Rod Laver is everywhere. Was he this visible in tennis in the 70s, 80s, and 90s?

Good question (I am too young). I could see Fed being this ambassador one day as well. It would be even better if Rafa and Fed both did things like this together in the distant future as well. I guess Djoker too as I am sure I will look back on him more fondly in the future due to nostalgia.
 

6august

Hall of Fame
Laver is Pete's idol, enough said.

There's no internet in the 70, 80, 90 so he's not everywhere like Fredal now, but he's still a statue in tennis.
 

yokied

Professional
Not just because I'm a lefty Aussie who tries to "identify" with Rod, but can we be a bit gracious in how we handle these guys please? The guy is enjoying the game and life as he ages and is a great ambassador for the sport.

He isn't in the booth. He isn't making it all about him. Mac or Mats or Boris in the booth, OK they're fair game. If people want to talk to him or the commentators want to mention him rather than Manolo or Andre or whoever else may be in attendance, then don't hold that against him.

Let him hang around if he wants.
 

ibbi

Hall of Fame
I think it's a pretty recent thing. After his wife died in 2012 that's when he's started globetrotting like there's no tomorrow. It's amazing really. I take one or two transatlantic flights a year and it's torture, I don't know how Rocket at his age is flying to Australia and Europe and back again. The man is a monster.
 

accidental

Hall of Fame
I read his most recent book. Now his kids are all adults, his wife has died and he is back in good health he’s just started accepting more of the invitations he’s always been getting.

The man is a giant in the sport. His accomplishments are peerless and he and his generation basically built the tour as we know it with their bare hands.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
It was actually after recovering from his stroke (1998) that he seemed to want to get out more and started showing up here and there. The arena was named for him two years after the stroke.
You are supposed to recover from your stroke, and to the center of the opponent's shot angles. Every pro does that, nothing special about Laver.
 

GabeT

Legend
For those that follow comics he reminds me a bit of Stan Lee. He was always a great but has seen his presence rise at the tail end of his life as people who never saw him play at his peak come to understand his importance to the sport.
 

topher

Semi-Pro
I have plenty of respect for Laver, but was he really so much more important than Emerson/Rosewall/Perry and other all time greats? It seems to me that he had two recent ATGs with OHBHs admire him, but watching coverage kids probably think he invented the game lol.
 

Rattler

Professional
Not just because I'm a lefty Aussie who tries to "identify" with Rod, but can we be a bit gracious in how we handle these guys please? The guy is enjoying the game and life as he ages and is a great ambassador for the sport.

He isn't in the booth. He isn't making it all about him. Mac or Mats or Boris in the booth, OK they're fair game. If people want to talk to him or the commentators want to mention him rather than Manolo or Andre or whoever else may be in attendance, then don't hold that against him.

Let him hang around if he wants.
I had the privilege to play a set of doubles with Rod as my partner in 1994. Our opponents a mother corporate guy and Mr McEnroe himself.

Rod was very down to earth...Johnny Mac was showing him a lot of deference and respect.

I ran into Rod again at Indian Wells two decades later and said we were doubles partners way back when...it took him a moment but he remembered.
 

yokied

Professional
I had the privilege to play a set of doubles with Rod as my partner in 1994. Our opponents a mother corporate guy and Mr McEnroe himself.

Rod was very down to earth...Johnny Mac was showing him a lot of deference and respect.

I ran into Rod again at Indian Wells two decades later and said we were doubles partners way back when...it took him a moment but he remembered.
Wow, Rod and Mac! Great stuff. My first real coach was in the generation between Rod and Lew and Lew took him under his wing for a while. Even though the methods were crude, they were pioneering "shamateur" professionals with such a hard working but still deadpan and laconic approach. I think a lot of the current pros could learn a few things from those generations about trying to find some enjoyment and humour in it, at least off the court and with the media.

I'd love to go to IW one year. Looks like a great place and experience.
 

