Federer and Laver; Which is the Greatest of All-Time?
August 9, 2010
NEW YORK — The day after Roger Federer’s 29th birthday on August 8, Rod Laver celebrates his 72nd birthday today on August 9.
Both players have established major milestones in the history of tennis: Federer winning a men’s record 16 major singles titles, while Laver won the “Grand Slam” twice, sweeping all four major titles in a calendar year twice (1962, 1969.) Who can be considered the greatest tennis player of all-time?
Tennis fans can read the stories of both men in two re-released and updated books by New Chapter Press.
Laver’s “THE EDUCATION OF A TENNIS PLAYER ($19.95, www.NewChapterMedia.com) is his first-hand account of his famous 1969 Grand Slam season, capped off by his win over fellow Australian Tony Roche in the final of the U.S. Open. Laver also writes about his childhood and early days in tennis, his 1962 Grand Slam and offers tips on how players of all levels can improve their game. He also shares some of the strategies that helped him to unparalleled success on the tennis court.
Originally published in 1971, THE EDUCATION OF A TENNIS PLAYER, was updated by Laver and Hall of Fame co-author Bud Collins with new content including his recovery from a near-fatal stroke in 1998 and helping Australia once again win the Davis Cup in 1973. The memoir features descriptions of Laver’s most suspenseful matches and memorable portraits of his biggest rivals Ken Rosewall, Lew Hoad, Tony Roche and Pancho Gonzalez.
Laver captured 11 major singles titles during his career, including Wimbledon in 1961, 1962, 1968 and 1969. After joining Don Budge as the only man to win a Grand Slam by sweeping all four majors in 1962, Laver turned professional where he, along with fellow pros Hoad, Rosewall and Gonzalez, were banned from playing the “amateur-only” major tournaments. When the “Open Era” of tennis began in 1968, Laver netted another five major singles titles, including his Grand Slam sweep of all four in 1969. Laver won nearly 200 singles titles during his career and was inducted into the International Tennis of Fame in 1981.
Collins, himself a 1994 inductee in the International Tennis Hall of Fame, first met Laver in 1956 at the Longwood Cricket Club in Boston during the U.S. National Doubles Championships. Thirteen years later, the two collaborated on the book that was only to be published if Laver won the Grand Slam. Collins is best known for his colorful television commentary – and his colorful wardrobe – as well as his columns in the Boston Globe and his famed tennis encyclopedia THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS.
“Rod Laver is one of the greatest treasures we have in tennis and “The Education of a Tennis Player” is one of our sports most important literary works,” said Collins. “Rod was always so humble and gracious, but he could play tennis like a hurricane. He was as a great a champion as we have ever had in tennis and one of the all-time nicest guys.”
ROGER FEDERER: QUEST FOR PERFECTION ($19.95, www.RogerFedererBook.com) is the newly re-released and updated paperback book written about Federer by noted Swiss tennis journalist Rene Stauffer, who has covered Federer since the budding tennis champion was a 15-year-old. Stauffer chronicles Federer’s life as a tempermental junior player, his early struggles on the ATP Tour, his break-out win at Wimbledon in 2003 through his record-breaking 15th major singles title at Wimbledon in 2009. Stauffer also focuses on his values, how he has been marketed, his relationship with the media as well as his numerous charitable pursuits.
Federer made his statement for being considered as the greatest tennis player of all-time in 2009 when he defeated Andy Roddick 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 16-14 to win his sixth Wimbledon singles title and capture his 15th major singles title, surpassing the all-time men’s record of 14 set by Pete Sampras. Four weeks earlier, Federer defeated Robin Soderling 6-1, 7-6 (1), 6-4 to win the French Open, moving him into exclusive company as only the sixth man to complete a “Career Grand Slam” – winning all four major tournaments over a career. Federer’s major trophy mantle, that now numbers 16, currently includes the 2009 French Open title, six Wimbledon titles (2003-2007, 2009), five U.S. Open titles (2004-2008) and four Australian Open titles (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010).
Stauffer is one of the world’s leading tennis journalists and the highly-respected tennis correspondent for Zurich’s Tages-Anzeiger and Sonntags-Zeitung. A sports writer since 1981, Stauffer worked for the Swiss newspapers Blick and Sport, before joining Tages-Anzeiger in 1993. After first writing about Federer in 1996, Stauffer has traveled the world covering Federer and his many triumphs.
New Chapter Press is also the publisher of The Bud Collins History of Tennis by Bud Collins, The Education of a Tennis Player by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games by Tom and Jerry Caraccioli, Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match by Cliff Richey and Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, Jan Kodes: A Journey To Glory From Behind The Iron Curtain by Jan Kodes, Tennis Made Easy by Kelly Gunterman, The Lennon Prophecy by Joe Niezgoda, Bone Appetit, Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog by Susan Anson, The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According to Hoyle by Stewart Wolpin, People’s Choice Cancun – Travel Survey Guidebook by Eric Rabinowitz and Weekend Warriors: The Men of Professional Lacrosse by Jack McDermott, among others. Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press is an independent publisher of books and part of the Independent Publishers Group. More information can be found at www.NewChapterMedia.com.