Rod Laver inducted into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame in January 1993

Rod Laver to celebrate golden anniversary milestone

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Both the Australian Open and the legendary Rod Laver will celebrate significant golden anniversary milestones in 2019.

In January the Australian Open will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

The tournament was previously known as the Australian Championships and only amateurs were able to compete.

The first Australian Open was staged at the grass courts of Milton, Brisbane, in 1969 and ushered in a new ‘Open’ era for the sport.

Finally Grand Slam tennis was open to the increasing number of professional players, those who sought to make a living out of the sport they loved but had been banned from competing at the majors since 1963.

For Rod Laver, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of his second ‘Grand Slam’, when he won all four majors, the Australian, French, Wimbledon and US Open, in a calendar year for the second time.

This was a feat he achieved first as an amateur in 1962, before being barred from competition for five years after turning professional. He is still the only person, male or female, to have won the prestigious calendar Grand Slam twice.

Both anniversaries will be recognised and celebrated at the Australian Open in a series of special events, in-stadium on-screen entertainment and documentary content.

Few sports have a longer or richer history than tennis and no player occupies a bigger part of that history than Rod Laver.
Roger Federer
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In January the Australian Open will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

As the great Roger Federer said in the foreword of Rod Laver’s autobiography:

“Few sports have a longer or richer history than tennis and no player occupies a bigger part of that history than Rod Laver. From my earliest tennis memories, Rod ‘the Rocket’ Laver stood above all others as the greatest champion our sport has ever known.

“Winning all four majors in the same calendar year to complete the Grand Slam, on two separate occasions no less, is one of the greatest feats a player can accomplish. In 1962, Rod became only the second man to do this.

“Seven years later, Rod conquered the game’s Everest again to become the first player – man or woman – to have won the Grand Slam for a second time. No male player has completed the Grand Slam since,” Federer continued.

“For the past year the tennis community has been celebrating 50 years of the Open era, and in January the Australian Open reaches this significant milestone,” Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said.

“I’m even more excited about the 50th anniversary of Rod Laver’s second Grand Slam. Rod has always been an idol of mine, and one of the great opportunities in my role has been having the chance to get to know this humble champion who has done so much for our sport.

“It’s just as well Rod’s achievements are now well documented, as you would never hear about them from the man himself. Rod Laver represents a generation of players who sacrificed so much to change the sport, and create the pathway that our professional players have today.

“We look forward to celebrating the 50th anniversary of his historic second Grand Slam in January, fittingly at Rod Laver Arena.”