Tag Archives: Rod Laver

Novak – its not a slam – but could be 4 in a row..

15 May

Gallery by Ella Ling - Novak Djokovic - Madrid<p></p>

It is no surprise that Novak Djokovic is eyeing off a BIG prize. Afterall he is the only man who can contemplate IT this year. IT has been close but elusive for tennis great Pete Sampras and current GOAT (Greatest of All Time) protagonists – Roger Federer (for the record the Fed Express has won 3 out of 4 on three separate occassions)and Rafael Nadal (in 2010).

IT is, of course the GRAND SLAM. That is all 4 major tennis titles in the one calendar year. And whilst most tennis pundits bandy the term Slam or Grand Slam as interchangeable nouns when they speak of any of the 4 majors (as a point in case look at the above table from Associated Press – it refers to “Grand Slam streaks!!!!), the fact is only two men, Don Budge and the Rockhampton Rocket – Rod Laver, have won a GRAND SLAM.

But for now Nole will be hoping to garner a very rare 4th major in a row – not a Grand Slam – but a remarkable achievement nonetheless. No doubt there will be some catchy phrase coined (a Serbian Slam?). If anyone has the self-belief it is Djokovic. Whilst it is not his favourite surface, he was brought up on clay and I think will mount a very strong challenge.  From the moment the Djoker left Melbourne with the Australian Open trophy in his keeping he has been plotting and planning for this one. And whilst Djokovic says “bring on Roland Garros” -The PRO thinks it will be very hard to go past Rafa….or Roger…

The PRO.

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Rod Laver is in the house!

27 Jan

Many regard him as the greatest of all time. The Rockhampton Rocket – Rod Laver – pictured here at Wimbledon.

Rocket Rod has returned to Melbourne Park to celebrate 50 years since his first Grand Slam in 1962. Laver, the Aussie left handed serve and volley player is looking fit for his 73 years of age and was justifiably chuffed to be honoured in his house – Rod Laver Arena. Laver not only won the 1962 Grand Slam but then went on to become the only male player to win the Grand Slam (all 4 majors in a calendar year – Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open) in the open era, and was ranked world # 1 tennis player for 7 consecutive years (1964 to 1970).

In a typically humble press conference Laver spoke of the honour  of being invited and how it is the crowning jewel of his whole career to see the stadium lit up with his name on it. For a fantastic listen for tennis historians – follow this link to a chat yesterday on ESPN (the US network) with Roger Federer, Rod Laver and Darren Cahill.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7501282&categoryid=2491545