The Grand Slam in tennis is so uncommon that just five players have ever claimed it, and no one has done it since 1988, when it was first accomplished. The Golden Slam, which involves winning all four major tournaments as well as a gold medal in the same year, is virtually difficult to achieve. It had only been done once before, by Steffi Graf.
Until Sunday, when it was done twice in a single session.
Diede de Groot of the Netherlands was the first to claim victory in the wheelchair competition at the U.S. Open, completing a clean sweep of the year’s four Grand Slam events in addition to her Paralympic gold medal in the sport.
Later in the day, in the men’s quad event, Dylan Alcott of Australia achieved the same result as his teammate. (As contrast to individuals competing in the wheelchair category, such as de Groot, quad players suffer severe loss of function in at least one upper limb. )
In the final, De Groot beat Yui Kamiji of Japan, the same lady she had defeated in Australia, France, and the Paralympics. The scores were 6-3, 6-2. Her quest for the Grand Slam came close to being derailed when she required a third-set tiebreaker to defeat Kamiji at the Australian Open.
Despite her success, De Groot, 24, expressed disappointment with her performance: “After such a long period of travelling and simply being everywhere in the globe, I believe both of us are a little bit tired,” she remarked. You may have caught a glimpse of it during the contest, unfortunately.”
She won her 12th Grand Slam singles title on Sunday, behind only the 21 she earned in the early part of this century when she beat her countrywoman Esther Vergeer at the Australian Open.