Rosewall and Laver competed in the early days of professional tennis, traveling the world as gypsy pros in an effort to scrape out a living. The two Australians were ostracized by the tennis establishment, which favored amateur players — a sad irony given that their rivalry was contested in a true Corinthian spirit. The pair struck up an unlikely friendship based on a mutual respect for each other’s competitive mettle. After they retired, Laver said they had not kept track of how many times they played. So an Austrian tennis historian did the leg work: they faced off in a staggering 141 matches, with Laver, aka “The Rocket,” holding the edge 75-66.
I Challenge You to a Duel