Laver Reveals Favourite Young Player: 'We're Going To See Him Win A Slam'
Who is Laver's favourite young player?
Shelton is the new player on the tour. We're going to see him winning a Slam, he's got one of the biggest serves, a big left-hander, he doesn't make many mistakes. He sees an opening and he goes for it.— Rod Laver (@rodlaver) September 24, 2023
The 20-year-old Ben Shelton, who is No. 19 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, is one of the fastest rising stars in the sport. This time last year, Shelton was World No. 177. The lefty has enjoyed a breakthrough season, with a career-best run coming at his home Slam, where he was a semi-finalist.
Shelton was also a big part of Team World's convincing Laver Cup victory against Team Europe. The 2022 NCAA singles champion earned a singles victory in his Laver Cup debut and also earned two doubles wins, alongside Felix Auger-Aliassime and Frances Tiafoe. The 25-year-old Tiafoe is another player who Laver anticipates great success from.
Any of the top 10 could come out and win it, but we could see a surprise finalist such as Tiafoe. He's certainly capable.— Rod Laver (@rodlaver) September 24, 2023
Laver also shared what he enjoys the most about the Laver Cup.
The players realise the importance of what the event is. The Laver Cup is now established. Before it was an idea, now it's a reality. The players feel a great identity with the region that they are representing. It's the competition. They are trying so hard.— Rod Laver (@rodlaver) September 24, 2023
Rod Laver (@rodlaver) September 24, 2023
What's the biggest difference between tennis now and when Laver played?
The rackets. The wooden rackets were great to play tennis with, but you have to generate all your own power. It made the game too tough for people. Metal rackets exposed the whole game, and made it more popular for women to play. They got their kids into the sport.— Rod Laver (@rodlaver) September 24, 2023
Probably the most important was against Rosewall in the WCT final in '72. Back then, tennis wasn't exposed to the public. The NBC televised the event and it really took off. All the tennis courts were full that year. Interest in the game exploded.— Rod Laver (@rodlaver) September 24, 2023
Is the 11-time major champion still playing tennis?
Not any more. I had to replace my hips and a knee, so I don't want to wreck them again. It was worth every bit it. I play a lot of golf these days.— Rod Laver (@rodlaver) September 24, 2023