‘The Education of a Tennis Player’

June 8, 2012

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Novak Djokovic stands one match away from winning his fourth consecutive major tennis tournament and becoming the first man to hold all four major titles at the same time since Rod Laver won his second Grand Slam in 1969. Tennis fans can read the first-hand account of Laver winning all four majors in his memoir “The Education of a Tennis Player,” updated with co-author Bud Collins in 2009.

“The Education of a Tennis Player” is Laver’s 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 won 50 years ago 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” ($19.95, available in hard and electronic formats here on, where ever books are sold and directly via was updated by Laver and 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.

Djokovic will face six-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal in Sunday’s men’s singles final at Roland Garros in Paris. Nadal will be seeking his record seventh French Open men’s singles title, surpassing the record he now shares with Bjorn Borg. Nadal will also look to win his 11th major singles title, tying him with Laver and Borg.