Rod Laver released a very interesting statement on Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon. The Spaniard played five finals in the tournament - all between 2006 and 2011 - winning two of them in 2008 and 2010, but the Australian legend believes grass surface becoming slower helped him. 'I don't think Rafa would have played very well on the grass courts that we used to play on', said Laver, who competed between the 60s and early 70s. 'The ball kept lower and the bounce was uneven. You couldn't hit topspin like he does when you can't trust the bounce. We were scraping it out of the ground half the time. So no, I wouldn't have thought Rafa could have played like he does then. Roger (Federer) maybe could have done it, he could have adjusted himself. Wimbledon's courts were always the best but the bounce was still uneven, and the baselines were just loose dirt.'
What would have happened if Laver played today against these legends? It would have been amazing to know it, but the Australian doesn't have regrets: 'Actually I'm very happy to have played at another time. Roger and Rafa are unbelievably good players. I was playing with a wooden racket all those years. They play with the bigger headed rackets and it's so different. I can't even envisage playing with a racket like that. It's two different games.'
Laver would also like to see more serve and volley being executed. 'When you can serve it down at 125 or 135mph there is no real need to go to the net. I used to serve and volley first and second serve because you knew that it was a safer option than letting the ball bounce. It was a natural thing to do. If the conditions are not conducive to volleying now, why would they want to come in. Players are not really exposed to volleying now which is a shame.'
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