Rod Laver, considered by many to be the greatest men's tennis player of all time, is reported to have suffered a stroke in Los Angeles on Monday (July 27) while recording an interview with the cable sports network, ESPN.
UNKNOWN LOCATION, AUSTRALIA (FILE) (RTV - ACCESS ALL)
1. ROD LAVER
2. VARIOUS LAVER
FORREST HILLS, UNITED STATES (FILE - 1962) SCHEDULED NEWS ONLY
3. LAVER (LEFT) AND ROY EMERSON WALK OUT FOR FINAL OF U.S. OPEN
4. LAVER FAR COURT / EMERSON LOSES POINT / CROWD
5. LAVER SERVES TO WIN
WIMBLEDON, LONDON, UK (AUGUST 1, 1988) SCHEDULED NEWS ONLY
6. LAVER TALKING ABOUT WINNING THE GRAND SLAM: "TO TRY AND GET ALL FOUR TITLES IN ONE YEAR , AND NOW ALL ONE DIFFERENT SURFACES. WHEN I PLAYED IT WAS THREE GRASS COURT AND ONE CLAY COURT. I THINK IN A WAY IT WAS EASIER, ESPECIALLY FOR AN AUSTRALIAN OR AN AMERICAN WHO PLAYED ON THE GRASS AND GOT USED TO IT. YOU HAVE TO HAVE A REAL ALL COURT GAME". (ENGLISH)
7. CUTAWAY OF INTERVIEWER
8. LAVER TALKING ABOUT THE GREAT MOMENTS IN HIS CAREER: "WELL OF COURSE WINNING THE MATCHES IN THE GRAND SLAM. WIMBLEDON WAS ALWAYS PROBABLY MY FAVOURITE TOURNAMENT TO PLAY. THE 1969 FINAL AGAINST JOHN NEWCOMBE. I TEND TO REHASH THAT ONE. IT WAS CLOSE EVEN THOUGH IT WAS FOUR SETS. IT WAS A SET ALL AND I WAS DOWN A BREAK IN THE THIRD SET. YOU REMEMBER THOSE CLOSE ONES, BECAUSE I KEPT THE SLAM ALIVE. AND OF COURSE WINNING IN THE US OPEN WHICH WAS AT FORREST HILLS IN THOSE DAYS WAS ALWAYS A PRETTY EXCITING TIME BECAUSE I WAS PLAYING, THIS TIME AROUND, TONY ROCHE IN THE FINAL. I FELT ON A GRASS COURT WAS A TOUGH OPPONENT FOR ME TO PLAY." (ENGLISH) [LAVER IS TALKING OVER PICTURES OF THE 1969 WIMBLEDON FINAL AND THE 1969 US OPEN FINAL]
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Rod Laver, considered by many to be the greatest men's tennis player of all time, is reported to have suffered a stroke in Los Angeles on Monday (July 27) while recording an interview with the cable sports network, ESPN.
The 59-year-old Australian was taken to UCLA Medical Centre.
A hospital spokeswoman said Laver's family was with him and had requested that no information about his condition be released to the media.
Laver is the only player to win the Grand Slam twice, doing it in 1962 and 1969.
In all, he won 11 Grand Slam singles titles, one fewer than countryman Roy Emerson's record total.
The 'Rockhampton Rocket' won four Wimbledons, three Australian Opens, two U.S.Opens and two French Opens in singles - and might have won more, but turned professional after winning twice and had to wait until 1968 to return to the major events.
He also won nine Grand Slam doubles titles.
He won 47 pro singles titles and was a star for Australia in the Davis Cup.
Now a resident of Newport Beach, California, he earned 1,563,213 Australian dollars (953,560 U.S.dollars) as a professional.