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Rod Laver

Laver's Legacy

In Laver's 23-year career, he won four Wimbledon titles, three Australian, two French, and two U.S. singles, and led Australia to five Davis Cup victories. It is doubtful that his record of two Grand Slams will be matched, especially with the heightened level of play in the competitive Open era. "Laver is widely rated as the best tennis player the world has seen, both for his 1962 and 1969 Grand Slams and the powerful style that won them," wrote Lisa Clausen in a Time magazine retrospective of the 100 sports greats of the twentieth century. "He was master of a left-handed topspin that overwhelmed his opponents, who also struggled to counter his tremendous speed around the court."

But it is not simply his play for which Laver will be remembered. He was truly one of the last gentlemen in the game as tennis spun out of the amateur ranks and into its professional stage. However, Laver was also realist enough to know that you could not be too much of a gentleman on court. "Sportsmanship is the essence of the game," he wrote in The Education of a Tennis Player, "and yet you do not want to be too good a sport. Or what I call a false sportsman." This middle ground was characteristic of the understated Laver style. Somewhat unassuming and quiet on court, Laver yet brought a love and intensity to the game of tennis that attracted and inspired a new generation of players, from McEnroe to Sampras. Through his personal model he showed players that an honorable living could be made in professional tennis, and in his career, spanning both amateur and open tennis, he became the epitome of the modern player-turned-businessman.

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Famous Sports StarsTennisRod Laver - An Aussie Upbringing, Chronology, Amateur Years, Lead Up To First Grand Slam, Related Biography: Tennis Player/coach Harry Hopman - CONTACT INFORMATION, SELECTED WRITINGS BY LAVER: