Competing in different eras, Roger Federer and Rod Laver conquered the tennis world, delivering unique shots and standing above their rivals in their prime. There has been a mutual respect between two tennis giants ever since they met, highlighting the other's achievements.
In 2006, Roger won the second Australian Open title over Marcos Baghdatis. Rod Laver was there to present him the trophy, massive honor for the young Swiss, who broke into tears during the trophy presentation. Roger and Rod shared the Rod Laver Arena court eight years later, hitting for a couple of minutes and having a lot of fun.
In 2017, Laver appeared at another Australian Open trophy presentation when Roger defeated Rafael Nadal in epic five sets. Rod and Roger had a chance to spent more time together in September that year, during the first edition of the Laver Cup in Prague.
Speaking about Roger, Laver said that he considers the Swiss the greatest player of this generation and tennis history, placing him above Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. The Aussie legend believes that Federer will have a chance at Wimbledon and the US Open, wishing him a good recovery and hoping to see him at his best again in the upcoming months.
Rod Laver places Roger Federer above Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
"For me, I think Roger is the champion of his era. I think he is certainly, you know, you look at his record, and there's a lot to say he is the best of all-time.
But give some of the other guys a bit more time; maybe they'll come up and meet and be as good as Roger. Djokovic is undoubtedly on his way, along with Nadal, because he won many tournaments, and his consistency is fantastic.
Roger, when I chatted to him the past year or so, he thought he'd play his best until 40, and I think he is pretty much on it. Unfortunately, his knee has been giving him some trouble. He had an operation on the knee that will set him in a good position.
I wouldn't think too much about him winning the French Open, but I think Wimbledon will undoubtedly be there, alongside the US Open. I think he can win more tournaments; he loves to play and compete. He loves his environment.
I think he can see when you got Djokovic and Nadal at the same time - it's so unusual to have such great players all at one time," Rod Laver said.