Rod Laver

Rod Laver AC, MBE was born in Rockhampton, Queensland, in 1938. He ranks as one of the greatest tennis players of all time - if not the greatest. A key member of the golden era of Australian tennis in the 1950s, '60s and early '70s, he won 11 Australian singles titles, two French, four Wimbledon and two United States singles championships. He was a member of six doubles- and three mixed doubles-winning teams at those events. All this, despite being banned from amateur tennis while playing on the professional circuit from 1963-68. He is the only player to achieve two Grand Slams, winning the singles crown at all four Major tournaments - Australian, French, Wimbledon and United States - in the 1962 and 1969 calendar years. In 2000, the main arena at Melbourne Park, home of the Australian Open, was named Rod Laver Arena in his honour. As a player, Rod exemplified all that is good about the sport of tennis, and continues to do so as a revered elder statesman of the game and inspiration to new generations of champions. He lives in Carlsbad, California.

Larry Writer is the author of the Ned Kelly Award-winning Razor: Tillie Devine, Kate Leigh and the Razor Gangs; the William Hill Prize shortlisted Dangerous Games: Australia at the 1936 Nazi Olympics; Pitched Battle: In the Frontline of the 1971 Springbok Tour of Australia; Bumper: The Life and Times of Frank 'Bumper' Farrell; and Never Before, Never Again: The Story of St George's 11 Straight Rugby League Premierships, 1956-66. He has also collaborated with tennis legends Rod Laver, John Newcombe and Margaret Court, and rock star Chrissie Amphlett, on their memoirs.