Australian in 1905.
The term Grand Slam also, and originally, refers to the achievement of winning all four major championships in a single calendar year within one of the five disciplines: men's and women's singles; men's, women's, and mixed doubles. In doubles one team may accomplish a Grand Slam playing together or one player may achieve it with different partners. The term "Grand Slam" without qualification refers to winning the four majors in a single calendar year.However, the term "Grand Slam" when used with an indefinite article is widely accepted as referring to any one of the Majors (e.g. "Andy won a grand slam title this year").
Winning the four majors in consecutive tournaments but not in the same year is known as a Non-Calendar Year Grand Slam, while winning all four majors at any point during the course of a career is known as a Career Grand Slam. Winning the Olympic gold medal in addition to the four majors in a one calendar year is known as a "Golden Grand Slam" or more commonly the "Golden Slam". Together, all four Majors in all three disciplines (singles, doubles, and mixed doubles) are called a "boxed set" of Grand Slam titles. No player has won all twelve events in one calendar year but it has been done by three female players during their career.