FAMOUS TENNIS PLAYER

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Rod Laver

Rodney George Laver AC, MBE (born 9 August 1938), better known as Rod Laver, is an Australian former tennis player. He was the No. 1 ranked professional from 1964 to 1970, spanning four years before and three years after the start of the Open Era in 1968. He also was the No. 1 ranked amateur in 1961–62. Laver's 200 singles titles are the most in tennis history. This included his all-time men's record of 10 or more titles per year for seven consecutive years (1964–70). He excelled on all of the court surfaces of his time: grass, clay, hard, carpet, and wood/parquet. Laver won 11 Grand Slam singles titles, though he was banned from playing those tournaments for the five years prior to the Open Era. Laver is the only player to twice achieve a Grand Slam, in 1962 and 1969, and the latter remains the only time a man has done so in the Open Era. He also won eight Pro Slam titles, including the "pro Grand Slam" in 1967, and he contributed to five Davis Cup titles for Australia during an age when the Davis Cup was deemed as significant as the four majors. The Laver Cup Tournament and the Rod Laver Arena are named after him. Personal life Rodney George Laver was born in Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, on 9 August 1938. He was the third of four children of Roy Laver, a cattleman and butcher, and his wife Melba Roffey. In 1966, Laver, aged 27, married Mary Benson in San Rafael, California. Born Mary Shelby Peterson in Illinois, she was a divorcee with three children. After their wedding ceremony, a group of well-known tennis players in attendance, including Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Roy Emerson, Mal Anderson and Barry MacKay, stood outside the church with raised tennis rackets that formed an archway for the newlyweds to walk under. Laver and Mary had a son and the family lived at various locations in California including Rancho Mirage, Corona del Mar, a ranch near Santa Barbara and Carlsbad. Mary Laver died in November 2012 at the age of 84 at their home in Carlsbad.

 

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