Author(s): Rod Laver
The 1960s and '70s was an era of Australian tennis giants - Roy Emerson, Fred Stolle, Neale Fraser, Lew Hoad, John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall - but Rod Laver stood head and shoulders above them all. A diminutive, left-handed, red-headed country boy from Rockhampton, Rod Laver is one of Australia's greatest ever sporting champions and arguably the best tennis player the world has ever seen. He is the only male player to have won the Grand Slam - all four major titles in the same calendar year - in the Open era, and he is the only player to have won two Grand Slams. He was the dominant force in world tennis for almost two decades, playing and defeating some of the greatest players of the 20th century. Rod Laver writes vividly of his life, from the early days growing up in a Queensland country town, playing on makeshift backyard courts, to breaking into the amateur circuit and eventually the professional realm. He also writes movingly about the stroke he suffered in 1998, and of his beloved wife of more than 40 years, Mary, who died last year after a long illness. Rod Laver's memoir is a wonderfully nostalgic journey into Australia's sporting past, filled with anecdotes about the great players and great matches, set against the backdrop of a tennis world changing from rigid amateurism to the professional game we recognise today.