Rod Laver documentary

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Anti-Fedal, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. Anti-Fedal

    Anti-Fedal Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,080
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oXOqKF_QF4

    A great watch. Rosewall, Newcombe, Roche, Fraser, Cooper all interviewed on it.

    Gives a good overview of the the amateur-pro split.

    Match footage from his 1969 grand slam. Never realized how atrocious the conditions were at the 1969 Forest Hills final!
     
    #1
  2. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2014
    Messages:
    1,195
    Location:
    Mortis
    Great video. Too bad Lew Hoad wasn't in it.
     
    #2
  3. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    13,285
    Location:
    On the road from would of to would have
    What a man, what a champion.

    Didn't realize he suffered the stroke while being interviewed! The way he worked to recover from what was clearly a severe stroke (not that any aren't severe) is inspirational.

    I enjoyed the old footage as well, if only it was easier to find matches of these pasts greats.
     
    #3
  4. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Messages:
    2,109
    Thank you very much for the link. Great documentary.
     
    #4
  5. DMP

    DMP Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    539
    Location:
    UK
    Thanks for the link. Great documentary which brought back lots of memories...

    - seeing Pietrangeli and Sirola again (Sirola is in it a couple of times, and is the big guy in the very first B&W clip)
    - seeing Stolle and Emerson walking out for their Wimbledon final. I really wanted Stolle to win that one!
    - the lack of emotion when winning. Just walk across and shake hands with your opponent
    - jumping the net when you've won. It used to be common, now you never see it. Maybe HC is too hard if you misjudge it!

    Big, big, thanks for the link
     
    #5
  6. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,650
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    The Profound Humility of Rod Laver

    "It was a thrill to come off the court and know that I’d won all four [slam] titles in the one year. But I never felt that I was the best--now that I’ve won these titles--I’m the best. And I never, ever felt that way. I just happened to have a good year."
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
    #6
  7. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    13,285
    Location:
    On the road from would of to would have
    He didn't feel he was the best because he knew the pro's were better ;)
     
    #7
  8. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    6,964
    "I used to be a fairly good tennis player." --what a humble and great guy. Will be my new sig for a while. Thanks for sharing this docu. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
    #8
  9. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    Laver was what I would call an old fashioned man.Too many good and strong values for younger generations to appreciate that.
     
    #9
  10. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    13,285
    Location:
    On the road from would of to would have
    I respected him already, but getting to see the man beyond the records was great. A definate legend.
     
    #10
  11. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    You can see also what a great type Rosewall was.And " young" Newcombe who adored both guys.The aussies estimulated each other and that was basically their main strength and one of the reasons that they owned the whole tennis world for almost three decades.
     
    #11
  12. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,650
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    "estimulated"?

    Estimulated. Brilliant!



    (Kiki is a genius with his neologisms. The planet Earth has never witnessed his kind before.)
     
    #12
  13. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2014
    Messages:
    1,195
    Location:
    Mortis
    Laver was a class act. It was truly fascinating going through his era when professionals and amateurs played on different tours.
     
    #13
  14. USS Tang

    USS Tang Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    361
    Location:
    Transchoptankia
    Laver is an excellent role model for youngr players--no grunting, no fist-pumping, no line-call questioning. He talks with his racket. A great documentary!
     
    #14
  15. DMP

    DMP Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    539
    Location:
    UK
    One interesting observation was that when he went professional the established pros helped him bring his game up to their level of competitiveness because it was in all their interests that he put on a good show.

    Good play from both players = memorable matches = good word of mouth = more customers = more gate receipts = more money in your pocket.

    Nothing gets more basic than that!
     
    #15
  16. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    4,355
    Thanks for posting the link. The documentary was a bit sad at the end, regarding that his wife died a few weeks afterwards after a long illness. I liked the story, when he met Mary in LA in 1964, and she told her daughter afterwards, that he just had dated the best tennis player of the world. And she asked her mum: "Pancho Gonzalez?"
    A critical word: The people who put the film clips together, could have done a better job. There is so much video material out there on the internet and available on videos. They often showed only the first or last point of a match, instead showing some really great points or point series, which could better and more exactly represent the power and speed of Rocket's style.
     
    #16
  17. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    19,076
    Location:
    Relax folks, ...
    Unfortunately, they missed a massive trick here.
     
    #17
  18. Raul_SJ

    Raul_SJ Professional

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,294
    Location:
    San Jose, California
    When Laver swept all the slams in 1962, how did Wimbledon and the other slams generate so much fan interest if the 20 professionals touring the country were excluded?

    Nobody would be interested in watching Wimbledon today if Federer, Nadal, etc were excluded.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
    #18
  19. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,650
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Propaganda suggesting that amateurs were just as good?
     
    #19
  20. DMP

    DMP Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    539
    Location:
    UK
    It is the equivalent of reality talent shows today. They draw huge audiences, even though everyone knows those appearing aren't the best artists. But they watch because they like watching new faces, and the excitement of seeing a new talent emerge.

    That is what it was like when the pros played separately. They didn't appear on TV, and couldn't appear in the Open tournaments. So the only chance the majority of people had of watching good quality tennis was at the big amateur competitions.

    And I am confidently predicting that if the top 8 broke away tomorrow to form a separate circuit which did not appear on TV, then people would still flock to Wimbledon - because that is where they would still see top players, and drama, and because it is a summer tradition. Those reasons are true even today.
     
