Athlete Profile: Rod Laver

Athlete Profile: Rod Laver


Age: 79

Weight: 150 lbs. (68 KG)

Height: 5’8″ (173 CM)

Birthplace: Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia 

Plays: Left-handed

Ranking: 6th all-time

Coach: Harry Hopman, Tony Roche 

Career Titles: 200+

Widely considered the greatest tennis player in the history of the sport, Rod Laver held the place of No. 1 from 1964-1970 and for three years after the start of the Open Era in 1968. He holds the most singles titles in tennis history at 200, including his all-time record of winning 10 or more titles per year for 7 consecutive years. He is the only player to achieve the calendar-year Grand Slam twice, both in 1962 and 1969, the latter being the only time a player has done so in the Open Era. He has won 8 Pro Slam titles including the “pro Grand Slam” title in 1967 and five Davis Cup titles for Australia.
Although on the short side and of medium build, Laver had arguably impeccable technique. His serve was unpredictable and his groundstrokes were hit with topspin, as was his attacking topspin lob, which he used much to his advantage. Laver was quick and agile with a very strong left arm which gave him inarguable power even when on the run. Some of his longest running rivalries include Ken Rosewall, Roy Emerson, and Arthur Ashe, all of whom he primarily dominated.Â

Although originally from Rochhampton, Queensland Laver has lived in California with his wife Mary Laver since their marriage in 1966. You can catch a statue of the tennis legend outside the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, named in his honor. In 2003, he was honored with his portrait on a postage stamp by the Australia Post Australian Legends Award. Although he currently resides in Carlsbad, California, Laver has returned to his home country multiple times to reward Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup at the Australian Open.


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