In the autumn of 1969, Rod Laver was staying in a penthouse apartment in Manhattan owned by Charlton Heston. The apartment – as Laver recounted in his memoir – had three floors and the fridge was perfectly stocked for a 1960s tennis player: Steak, eggs, juice, beer. Charlton, the Oscar-winning actor from Ben-Hur was known for his Biblical films, but Laver was the star of real-life epics. He was about to win the US Open and seal his second Grand Slam.

Fifty-two years later Novak Djokovic comes to New York chasing his first Grand Slam with enough money to buy his own penthouse. In 1969, Laver – whose first Grand Slam was in 1962 – won US$106,000 all year while this year Djokovic has US$6,195,865. Tennis has altered. The morning after winning Wimbledon in 1969, Laver woke up in his bathtub with his tuxedo on. Djokovic this year perhaps celebrated his grass-court win by feasting on a gluten-free concoction and getting in touch with his inner Novak.

Please subscribe or log in to continue reading the full article.

Get unlimited access to all stories at $0.99/month

  • Latest headlines and exclusive stories
  • In-depth analyses and award-winning multimedia content
  • Get access to all with our no-contract promotional package at only $0.99/month for the first 3 months*

*Terms and conditions apply.

Join ST’s Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

Source: Read Full Article