Tennis is a sport in which the surface weighs. And, in many cases, it is decisive. For this reason, achieving the feat of winning Roland Garros, on clay, and Wimbledon, on grass, in the same season is a luxury that only three figures on the men’s circuit have given themselves in the last 50 years.
The Swedish Björn Borg, the Spanish Rafael Nadal and the Swiss Roger Federer, in that order, made the feat of being champion in Paris and a month repeat in London. That, since 1970, is a milestone that only the three of them, already legends of the sport, made come true to the delirium of their fans.
The previous one to achieve it was the Australian Rod Laver, who achieved that feat in 1962, in the amateur era, to repeat as a professional (since 1968) in 1969. What’s more: on those two occasions he also won the titles of the Australian Open and from the US Open to take the full Grand Slam.
After the brilliant Laver, it had become – and still is – a highly coveted double crown. It is a special challenge to have to move quickly from the slow Parisian clay to the fast London grass. Similarly, there were times when the pasture of La Catedral was faster than today and then prevailing there after doing so at the French Open was an even more difficult feat.
Borg doubled in 1978, 1979, and 1980
The Swede, known as the “Ice Man” for his immutable personality, first made the double of celebrating at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in a row at the age of 22, in 1978. Solid like few others from the base, Borg was crowned in 11 Majors, six in Paris and five in a row in London. And to think that he decided to retire at the age of 26 …
The Scandinavian was N ° 3 of the ATP ranking during both tournaments in 1978. In Paris he devastated, literally: he did not lose a set and, of the 21 he won, in 13 he won 6-1 or 6-0. In the final, he beat the Argentine Guillermo Vilas, who was 2nd. Already at Wimbledon, after circumventing a tough debut in five sets, he headed out and beat the American leader Jimmy Connors, leader of the circuit, in straight sets in the final duel.
In 1979, Borg beat the Paraguayan Victor Pecci in the final in Paris in four sets, while in London he got rid of Connors, the king, in semi and without problems, to beat another American, the lethal punch Roscoe Tanner in the definition, in five sets. He played both championships as an escort in the ranking and left Wimbledon with the No. 1 again in his possession.
His third double completed him already with the No. 1 in his hands. In 1980 he did not leave a single set on the road in the capital of France, where he beat the American Vitas Gerulaitis in the final, while another player from that country, his great rival John McEnroe, at the time his escort in the ranking, what defeated in a final of Wimbledon always remembered, in five chapters and 8-6 in the last, in a great duel of styles.
Nadal accomplished the feat in 2008 and 2010
It took 28 years! so that another tennis player would have the enormous pleasure of singing victory in those two Grand Slam in a row in the European summer. It was Nadal’s turn, with his seasoned proposal, firm from the bottom and already taking the net on some occasions. That is why it surprised many that the Spanish achieved that double in 2008, to return to achieve it two years later.
In 2008, Rafa, with 22 years, won both titles being the second of the ATP, just behind his winner in the two finals, Federer. In Paris, Nadal eliminated the Serbian Novak Djokovic (3rd) in the semi-final and easily beat the Swiss, taking the tournament for the fourth year in a row, in this case without losing a set. Meanwhile, in London, he cut with the two definitions lost against Federer in 2006 and 2007 and gave the great blow, celebrating 9-7 in the fifth quarter, in a historic clash, considered by many to be the best in a final from Grand Slam.
Two years later, Nadal, today the owner of 19 Majors, took revenge from the Swedish Robin Soderling in the final, being that rival the one that had given him his only defeat at Roland Garros, in the eighth of 2009. In Paris he was listed as Federer’s escort in the ranking and thus was able to reach Wimbledon being the leader of the ATP. There he realized the Czech Tomas Berdych in the last crossing to seal another sensational double. That year, in addition, he won another Grand Slam, the US Open, being the only one in the combined cases of Borg and Federer that one season achieved the double of Paris and London and could also be crowned in another Major.
Federer had his double in 2009
At 27, one month after turning 28, the Swiss completed the feat in question, with his aggressive tennis, full of variations and looking to propose and attack. And he lived it in a special way, since the owner of the record of 20 Grand Slam titles was able to celebrate at Roland Garros for the only time in the aforementioned 2009. Yes, he did it just after the first double of Nadal and prior to the second of his archrival.
Federer lived a unique, very special French Open. Soderling was in charge of eliminating Nadal in the second round and the Swiss also suffered a lot in two clashes, in that round against the German Tommy Haas, after being 0-2 in sets, and in the semifinal against the Argentine Juan Martín del Potro, when traced a 1-2 disadvantage in sets. The defining duel was resolved without leaving a chapter, against Soderling, to complete the Grand Slam race. And, in addition, it equaled the record of the American Pete Sampras of 14 cups in the Majors.
Immediately afterwards, at Wimbledon, where he holds the top mark of eight titles, he made the dreamed double that allowed him to definitely pass Sampras when he won his 15th Grand Slam and, as a bonus, he regained the No. 1 in the world, which was in the hands of Nadal. In London, the Swiss also suffered, as he beat American Andy Roddick 16-14 in the fifth set in the final, in an electrifying duel. even more with everything at stake. Without a doubt, another historical moment for world tennis.