Rod Laver vs Tony Roche in pursuit of the first Open Era Grand Slam! | US Open 1969 Final

No. 1 seed Rod Laver takes on No. 3 seed Tony Roche in the final of the US Open 1969.

Rod "The Rocket" Laver is looking for his fourth major championship of the 1969 season, which will see him become the first player to achieve an Open Era 'Grand Slam'.

The Laver-Roche final is being played on a Monday after a backlog of bad weather and a number of unique methods including a helicopter and running spikes will be used to try and tame the treacherous conditions!

Who will come out on top in this test of technique and courage by playing wonderful tennis under dreadful conditions?

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87 comentarios:

Can we all take a moment to appreciate the video quality? Two moments for the playing quality.
T H:
For those wondering what the helicopter was doing at the start - they brought it in to try and dry out the court a bit. The weather that year had been terrible, and it had left the courts saturated.
Nobody here will believe this, but I hit with the rocket a few times. What a class guy!
Trancing Trance
Trancing Trance:
The quality is incredible, imagine what they can do with next gen racquets back then.
J D:
Thank you for this fantastic share. A real treat for us tennis history buffs. Could I ask you to check if you can track down a copy of the Borg-Tanner quarterfinal from the 1980 US Open? That was a terrific match and I'd love to see it on your channel.
Otto Doerr
Otto Doerr:
This is something else, I've been looking to watch this final for years. I hope you could post the whole tennis match. Afterall , it was Rod Laver 2nd " Mayor " Grand Slam and the first one in the Open Era. Congratulations and all the best to the U.S.T.A. Thanks a lot.
Thank you sir, definitely will be looking forward to this! The main Rod Laver full match in solid quality I would love to watch the most is against Bjorn Borg in 1975 WCT Finals :)
Dave Border
Dave Border:
Would love to see the 1968 Ashe vs Okker final in full.
Thomas Humphrey
Thomas Humphrey:
Heading into the 1970's this was the golden era of tennis.
This match is a treat. Would love to see the 1970 full length match between Roche and Rosewall!!
David Kaiser
David Kaiser:
This match has been available for years but never in such sharp quality. Incredible. Thank you! There are other matches we could use it on!
Patrick O’Hennesy
Patrick O’Hennesy:
Wow how much the game has changed is amazing!
Roger Green
Roger Green:
Laver's phenomenal career win-loss record and being the only person to win the Grand Slam twice ordinarily would mark him as the greatest exponent of the singles game, but a ban imposed for turning pro messed up the stats. You can only imagine how many of the 20 majors he was not allowed to contest that he would have won to add to his undisputed 11, but you only have to look at the 8 major titles he won from the 14(!) finals he reached of the 15 replacements that were available on the pro tour during the ban to get a hint. He was at the height of his powers after winning the Grand Slam in 1962, then came back and did it again just to underscore his greatness, and he never once threatened to shove a ball down a linesperson's throat in the process.
Rod Laver was and is a champion on and off the court.... never to be duplicated in ANY era.....imho
Ricardo Vargas
Ricardo Vargas:
Powerful serve. I would struggle to make a return.
Leo Smart
Leo Smart:
Laver's ability to inside-out volley at the net (e.g., at 26:49) is something I do not recall seeing from any player in any era.
the heyday of Aussie tennis.besides these players there was Rosewall ,Newcombe,Emerson,et al.all near the top.
Leo Smart
Leo Smart:
There were lots of complaints from Roche about foul calls, and he appeared to have a beef on some of them, but the most incomprehensible one to me was at 1:28:10, when the ball was called out even though it was clearly in, and it was on a high lob, so there was plenty of time to focus the eye.
Daphne Wilson
Daphne Wilson:
So amazing to see this! I had such a crush on Tony Roche, back in the day. I had forgotten they were both southpaws. Didn't Roche win at Wimbledon? But not this year, if Laver got the GS.
richard colton
richard colton:
i was there for this, can u imagine these guys using the space aged racquets of today?
patrick kelly
patrick kelly:
Looking forward to this famous match which was played on something akin to a rugby field
The pace of play is wonderfully brisk. No “drama,” no long delays after every point, no endless ball bouncing before serving, no having the ball tossed to you by a ball boy or girl because you missed your first serve and can’t find a way to put a second ball in your pocket.
They just got on with it.
I miss the old days.
Wel done us open channel, great to see you are still uploading classics. Wimbledon Chanel seems to have stopped. Great quality, great tennis.
Alison Wragg
Alison Wragg:
I can't believe the state of the court, imagine that at Wimbledon these days!
Slingshot Chicken
Slingshot Chicken:
After watching Laver relentlessly serve and volley on first and second serves with a wooden racket, I wonder. After watching him move forward and take those forehands early, I wonder. After watching Laver hit amazing backhands like it was taking a drink of water, I no longer wonder. I suspect Rod Laver, all things considered, is The G.O.A.T.
More net action in todays tennis would bring a higher level. An all court player looking to move forward gets the Grail. Federer reminds me of Laver in some ways.
Carlo Santin
Carlo Santin:
Amazing quality, you can actually watch this and see the ball. What great tennis but that court is treacherous.
Last decent serve and volley player was Pat Rafter. Great style to watch. Geez, Laver's backhand is brilliant!!
todeo todeo
todeo todeo:
Fantastic post. Rod lavers spikes in his shoes were really tearing up the grass
This is tennis and no matter how many slams Nadal, Djokovic, Federer have, still does not put them on the level of these guys. Look at the pace and placement of their serves.
Fran Rodrigo
Fran Rodrigo:
Excelente calidad de imagen. Tenis de antología.
Many talk about Federer being the most elegant player of all time. Those people clearly have forgotten the games of Laver, Newcombe, McEnroe, Sampras, etc. Roger is lovely to watch...but he stole his game from Pete...who stole his game from the guys who came before him. Lets enjoy them all....
kidpagron primsank
kidpagron primsank:
This why baseline play was unpopular on grass court. Bad bounces, unreliable bounces, fast, and slippery
Marcelo Monteiro
Marcelo Monteiro:
Historical moment .
Roche is 24 on this video, Federer looks younger at 39. Different times, our lives are less rough.
Alessio A
Alessio A:
35'25'' epic pass by laver
R Treadwell
R Treadwell:
Excellent quality video. Roche never really fulfilled his potential in singles tennis: I do wonder if his temperament let him down, on occasions, since he did seem to let things get to him, questionable calls and linesmen especially.
kidpagron primsank
kidpagron primsank:
After Djokovic vs Medevev, it's pretty much show how difficult it is to win calendar slam. Djokovic, like Laver here, finally had a chance to be one of the immortal with Laver as the only 2 male players to win calendar slam, but came up short in possibly one of upsets of 2020s decade
Ron Murray
Ron Murray:
I saw Laver play a few times. He had a complete game. There is no telling how many Slams he would have won had he not been locked out for much of his prime. This looks like Forest Hills in New York, back when every Slam except the French was played on grass. That Dunlop Max-Ply Laver uses is a piece of history. Thanks to the US Open for posting this video. Brings back great memories.
The real GOAT.
Matthew Harris
Matthew Harris:
love it!
I cannot effin believe I have stumbled upon prime Laver v Roche with Laver going for the calendar slam and in such glorious video quality. Sometimes Youtube is truly a miracle, fulfilling the greatest potential of the information superhighway, thank you, Al Gore!

