Rod Laver became a Central Queensland’s icon, when he became the first man to win the Grand Slam in tennis twice! He achieved these feats, first in 1962 as an amateur tennis player and the second in 1969 when the establishment of Open Tennis came about.
Rod was born on the 9th of August 1938, and has achieved another milestone this year by reaching his 80th birthday. Rod’s parents, Roy and Melba Laver, lived on Langdale, a 23,000 acre cattle grazing property west of Marlborough. During the time that Rod was growing up on this property, many of the district graziers had a tennis court on their properties and hosted tennis parties on Sundays as their social activity for the week.
In 1947, Rods parents decided to sell the family farm and move to Rockhampton where the boys could have a secondary education. It was here that tennis coach, Charlie Hollis saw the potential in Rod and decided to make it his mission to get him to the top. Rods tennis career started when he received a place in Harry Hopman’s coaching clinic in Brisbane, and eventually he moved down to Brisbane to pursue it further.
Rods brothers, Trevor and Bob decided at this time to open a sports store in Gladstone, and the rest of the family moved to the Port City to live. Rod visits his family here regularly on holidays and always enjoyed his time here. Rod now lives in California.
The famous Melbourne Tennis Complex was renamed after Rod n 2000 to Rod Laver Arena.