Rattler

Professional
Lol I had no idea how to play doubles and kept getting passed left and right...during Rod’s serve, after being passed I joked “Rod, I can’t keep carrying you on my back.” Rod looked puzzled at me and proceeded to serve 5 aces...to win the game. All during Mac saying, “ you hear that Rocket, two time Grans Slam champ and he can’t carry you, you hear that Rocket?” I felt smaller than the ball...especially since Rod didn’t talk to me for the rest of the set...lol

I apologized to him during the lunch break and at the clinic after lunch he fed me the most difficult balls...and MAC kept up with the “this guy can’t carry a two time Grand Slam champ,” smack talk.

That’s why Rod remembered me
 

yokied

Professional
Awesome, actually cool story. It sounds like you were both getting the full Mac experience. That might’ve been what rubbed Rod the wrong way.
 

TennisDawg

Professional
Seniors travel if they have the money and able to do so. So he enjoys going to Grand Slams. Good for him, he is a senior that enjoys watching great tennis. And he’s also considered a GOAT by many.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Seniors travel if they have the money and able to do so. So he enjoys going to Grand Slams. Good for him, he is a senior that enjoys watching great tennis. And he’s also considered a GOAT by many.
I suspect his travel and lodging are paid for by different organizations and sponsors.
 

tonylg

Semi-Pro
I had the privilege to play a set of doubles with Rod as my partner in 1994. Our opponents a mother corporate guy and Mr McEnroe himself.

Rod was very down to earth...Johnny Mac was showing him a lot of deference and respect.

I ran into Rod again at Indian Wells two decades later and said we were doubles partners way back when...it took him a moment but he remembered.
That's an awesome story.

Rocket did his Nasho (National Service Military Training) with my father in Rockhampton and they hung out and played tennis together. Which actually means he gave my dad a few floggings. Dad always held him in high regard, not just for his talent either.

I like seeing all the former champions at the big tournaments, the GOATs in particular. It's been nice to see Borg appear a little recently too. I hope in the future the Big 3 and others do likewise as it never hurts to remember those who came before you.
 
I think it's a pretty recent thing. After his wife died in 2012 that's when he's started globetrotting like there's no tomorrow. It's amazing really. I take one or two transatlantic flights a year and it's torture, I don't know how Rocket at his age is flying to Australia and Europe and back again. The man is a monster.
It's really not that hard to sit in a chair.
And get served food and watch movies.
Planes are basically a flying nursing home, snowflake
 

jhhachamp

Hall of Fame
I think it's a pretty recent thing. After his wife died in 2012 that's when he's started globetrotting like there's no tomorrow. It's amazing really. I take one or two transatlantic flights a year and it's torture, I don't know how Rocket at his age is flying to Australia and Europe and back again. The man is a monster.
When you don't work for a living, traveling is nothing. Plus he probably flies first class, which is even easier than nothing.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
Rod is suffering from over-exposure, while we hear nothing from another Australian GOAT.
Was she even at the U.S. Open?

She was invited and Serena was excited for her to be there.

Unfortunately, she couldn’t find an airline to fly, so she couldn’t make it.
 

Arafel

Professional
Rod is suffering from over-exposure, while we hear nothing from another Australian GOAT.
Was she even at the U.S. Open?
Margaret Court is a vicious homophobe. She is rightly ignored.

Plus there are definite reasons to not consider her one of the top players of all time. Court didn't do too well outside Australia. She only won Wimbledon three times, and given her serve-volley game, you'd think she'd have done well. She won five U.S. Opens. Almost half of her 24 titles are Australian Opens, and in many of those the field was little more than other Australians. This isn't like Rafa winning 12 French Opens, because while Rafa is dominant there, everyone plays it. Court getting half her titles at Australia would be like Rafa getting 12 French Opens where Djokovic, Murray and Federer didn't play half of them.
 

tonylg

Semi-Pro
Margaret Court is a vicious homophobe. She is rightly ignored.