The court was so slick and muddy Laver wore spiked shoes. Affected his serve because he couldn't drag his back foot, but it helped his movement elsewhere. Tony wore regular shoes and as the court got slicker and muddier from light rain and wear the advantage went to Laver. It's like Formula 1, slicks or wets, LOL.
Roche was 24 here and has the face of what today would look like a 40 year old.
Hugh A N
Hugh A N:
I've seen fields in County Donegal that look smoother than that tennis court!
Pierluigi Lembo
Pierluigi Lembo:
Che braccio❤️
garrison 68
garrison 68:
Roche really charged the net did he not?
Crazy that the U.S. Open used to be played on grass and clay before the hard court era.
hans dampf
hans dampf:
This place would be a most effective way to make djokovic stop bouncing the ball to many times before the service
Christian O
Christian O:
It felt so peaceful to watch this match.
Wimbledon, 1975. Arthur Ashe upsets Jimmy Conners in the final. Ashe stops Bjorn Borg in the quarters. Borg would not lose again on the grass for 5 years. Tony Roche took
S T:
Who's the genius who thought of the helicopter?
extane gautham
extane gautham:
look at the state of that pitch! like the English football league of the time.....and gee, no one is screaming or cursing or acting out...they actually seem like adults...
Matthew Harris
Matthew Harris:
spikes? lol imagine wimbledon allowing them? lol
Average rally length? 1.4 shots?
Josh Wood
Josh Wood:
Love the sound of dishes being cleared away in the background
Albert s
Albert s:
The grass today plays like a hard court. Not like this.
kidpagron primsank
kidpagron primsank:
Two Aussie lefties facing each other for US Open crown.
Stuart Lee
Stuart Lee:
These guys waste no time between points. No going to the towel. No long walks. No bouncing the ball multiple times before serving. Very easy to watch this match!
Cole Coleman
Cole Coleman:
9+ points won, said no one
Mike McNeeley
Mike McNeeley:
What was it like playing on what looks like a horse race track?
this isnt the the modern tennis grand slam though , because the surfaces on some of them were similar
Jorgito Yokiro Cabrera
Jorgito Yokiro Cabrera:
Rod Laver :)
Maggie Smit
Maggie Smit:
This is hilarious! How things have changed for the better for All: fans and players. Players now have chairs to sit, fridges, umbrellas and umpire do not have to repeat out and off all the time. Rackets also much bigger and better! 😁
virvln 281
virvln 281:
Today´s top players would have great difficulty in handling the small racket heads used by Laver and his generation. It has to be remembered that the smaller the racket head is, the harder it is to hit the ball in the centre. It´s unbelievable the power and accuracy of their shots. Without a doubt if Laver and Roche were playing today with modern equipment and all the other advantages today´s players have, they would still be at the very top of the game and Laver would also win the ´Grand Slam´ in a single year, that he won twice, and to this day is still the only player to achieve this incredible feat.
Egidio Iacobucci
Egidio Iacobucci:
quando il tennis era musica
Maxi Pazz
Maxi Pazz:
Surely the worst grass court in grand slam history
Thanks a million
Sentimental Bloke 1
Sentimental Bloke 1:
The Rockhampton Rocket
Living Tribunal
Living Tribunal:
Looks like a couple of mid-40s Uncles tippy-tapping a ball to one another and really just a level higher than what everybody used to play for recreation back in those days.

