Rod Laver: Age, weight, height, partner and controversy of this tennis legend

82-year-old Rodney George Laver was born on 9 August 1938 in Queensland and is an Australian former tennis player.

He has made an all-time record in tennis after he was ranked world No. 1 for nine different years.

From 1964 to 1970, Laver was the No. 1 ranked professional. This was four years before three years after the start of the Open Era back in 1968. Additionally, he was also the number 1 amateur from 1961–62.  

In the history of tennis, the most singles titles have been claimed by Laver with a number peaking 198.

From 1964 to 1970, he held the men’s record for winning 10 or more titles per year for seven continuous years.

During his time, he was exceptional on all types of court surfaces, be it grass, wood, hard, carpet, or clay.


Laver is 5 ft 8 in tall and he weighs 68 kgs.

Laver has won the Grand Slam singles titles 11 times. Before the onset of the Open Era, he also was banned from playing tournaments for five years.

In 1962 and 1969, he won the Calender Grand Slam twice in singles; he is the only player, male or female, to achieve this feat.

Preceded by Roy Emerson and followed by Novak Djokovic, Laver is the second player to win each major title twice.

He has also won the Pro Slam titles eight times. This includes the “Pro-Grand Slam” title in 1967.

During a time when the Davis Cup was considered as significant as the four majors, he contributed five Davis Cup titles for Australia.


Laver left school to pursue a tennis career when he was a teenager. He was coached by Harry Hopman, the Australian Davis Cup team captain; he gave Laver the nickname “Rocket”.

Previous to that, he was coached by Charlie Hollis in Queensland.

In 1957, Laver won both the Australian and US Junior championships.

He then came under the limelight when he reached all three finals at Wimbledon, winning the mixed doubles title with Darlene Hard on the world stage in 1959. 

In 1960, during the Australian Championships, he defeated Neale Fraser, his fellow Australian in a five-set final. This was his first major singles title.

Laver won his first Wimbledon singles crown against Chuck McKinley which he won in straight sets during the final of Wimbledon in 1961.

The match lasted just 53 minutes (on record it’s one of the shortest men’s singles Wimbledon finals). 

By winning 13 out of 18 matches against Rosewall and claiming 17 titles, Laver was the No. 1 professional player In 1965.

He won the Wembley Pro by beating Gimeno in the final and won eight out of ten finals against Gonzales.

Laver won 16 events in 1966. This includes the US Pro Championship and the Wembley Pro Championship.


In the following year, he won various championships such as the Wimbledon Pro, the Wembley Pro, the French Pro, the US Pro Championships, and collected 19 titles. 

In 1972, because of back and knee injuries, Laver cut back his tournament schedule; though he still won five titles.

In 1973, Laver won all six of his rubbers for Australia after successfully participating in the semifinals and final of the Davis Cup.

Laver ended 1974 with the ranking of World No. 4. This included 13 tournaments and seven titles.

At the age of 36, he was the oldest player during the Open Era to have been included in the year-ending top five.

He became “Rookie of the Year” and also signed with the World Team Tennis at the age of 38. However, that season he only won five titles. 


Back in 1963, Laver had a long-running friendly rivalry with Ken Rosewall when he started out as a pro.

They played over 130 matches, with some results from the barnstorming pro tours lost or badly recorded.

Another one of his even longer rivalries was with Queenslander Roy Emerson. They first met in 1958 during the senior amateur tour just before Laver turned pro.

Emerson joined the pro tour when open tennis arrived in 1968 and both players had many battles. 

Personal life

Rodney George Laver was the third out of four children of his father Roy Laver (a cattleman and butcher) and Melba Roffey his mother.

He was born in Rockhampton, the central region of Queensland, Australia. 

Laver got married to Mary Benson (she was a divorcee with three children) in California in 1966.

A group of well-known tennis players attended their wedding. After the ceremony, all the players stood outside the church and raised their tennis rackets that formed an archway for the newlyweds to walk under.

They had a son together and the family lived at various locations in California.

In November 2012, Mary died at their home in Carlsbad at the age of 84.



Many tennis and Rod fans will remember the 1969 U.S. Open finals, in which he battled against Tony Roche.

After winning this match he was and still is, the only player to complete two Grand Slams of all four majors. 

People, however, do not know that behind Laver’s winning was his footwear.

At that time, the game was played on grass courts until 1975. The final was first postponed because of rain and after that day, it was delayed for 95 minutes because of the wet conditions.

To help dry the grass courts, a helicopter was brought into the stadium.

In the first set, on the wet grass, Laver was having trouble with his footing.

In the ninth game, after the referee’s permission which was initially denied in the first set, Laver put on ⅜-inch spikes. As a result, he cruised through the next three sets against Roche resulting in him winning the Championship.

NameRodney George Laver
Born9 August 1938
Height173 cm (5 ft 8 in)
Weight68 kgs
Turned pro1963

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