Rod Laver: Rockhampton Art Gallery Collection
20 October 2018 – 9 December 2018
Central Queensland has a rich and proud legacy of producing some of Australia’s most notable and successful sporting personalities.
The only tennis player to twice win the Grand Slam (four major single titles in one calendar year), Rod Laver is arguably one of the world’s greatest tennis players. Living in Rockhampton from the age of ten, every morning at 5am, Rod and his two older brothers would ride their bikes eight kilometres to the association courts to take lessons with Charlie Hollis.
Through Charlie’s coaching, Rod overcame perceived weaknesses – left-handed and 173cm tall – and developed as a true technician of the game with superb ball spin control and aggressive volleys. Moving to Brisbane at age fifteen, Laver won the 1957 Australian junior tennis title. Four years later, he won the first of four Wimbledon singles titles. Rod became the world number one tennis player for seven consecutive years (1964-1970) and holds the world record for career titles, at 200.
In 1981 Laver was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and in 2000 centre court at Melbourne Park was named in his honour, the Rod Laver Arena. Fellow tennis player Gene Scott summed up Rod’s winning formula, “Laver’s a little guy, but that left forearm and wrist – that’s what he beats you with. That and his pride”.
Where: Rockhampton Art Gallery, Merilyn Luck Gallery
Parking: Victoria Parade or Bolsover Car Park behind the Gallery.