Plus there are definite reasons to not consider her one of the top players of all time. Court didn't do too well outside Australia. She only won Wimbledon three times, and given her serve-volley game, you'd think she'd have done well. She won five U.S. Opens. Almost half of her 24 titles are Australian Opens, and in many of those the field was little more than other Australians. This isn't like Rafa winning 12 French Opens, because while Rafa is dominant there, everyone plays it. Court getting half her titles at Australia would be like Rafa getting 12 French Opens where Djokovic, Murray and Federer didn't play half of them.
Don't let your hatred of Court's religious views make you just as vicious.

She "only" won Wimbledon three times? US Open five times? Is that all? You probably have no idea what it's like to travel to those places from Australia half a century ago.

And at the AO she "only" beat players like Billie Jean King and Evonne Goolagong. Yeah, no-one who was any good.

As for the comparison of Nadal and the French, lots of top players couldn't care less about the French - Federer being one who has skipped it many times.

Indeed, argue all you want about her views .. as many would decry Serena's attitude and behaviour .. but both are indeed female GOATs, without need for qualification.
 
These new gen Big 3 players have no clue who Laver is
All their idolizing is fake as hell.

They don't even know who Borg and Mac were
Their tennis history starts with Sampras, 1990s, 30 years ago.
Sampras is their Laver.

Laver, to the big 3 and below, is just a silly old man
who doesn't even know how to do a unit turn.
They roll eyes when the cameras are off.
 

Crisstti

Legend
Margaret Court is a vicious homophobe. She is rightly ignored.

Plus there are definite reasons to not consider her one of the top players of all time. Court didn't do too well outside Australia. She only won Wimbledon three times, and given her serve-volley game, you'd think she'd have done well. She won five U.S. Opens. Almost half of her 24 titles are Australian Opens, and in many of those the field was little more than other Australians. This isn't like Rafa winning 12 French Opens, because while Rafa is dominant there, everyone plays it. Court getting half her titles at Australia would be like Rafa getting 12 French Opens where Djokovic, Murray and Federer didn't play half of them.
What has she said that's so vicious? She has a right to her opinion.
 
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UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
Not just because I'm a lefty Aussie who tries to "identify" with Rod, but can we be a bit gracious in how we handle these guys please? The guy is enjoying the game and life as he ages and is a great ambassador for the sport.

He isn't in the booth. He isn't making it all about him. Mac or Mats or Boris in the booth, OK they're fair game. If people want to talk to him or the commentators want to mention him rather than Manolo or Andre or whoever else may be in attendance, then don't hold that against him.

Let him hang around if he wants.
While I don't disagree with you, can we not use this ultra-cliched expression so often? It's so... sanitized, PC and media-friendly.

Ambassadors are anyway mostly corrupt politicians.
 
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Mainad

Bionic Poster
Margaret Court is a vicious homophobe. She is rightly ignored.
Her outspoken opposition to Gay Rights is indeed reprehensible but should not distract from her record as a tennis player.

Plus there are definite reasons to not consider her one of the top players of all time. Court didn't do too well outside Australia. She only won Wimbledon three times, and given her serve-volley game, you'd think she'd have done well. She won five U.S. Opens. Almost half of her 24 titles are Australian Opens, and in many of those the field was little more than other Australians. This isn't like Rafa winning 12 French Opens, because while Rafa is dominant there, everyone plays it. Court getting half her titles at Australia would be like Rafa getting 12 French Opens where Djokovic, Murray and Federer didn't play half of them.
Now that's clearly nonsense. Even if you want to disregard her Australian titles she still won 13 singles titles at the other Slams (5 at the French Open, 5 at the US Open and 3 at Wimbledon). That's double digit figures still. Plus she won 17 doubles titles at the other 3 Slams (11 women's, 17 mixed). All double digit figures. Plus she led Australia to victory in no less than 4 Federation Cups. By any standards, she is one of the greatest women tennis players ever.
 
