Emerson–Laver rivalry

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Rod Laver (World No1
19 Major singles
Roy Emerson (World No1
12 Major singles)

Australian tennis player Rod Laver had a long rivalry with his fellow Queenslander Roy Emerson. They met first on the senior amateur tour in 1958 and dominated the amateur circuit until 1962, before Laver went pro. When open tennis arrived in 1968, Emerson went pro, and had many new battles with Laver.

Analysis[edit]

The statistics shows a strong dominance of Laver over Emerson, two years his senior. He dominated him in the amateur era and the open era over all surfaces. Emerson spent his best years in the amateur circuit, and during 5 years he could not face Laver.

Head-to-head tallies[edit]

The following is a breakdown of their documented head-to-head results:

Player 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963–1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 Total
Australia Rod Laver 1 0 2 10 7 0 6 6 6 7 0 5 0 1 51
Australia Roy Emerson 0 2 1 5 4 0 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 21
  • All Matches: Laver 51-21
  • All Finals: Laver 22–10
  • Grand Slams: Laver 7–2

List of all matches[edit]

No. Date Event Round Surface Winner Score
1 1958 Queensland Champs Quarterfinal Grass Laver 6–3, 6–1, 8–6
2 1959–09 Queensland Champs Semifinal Grass Emerson 7–9, 6–4, 8–6, 10–12, 6–3
3 1959–11 New South Wales Champs Semifinal Grass Emerson 6–0, 3–6, 3–6, 6–4, 6–3
4 1960–01 Australian Championships Semifinal Grass Laver 4–6, 6–1, 9–7, 3–6, 7–5
5 1960–07 Wimbledon Championships Quarterfinal Grass Laver 6–4, 5–7, 6–4, 6–4
6 1960–10 Queensland Champs Semifinal Grass Emerson 6–1, 2–6, 6–2, 7–9, 6–3
7 1961-01-30 Australian Championships Final Grass Emerson 1–6, 6–3, 7–5, 6–4
8 1961-02-06 New Zealand Champs Final Grass Laver 4–6, 6–3, 6–2, 3–6, 7–5
9 1961-02-20 Mexican Champs Final Emerson 4–6, 6–4, 6–4, 6–2
10 1961-02-26 Saint Andrews Invitational Final Grass Laver 4–6, 6–4, 6–3
11 1961–03 Altamira Invitational, Caracas Semifinal Hard Laver 9–7, 2–6, 6–3
12 1961 Barranquilla Semifinal Laver 6–3, 6–2, 6–4
13 1961-04-10 River Oaks Champs Final Clay Laver 7–5, 7–5, 1–6, 6–3
14 1961-04-29 British Hard Court Final Clay Emerson 8–6, 6–4, 6–0
15 1961-08-20 Kitzbuhel Alpenland Champs Final Clay Emerson 6–3, 6–3, 3–6, 0–6, 6–2
16 1961-08-27 Poertschach Final Clay Laver 2–6, 6–3, 7–5
17 1961-09-09 U.S. Championships Final Grass Emerson 7–5, 6–3, 6–2
18 1961-10-23 Queensland Hard Court Champs Final Clay Laver 7–5, 6–3
19 1961-10-30 Queensland Champs Final Grass Laver 4–6, 4–6, 6–0, 8–6, 6–3
20 1961-12-04 Victorian Champs Final Grass Laver 4–6, 8–6, 9–7, 6–3
21 1961-12-18 New South Wales Champ Final Grass Laver 8–6, 6–3, 3–6, 4–6, 6–4
22 1962–01 Australian Championships Final Grass Laver 8–6, 0–6, 6–4, 6–4
23 1962-03-11 Montego Bay Champs Final Emerson 8–6, 7–5, 4–6, 3–6, 6–2
24 1962-03-19 Altamira Invitational, Caracas Final Hard Laver 9–7, 6–2, 6–0
25 1962-04-01 Caribe Hilton International, San Juan Final Emerson 7–5, 7–5
