TENNIS

‘Maybe you can be bad-tempered and throw your racket around, but I only had 2’ – says Rod Laver

Rod Laver, Six Sports

Rod Laver, tennis’ only two-time season Grand Slam champion, was the guy Roger Federer wanted to revolve his retirement around,

taking home the Grand Slam in 1962 and 1969. Laver, at 84, was “the best of all time” for Federer;

the world will continue to stir the GOAT pot.

“Thank you for always being there,” 

Federer had remarked to someone he admittedly adored.

After a friendship spanning more than a decade, he had cried on Laver’s shoulder as he won the 2006 Australian Open,

He gave Laver’s name to the imagined team event.

In an interview with telegraph.co.uk, Rod Laver, who’d been available to see Federer’s historic finale at the O2 Arena and weep us the Thames, said,

discussed how quickly the two legends got along.

“Not too many people retire like that”: Rod Laver

 “I’m proud that he feels that way about past champions,”

He spoke to the UK Telegraph.

 “Roger and I hit it off immediately – this connection was something that we both wanted.

He’s so wide open as a character, I can still remember our first meeting.

Tony Roche, my old rival, had been coaching Roger on volleying mechanics.

At this stage, he was still a baseliner, but Tony felt that he wanted to go to the net more often.

He also thought that the two of us should be introduced, but at the trophy presentation in Melbourne, Roger broke down.

It has been amazing to see how everything has unfolded since then.”

Laver’s own departure had been a low-key event back in the day.

 “Not too many people retire like that,”

Laver said.

“I played Bjorn Borg when I was 38. I didn’t announce that it was my retirement, but it was obvious that I was coming to the end.

Roger had such a long, successful career, he knew he wanted there to be something where he said clearly, ‘OK, that’s enough.’

What he’s going to do in the future is anybody’s guess. His avenues are open everywhere. He could become a movie star.”

The two shared the same stable, composed upbringings. Laver grew up in Queensland, Australia, the son of a tough cattle farmer.

The incident described by Telegraph.co.uk illustrates how casually Laver carried his stardom. 

“The closest he came to extolling his own virtues was after his stroke in 1998

, whenever a US doctor inquired about his occupation.

“Tennis player,”

He responded drowsily.

 “I used to be fairly good.”

they wrote.

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