Alan King Tennis Passion Award to be awarded to tennis legend Rod Laver
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — The Pacific Life Open will give the prestigious Alan King Tennis Passion Award, named after the godfather of tennis tournaments, to legendary tennis player Rod Laver today, Saturday, March 22, following the women’s doubles finals on stadium court. Laver, whose 23-year career spanned the amateur and open eras, won 47 pro singles titles, was runner-up 21 times and was inducted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1981.
The Passion Award was founded in 2004 in honor of Alan King’s dedication to the sport of tennis. King’s love of the game translated through the attention and details placed on his beloved namesake, the Alan King Tennis Classic. That event is still known as the larger than life grandfather of tennis tournaments, an insurmountable benchmark for the production of tennis events around the world. King was responsible for bringing the popularity of tennis to a new level, still unsurpassed in grandeur, by marrying the exclusive cache of Hollywood glitz and glamour, the notoriety made only through TV and his charismatic personality.
Just like King, the impression that Laver left on the world of tennis was legendary. Born on August 9,1938, in Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, Laver became a dominant champion as an amateur and professional during the 1960s. Playing with an attacking style, he was a complete player who shined from the backcourt and at the net.
Laver achieved what no other player had ever done before or has done since; he won the coveted calendar year Grand Slam twice, in 1962 as an amateur and then again in 1969 as a professional. He went on to win a total of three Australian singles, two French, four Wimbledon titles and two U.S. Championships.
Ranked No. 1 in the world on four different occasions, Laver was a member of the Australian Davis Cup team and led Australia to five Davis Cup titles. Of all the legendary Aussie Davis Cup performers, he was the only Australian player never to play in a losing series.
Laver was the first player to earn $100,000 in a single year and the first tennis player to record career earnings of a million dollars. In 1992, Stadium Court at the Australian Open in Melbourne, was renamed Rod Laver Arena.
About the Pacific Life Open
The Pacific Life Open, a two-week combined ATP Masters Series and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event, is held annually at the beautiful Indian Wells Tennis Garden, located near Palm Springs in Southern California’s lush desert oasis. The tournament features 250 of the top ranked men’s and women’s players in the world. For more information about the tournament or to purchase tickets, log onto PacificLifeOpen.com or call 800-999-1585.
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