US Open Tennis 2011: Rafael Nadal and Top Slam Champions of 2011

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US Open Tennis 2011: Rafael Nadal and Top Slam Champions of 2011
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

With the end of the 2011 US Open, the Grand Slam season is over.

Rafael Nadal who last year won three of four Grand Slams, won only one this year, the French Open. He achieved the Career Slam last year at the US Open.

Rafa had won the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in 2010. Should he have won the Australian Open this year, he would have been the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time.

While Laver did achieve the Grand Slam (as a matter of fact he did it twice), Rafa could've had a piece of history, since no one other than Laver has been able to hold all four Grand Slams at the same time.

We saw six different Slam Champions for the eight Singles finals this year.

On the women we had four different winners at each tournament. Three were first time winners, none of them ranked in the Top 4 in the world.

That was a total contrast to the men's side where the top top players in the world won all four. The top ranked player in the world won three, while the No. 2 won the remaining one.

The competitive difference in both categories is astounding.

In the men's side, the Top 4 players have dominated tennis for the past few years. And the top ranked player has won three of the four Grand Slams each of the last two years.

The Grand Slam finals in the men's draws have been fought by a combination of those Top 4 players.

This brings to the forefront an old debate. What do you prefer to see in tennis, wide open competition or a dominant player winning most tournaments?

Tennis fans are split on this issue. Most of them would say that they have mixed feelings on it.

There are the ones that like to see new, fresh faces disputing the finals of the big tournaments. While there are the ones that like to see the top players dominate, and show their greatness.

It's easier to follow one player, and identify with him/her than many. No matter what you like, you got your wish granted this year.

Let's take a look at Rafa and the other top Slam Champions of 2011.

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