    #20
  21. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    You gave me the idea.

    I will pattent them and sell them to Soup manufacturers.Each new soup branding will have a kiki´s neologism.So the differentiation will be bruttal.

    Many thanks:)
     
    #21
  22. Raul_SJ

    Raul_SJ Professional

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,294
    Location:
    San Jose, California
    Interesting. I didn't realize the pro players didn't get television exposure. It was a different time but in hindsight it seems silly and difficult to see the rationalization for excluding them...

    Put it this way: Laver's 1969 Slam looks more impressive than the 1962 Slam because it was achieved during the Open era whereas the 1962 Slam was achieved with many of the top players excluded from competition.
     
    #22
  23. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,062
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    It happened in football (soccer) in the 1960s as well. The BBC and ITV would be asked by club chairmen and officials not to show too much of the matches on Match of the Day and The Big Match, because it might stop fans going to the match in person. This business logic is ridiculous now, but it seems to have had much more credibility back in the 1950s and 1960s.

    Jack Kramer would express similar concerns about professional tennis in the 1950s, thinking that less fans would pay for tickets if it was shown too much on TV. As a result, television exposure of professional tennis at that time was rather limited.

    It is. The 1969 Grand Slam was against the whole field of players, i.e. both amateurs and professionals. The 1962 Grand Slam was with only amateur players. The best players in the world in 1962 were Rosewall and Hoad, not Laver, as Laver would find out in his early professional days. Gonzales had gone into an 18 month retirement at the end of 1961, which is why I haven't mentioned him.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
    #23
  24. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    Not to mention that Laver was 31 in 69, not a baby anymore...
     
    #24
  25. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,650
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Oh, I think you are quite right. (Laver knew a fair amount about the pros and how good they were.)
     
    #25
  26. comeback

    comeback Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,179
    Glad i finally watched this great video..I remember meeting Laver at a US OPEN autograph session..I reminded him and he remembered clearly a 1974 match i saw on TV in New Hampshire on red clay against Harold Solomon. Solomon was a young 22 year old tiger who had beaten Vilas on clay the week before.Laver at 36 just took him out in straight sets ..Then i saw Laver in 1975 at US Open at 37 take a set from the impenetrable Borg on clay frustrating Borg with drop volleys..Just a great, great player who loved tennis and competed against the best until the end. Never afraid of losing.
    (I think there were 2 matches going on at the same time in Forest Hills stadium during the Laver/Borg match, does anyone remember that?
     
    #26
  27. comeback

    comeback Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,179
    deleted duplicate post
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
    #27
  28. Blocker

    Blocker Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    Melbourne
    A good doco, thanks for sharing. I watched it all and learnt alot.

    Firstly, what a champion bloke, on and off the court. After all that he achieved, having the Melbourne Tennis Centre named Rod Laver Arena is the highlight of hi tennis career.

    Secondly, how big were the Aussie stadiums back then? White City in Sydney, Memorial Drive in Adelaide and Kooyong in Melbourne. They looked bigger back then than they did in the 80s.

    Thirdly, I never knew that the professional tour was less glamorous. So the way it was, amateur tour was more glamorous with no money and the professional tour was less glamorous but with more money. And to think he missed 6 years of slams, it just goes to show that you can't use slam count only to decide the GOAT.
     
    #28
  29. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,650
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    The pro tour was very hard work--little glamour. That didn't come until the 70s with Charlton Heston, Dinah Shore, Alan King, etc.

    There was money in the amateur game, but it was "under the table". Ironically, one could make a pretty decent living being an amateur tennis player in the 60s--look at Emmo.
     
    #29
  30. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,192
    Location:
    L. Island, NY
    Laver is still the man:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLtvrv4isLA
     
    #30
  31. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    Messages:
    2,540
    So you're saying Rod Laver was the equivalent of Kelly Clarkson? :twisted:
     
    #31
  32. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    Messages:
    2,540
    #32
  33. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,650
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    He is--even at age 75, and post-stroke rehab.
     
    #33
  34. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,192
    Location:
    L. Island, NY
    Someone on these boards posted years ago how Lew Hoad played at his club in 1990 He still used a wooden racquet in 1990 and the poster said he was so great he couldn't believe his eyes
     
    #34
  35. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,650
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    He would have been a mere 56--a youngster!

    Even after years of retirment, I bet he still had a modicum of those incredible skills (that so many others rave about).

    Was this in Spain?
     
    #35
  36. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,192
    Location:
    L. Island, NY
    I don't know. I do remember the poster saying how he destroyed the best club players they had and who were all using modern frames.
     
    #36
  37. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    7,609
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Lol, I could completely picture that happening. They wouldn't have had any chance.

    This is a very nice documentary on Rod Laver! Fascinating stuff.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
    #37
  38. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,715
    I happened to read Gimeno´s book which recently came out.The guy adored Laver.He wrotte that when touring, both stayed at the same apartment ( many of the hotels were more miniappartments) and Laver enjoyed cooking for him.He was humble but really funny fella.Their drinks out were full of comraderie.In his book, Laver closes up his 69 season describing how drank he was when celebrating his US open win that brought him the full slam back.He affirms the last thing he remembered was falling asleep at a trendy NY disco listening the great Aretha Franklin singing her fantastic R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
     
    #38
  39. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,650
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    Another "kikiism." Brilliant!

    And a second one. Priceless!
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
    #39

Share This Page