Mr Roy Emerson
ROY EMERSON, the boy from Blackbutt, won the first of his 16 Grand Slam singles titles at the Australian Open 50 years ago, beating fellow legend Rod Laver in the final.
He beat Laver again later that year to win the US Open and so began a glittering career in which Emerson became the first man to win each Grand Slam title at least twice in his career.
Emerson was quite the trailblazer, becoming the first man to win more than 11 Grand Slams and it was not until the days of Pete Sampras with 14 titles and Roger Federer with 16 that this record was surpassed. Emerson’s six Australian Open titles remains an all-time men’s record.
There is no doubt the game has changed dramatically since his amateur days.
He marvels at mammoth prize money – he recently helped launch the Australian Open, which will be the richest tournament in Grand Slam history with a $26 million purse – and the hi-tech nature of the modern game, acknowledging the great depth in the tournaments because of all the other countries that are producing great players.
Emerson, like fellow legends Rod Laver and Greg Norman, these days continues to reside in the United States.