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Arafel

Professional
What has she said that's so vicious? She has a right to her opinion.
She fought aganist marriage equality in her home country. Her right to her opinion doesn't make her any less awful of a person. White supremacists have the right to their opinion too; they still suck
 

Arafel

Professional
Her outspoken opposition to Gay Rights is indeed reprehensible but should not distract from her record as a tennis player.



Now that's clearly nonsense. Even if you want to disregard her Australian titles she still won 13 singles titles at the other Slams (5 at the French Open, 5 at the US Open and 3 at Wimbledon). That's double digit figures still. Plus she won 17 doubles titles at the other 3 Slams (11 women's, 17 mixed). All double digit figures. By any standards, she is one of the greatest women tennis players ever.
Perhaps, but she's not the greatest ever. I'd put her fifth, behind Steffi, Serena, Chris Evert and Martina.

Part of the problem on this board is most people have no idea of tennis history. Slams didn't always matter. Evert didn't play the AO her first 10 years of her career, and skipped the French for three years in a row in her prime when she was unbeatable on the surface. Martina also didn't start playing the AO until 1980, skippinng it even when she won Wimbledon and she'd have been very hard to beat on the surface.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
Rod is suffering from over-exposure, while we hear nothing from another Australian GOAT.
Was she even at the U.S. Open?

Perhaps, but she's not the greatest ever. I'd put her fifth, behind Steffi, Serena, Chris Evert and Martina.

Part of the problem on this board is most people have no idea of tennis history. Slams didn't always matter. Evert didn't play the AO her first 10 years of her career, and skipped the French for three years in a row in her prime when she was unbeatable on the surface. Martina also didn't start playing the AO until 1980, skippinng it even when she won Wimbledon and she'd have been very hard to beat on the surface.
She'd been declared unclassy by the PC brigade.
 

Crisstti

Legend
She fought aganist marriage equality in her home country. Her right to her opinion doesn't make her any less awful of a person. White supremacists have the right to their opinion too; they still suck
Lol at calling her "vicious" due to that and at comparing opposition to same sex marriage to white supremacists. Obama was opposed to in a moment. Guess he's Hitler.
 

papertank

Hall of Fame
I feel like with the rise of the big 3 and how important all 4 grand slams have become, he stands out more now as the only person to ever accomplish the one thing none of the big 3 were able to do. His greatness is unquestionable in a way unlike any other player.
 

Arafel

Professional
Lol at calling her "vicious" due to that and at comparing opposition to same sex marriage to white supremacists. Obama was opposed to in a moment. Guess he's Hitler.
Obama praised Obergefell v Hodges and lit up the White House in the LGBT rainbow when it was announced. He was an ally to the queer community. You're obviously not a member of our community, so you don't know what it feels like to be under constant assault and have people be so casually dismissive of our basic equality. I will totally compare her to white supremacists.

As for Court, she has long stated that lesbian ruined women's tennis, believes being gay is a choice that we can overcome and attacked Casey Dellequa (Aussie tennis player) for having a child with her partner, Amanda Judd

Historically, she also defended South Africa's policy of apartheid and said that trans kids were from the devil.

So tell me all, since you seem to enamoured with defending Court's quality of tennis, do you also speak out in support of O.J. Simpson being an amazing football player?
 

Spencer Gore

Professional
Obama praised Obergefell v Hodges and lit up the White House in the LGBT rainbow when it was announced. He was an ally to the queer community. You're obviously not a member of our community, so you don't know what it feels like to be under constant assault and have people be so casually dismissive of our basic equality. I will totally compare her to white supremacists.

As for Court, she has long stated that lesbian ruined women's tennis, believes being gay is a choice that we can overcome and attacked Casey Dellequa (Aussie tennis player) for having a child with her partner, Amanda Judd

Historically, she also defended South Africa's policy of apartheid and said that trans kids were from the devil.

So tell me all, since you seem to enamoured with defending Court's quality of tennis, do you also speak out in support of O.J. Simpson being an amazing football player?
People's personal beliefs and their sporting ability are not related.

Someone can be incredibly gifted and hold reprehensible views.
 
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