Roger Federer is a historian, says Rod Laver



by LUIGI GATTO

Roger Federer is a historian, says Rod Laver

In an interview to Tages Anzeiger, the Australian legend Rod Laver commented on the differences between past and modern tennis. 'When we were playing tennis it was a different world', Laver admitted. 'Now players are much more followed.

I got four rackets that lasted for a year. A string set was enough for Wimbledon. If you hit the ball in the middle of the racket, it's pretty enough. And when the strings were moving, sometimes I fixed them with a bandage ' And then the shoes!

"Every six months there was a new pair for me', he laughed. 'When I seen how many players use a pair for every match today, I ask myself if they run so much or if their shoes are not that good anymore.' Laver thinks that he took the right decision in turning from amateur to professional: 'I could not allow myself to stay as an amateur.

At the beginning of the professional level, I was struggling. They were much better. My idols were Lew Hoad, Pancho Gonzalez and Ken Rosewall. They gave me tough lessons. I lost to Hoad 13 times in a row. I was much better than my days as an amateur.

It was the first time that all the four Grand Slams were open to professionals, and I told my wife that I wanted to face everyone. She said, Go forward, it's your career. When I was in Australia, she called me from our house in California and she told me she was pregnant.

The birth was planned for the last day of US Open, which I think could bring me luck. First tennis - then family.' Laver is looking forward to attending the Laver Cup in Geneva from 20 to 22 September. He praised Roger Federer's role into it: 'Roger is a historian.

He wanted that all the results of the previous generations would not stay on the shadow and they discovered that my name was strong enough to represent all the former champions.' ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: Worse players than David Ferrer won a Grand Slam title

Roger Federer Rod Laver