Rod Laver's memoir is the inspiring story of how a diminutive, left-handed, red-headed country boy from Rockhampton became one of Australia's greatest every sporting champions. Rod was a dominant force in world tennis for almost two decades, playing and defeating some of the greatest players of the twentieth century. In 1962, Rod became the second man to win the Grand Slam - that is, winning the Australian, French, Wimbledon and US titles in a single calendar year. In 1969 he won it again, becoming the only player ever to win the Grand Slam twice.
His book is a wonderfully nostalgic journey into Australia's sporting past, from the early days of growing up in a Queensland country town in the 1950s, to breaking into the amateur circuit, to the extraordinary highs of Grand Slam victories. Away from on-court triumphs, Rod also movingly writes about the life-changing stroke he suffered in 1998, and of his beloved wife of more than 40 years, Mary, who died in 2012 after a long illness.
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 recognize today, Rod's book is a warm, insightful and fascinating account of a great sportsman and a great Australian.
Rodney George "Rod" Laver MBE was born in Rockhampton in 1938, the same year that American Donald Budge completed the first Grand Slam. Rod holds the record for the most singles titles won in the history of tennis - with more than 200 career titles - and was the second man to win the Grand Slam in 1962. In 1969 he won the Grand Slam again, becoming the only male player to have won the Grand Slam in the open era. Rod remains the only player, male or female, to have claimed two Grand Slams - once as an amateur and once as a professional. He was ranked World No.1 for seven years in a row and is the last male player to have won every major twice. By the end of the 1960s he was regarded as the best tennis player in the world. In January 2000, the epicentre of Australian tennis, centre court at Melbourne Park, was named Rod Laver Arena in his honour. Rod currently lives in Carlsbad, California.