Long before Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal came into the picture and started giving him a semblance of a fight, Rod Laver was, and still is by many, considered the greatest tennis player of all time, or GOAT.
Dubbed “Rocket”, Laver was only the second man to complete the Grand Slam – win all four Majors in a calendar year – in 1962, after American Don Budge in 1938. In 1969, Laver did it again and he remains the only player to have won the Grand Slam two times.
Laver was a powerful left-handed player who generated loads of top-spin and excelled on all surfaces of his time: grass, clay, hard, carpet, and wood/parquet.. He was the world No 1 from 1964 to 1970 and won 200 singles titles in his career, including 11 Majors.
The Australian won the first open Wimbledon championship in 1968. In 1971, he became the first professional tennis player to cross the $1 million mark in career prize money.
Laver celebrates his 80th birthday today. Here is a video of 10 of the best points he won on the tennis court: