Rafa Slam Hopes Ended Down Under

Australian Open Tennis 2011Rafael Nadal hopes of being the first man in over 40 years to hold all 4 grand slams at one time came crashing to end today in Melbourne as the world number 1, hampered by injured lost to fellow Spaniard and friend David Ferrer.

Nadal lost the match 6-4 6-2 6-3.

The last time anyone held all 4 grand slams at one time, man had just landed on the moon for the first time! Rod Laver won four in a row (also in the same year) in 1969, and this is the only time in the open that anyone had held all 4 titles at once.

Nadal entered the match as odds on favourite to win not only the match, but also the whole event and capture his “Rafa Slam”. Things though from the start did not look good as Rafa was broken straight away needed a medical time-out after just 3 games.

Whether you are a Nadal fan or not, massive sympathy must go to him. He may not have won the Australian open this year, but everyone would agree that we all would have liked to see him attempt this feat and lose to the better player on the day and not be beaten (at least partly) by injury.

Roger Federer has had two close calls to win the “non-calender” grand slam, in 2006 and 2007 all he had to was win the French Open, he reached the final on both occasions only to lose convincingly to Rafael Nadal.

The calendar grand slam (all 4 grand slams won in the same year) that Rod Laver achieved  has never even been threatened to be done again. Roger Federer may have won 16 grand slam titles, but he has only ever won the French Open title and being the second grand slam of the year, his career grand slam challenge was usually done by May. The year he did win the French, he had not won the Australian Open.