Rod Laver won 200 career-titles, Roger Federer 'just' 100. Who is the greatest ever? It was the Australian legend himself to give the answer in an interview to Blick. "Definitely not me, the competition in tennis has never been so big!
Roger's 100th title in Dubai was a great moment, I sent him a text message straight forward. I played between amateur players, now the sports is a world class one and that makes a big difference. I think he is the greatest.
His perfomance, records and the way he plays are unique", Laver said. And what about Rafael Nadal? "Of course him too. The matches between Roger and Rafa are even greater now, as they will not be able to compete for much more time.
So we will have to enjoy this time. Roger's plan is a smart one: he plays three or four tournaments and then he goes through a six-week break. I think Nadal will soon do it. He already has big injuries." Laver got a hip implement in 1996: "I should have done it earlier.
I barely walked for 20 years, so I broke my knee meniscus and I had to undergo a surgery on it. It was a mistake of mine." Laver commented on how it feels to have an event like the Laver Cup named after him. The team competition event will take place in Geneva in September late this year and the 80-year-old looks forward to it.
"I think the younger generation realized Fred Perry, Don Budge, Ken Rosewall, me and others got soon forgotten. Federer didn't want us to be missed and he made my name popular again and so with the other champions of the amateur time with the Laver Cup."
What does he think about the biggest rivals becoming teammates? "I think it's great. You have champions on both sides, Europe against the Rest of the world. Who doesn't want to get a ticket for the show? That's why the Ryder Cup in golf has got so much success. The Laver Cup needs two or three successful editions so that it gets established. At least that's what I hope."