UPDATE 6/5/16: Novak Djokovic has finally captured his French Open title, adding his name to this illustrious list. The original post follows.
Completing the career Grand Slam is one of the most difficult feats in all of sports. As Novak Djokovic proved during yet another French Open defeat, being able to capture all four major titles in men’s tennis is a daunting slog – one that only a handful of players have ever mastered.
And though Roland Garros has become Djokovic’s white whale, the majority of the Grand Slam winners can empathize. Of the seven players who’ve won all four majors, four closed out at the French Open (Fred Perry, Don Budge, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer). A quick surface and skating footwork have proved it to be, for many, the most difficult jewel of the bunch to collect.
With two players having won a Grand Slam in the past seven years, and one on the cusp, it can be easy to take for granted how difficult the task is. Pete Sampras won 14 majors, but never even made the finals of a French Open. John McEnroe never made the finals at the Australian Open, nor did he win the French. The great Bjorn Borg, winner of 11 majors, never made it beyond the third round at the Aussie, and could not claim a US Open title despite four appearances in the finals. Suffice to say, mastering all four surfaces is a daunting task.
Below is a look at the seven legends of the court who claimed all four of the major titles during their careers.
* Player won two career Grand Slams
- Fred Perry (age 26) – 1935 French Open
- Don Budge (23) – 1938 French Open
- Rod Laver* (24) – 1962 US Open
- Roy Emerson* (27) – 1964 Wimbledon
- Andre Agassi (29) – 1999 French Open
- Roger Federer (27) – 2009 French Open
- Rafeal Nadal (24) – 2010 US Open
- Novak Djokovic (29) – 2016 French Open