The Australian Open being referred to as the Happy Slam is not widely known, but the retired former World No. 1 recalls the nickname along with the reason and origin.
Conducted in the relatively Southern most country of the world, the Australian Open is one of the glorious events that take place in the Southern Hemisphere.
39- Grand Slam winning American tennis pro Billie Jean King took to twitter earlier today to remind the world about the nickname- the Happy Slam. The former champ stated the reason for the name to be is that the Australian Open is “one of the grandest sporting spectacles in the Southern Hemisphere,” in addition to it being loved by most of the players.
Did you know the #AusOpen is often referred to as the “Happy Slam”?
This is because most players love it, & it is one of the grandest sporting spectacles in the Southern Hemisphere.
The player who coined the “Happy Slam”? @rogerfederer.
Will miss watching you play, Roger! pic.twitter.com/T14aYOSzIj
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) January 18, 2022
Furthermore, Billie also reveals the origin of the nickname, that is, who coined the term. Apparently, it was none other than Roger Federer who came up with the term- the Happy Slam for the Australian Open title.
The tournament director of the Australian Open, Craig Tiley had spoken about the Swiss champ- “The Australian Open has always held a special place in his heart; remember it was Roger who first called the AO the ‘happy slam’.”
While Federer’s personal reason might not be known, there are multiple reasons for the nickname happy slam. First of all, it is the first major tennis tournament of the calendar year wherein players enter the tournament with a well- rested break over the month of December.
Moreover, in the Northern Hemisphere, the month of January is still winter, players from these regions enjoy the summer break the Australian Open provides them.
The tournament being one of the highest attended events, is known for the warmth and supporters from the spectators of the Melbourne Park. Such an enthusiasm seems to boost the performance of the players, who love such friendly treatment. Thus, giving more sense into the name- happy slam.
The Australian Open is also said to be the first Grand Slam to include ‘indoor play’ to combat extreme heat or wet climate. This was achieved by getting retractable roofs in the three prominent arenas- Rod Laver, John Cain and Margaret Court arenas. It is also the first one to get , hawk- eye technology, where the players used it to challenge the decision of line judges. The Down Under certainly beat its Grand Slam counterparts by making it the most player- friendly tournament.
These might be the reasons for the popularity of the Grand Slam and for the nickname- The Happy Slam.