26 1962-04-08 Saint Petersburg Invitational Final Emerson 6–1, 6–4, 6–1
27 1962-04-09 River Oaks Champ, Texas Final Clay Laver 6–1, 7–5, 7–5
28 1962-05-07 Italian Champs Final Clay Laver 6–2, 1–6, 3–6, 6–3, 6–1
29 1962-05-21 French Championships Final Clay Laver 3–6, 2–6, 6–3, 9–7, 6-
30 1962-06-18 Queen's Club Champ Final Grass Laver 6–4, 7–5
31 1962-08-27 U.S. Championships Final Grass Laver 6–2, 6–4, 5–7, 6–4
32 1962-09-24 Pacific Southwest, Los Angeles Final Hard Emerson 16–14, 6–3
33 1968–04-13 Hollywood Pro Semifinal Emerson 6–4, 6–1
34 1968-04-18 Paris Pro NTL Round 1 Laver 7–5, 6–2
35 1968-04-21 Bordeaux Emerson 6-4, 6–4
36 1968–05-17 M.S.G. Pro Champs, New York Semifinal Indoor Laver 6–2, 6–2
37 1968–07-19 NTL Los Angeles Semifinal Hard Laver 7–5, 6–2
38 1968-08-03 Honolulu One-night stand Hard (O) Emerson 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
39 1968-08-04 Honolulu One-night stand Hard (O) Laver 6-3, 1-6, 14-12
40 1968-09-30 Midland Pro Semifinal Emerson 6–4, 6–4
41 1968–10-23 São Paulo Round Robin Laver 6–1, 10–8
42 1968–10-28 La Paz Round Robin Laver 6–4, 6–2
43 1968-11-01 Lima Round Robin Emerson 8–6, 6–4
44 1968-11-10 South American Open, Buenos Aires Final Clay Emerson 9–7, 6–4, 6–4
45 1968-11-15 Wembley Pro Round 1 Emerson 6–3, 9–7
46 1969–01 Australian Open Round 3 Grass Laver 6–2, 6–4, 3–6, 9–7
47 1969 Miami Quarterfinal Laver 5–7, 6–3, 6–4
48 1969 Tokyo Round Robin Emerson 6–4, 6–5
49 1969-05-12 M.S.G. Invitational New York Final Indoor Laver 6–2, 4–6, 6–1
50 1969–09 U.S. Open Quarterfinal Grass Laver 4–6, 8–6, 13–11, 6–4
51 1969–12 Basle One night stand indoor Laver 6–3, 6–8, 6–4, 3–6, 6–2
52 1969–12 Madrid Pro semi-final indoor Laver 10–4 (pro-set)
53 1970 Philadelphia Round 3 Laver 4–6, 6–3, 6–4
54 1970 Las Vegas Semifinal Laver 6–3, 3–6, 6–2, 3–6, 6–3
55 1970 Saint Louis Semifinal Laver 4–6, 7–5, 6–3
56 1970-08-10 Bretton Woods Final Clay Laver 6–3, 6–3
57 1970-08-17 National Invitation WCT, Fort Worth Texas Final Hard Laver 6–3, 7–5
58 1970-09-28 Rothman's International WCT, Vancouver Final Laver 6–2, 6–1, 6–2
59 1971 Champions Tennis Classic, Philadelphia Round Robin Laver 6–2, 6–3, 7–5
60 1971 Champions Tennis Classic, New Haven Round Robin Laver 6–3, 5–7, 6–3, 3–6, 6–3
61 1971-04-03 Miami Semifinal Laver 2–6, 6–3, 7–5
62 1971-08 Quebec Quarterfinal Laver 3–6, 7–6, 7–6
63 1971-08 Fort Worth Semifinal Laver 6–1, 6–4
64 1971-08-25 Baton Rouge Final Laver 6–7, 7-5, 6-1
65 1971 San Francisco Round 3 Laver 6–7, 6–4, 6–0
66 1973–01 Miami WCT Quarterfinal Hard Laver 6–4, 3–6, 6–2
67 1973-01-30 Richmond WCT Final Carpet Laver 6–4, 6–3
68 1973-02-11 Toronto WCT Final Carpet Laver 6–3, 6–4
69 1973 Brussels WCT Semifinal Laver 4–6, 6–4, 6–1
70 1973 WCT Finals Dallas Round 1 Laver 6–4, 6–2, 6–1
71 1975–03 WCT São Paulo Round 2 Carpet Laver 6–3, 6–2
72 1975–06-04 Montreal Challenge Match Carpet Emerson 6–2, 3-6, 6–2

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Joe McCauley, The History of Professional Tennis, London 2001
  • World Tennis (The US Magazine)
  • World of Tennis (Annuals edited by John Barrett)