Rod Laver is the best player ever after Roger Federer - Former world No. 4

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Rod Laver is the best player ever after Roger Federer - Former world No. 4

In an interview to his YouTube channel, the former world No. 4 Adriano Panatta praised the Australian legend, Rod Laver. "He is the only player who achieved the Calendar Grand Slam, and he did it twice. On my personal list of the best 40 players ever, I put him on the second place, just after Roger Federer.

I first saw him in 1968 when together with other young Italian players we went to Australia. It took such a long time to reach that country, at a particular time for Italy that was going through so many revolutions. It took two days of flying to go there, now it still takes one day.

Australia was a great country, that experience was an amazing one for us, there you could breathe real tennis, there were a lot of champions, and Laver was the biggest one. Then there were Tony Roche, Ken Rosewall, John Newcombe, Roy Emerson.

They were all so great, and Laver was the most modern player back in the day, a lot of topspin, he did not have a weak backhand, he was able to hit well all the shots, he moved very well and he was an amazing person. And off-court as well, I remember I was 18 years old, in the locker room he asked me where I came from, he asked me why we as Italians came to Australia to play on grass, which was an unknown surface for us.

Prior to that, I had seen the grass not on tennis courts but on the gardens! We were not close friends but he was so nice, he gave me suggestions on how to play on grass, all the tactics. But that always happened with the Australians, I always had a good relationship with them, I was close."