All rather qauint.
Egor Geroev
Egor Geroev:
35:20 first banana shot Nadal' s. All match serve and volley?
jaya p
jaya p:
What was the helicopter doing at the start of the video...:-) too modern 1969 wimbledon... ooops US open - when it was lawn tennis...:-) both men look far older than their ages... laver 31 and roche 24.... our "older" top 3 look much better than these guys...
Who plowed that field? Who graded it and what crop was planned?
Marino van Zelst
Marino van Zelst:
17:45 casual cigarette ad... definitely another era^^
What is it, a tennis court or a potato field?
This is Badminton.
Forest hills?
Guido Del Giudice
Guido Del Giudice:
I can see some of the potatoes.
Wow...pretty dangerous out there with players falling. Overall, pretty boring...besides a few exciting shots here and there. Tod Martin changed to a wooden racquet during an exhibition match against Michael Chang and won...and they were really hitting the ball. We should appreciate talents for their times and not compare them across time.
Matthew Harris
Matthew Harris:
pure class, no screaming, no shouting, no ball bashing, no hitting anyone in the throat!! yet at the end of the day, the prize is still the same, the skill then no lesser than todays, in fact some players then had so much more skill than some of todays ball bashers. Laver, Nastase etc
QisMyFavorite Uncle
QisMyFavorite Uncle:
I remember those horrible wooden rackets
TheTruthWillSetYou Free
TheTruthWillSetYou Free:
Wouldn't make the top hundred in the modern game. Too small
jaynesh goswami
jaynesh goswami:
i dont see how people can say players like these are better than players of the modern era. the game cant even compare to what it is today
suze giljer
suze giljer:
Not very impressed,tennis is now much more skillful and powerful.
Yes Sir
Yes Sir:
Serve and volley
Serve and volley
Oh look another serve and volley
rodrigo garay
rodrigo garay:
Serve and volley...boring
They both look so old and that court is just ridiculous. Very poor standard of play. Would laver be in the top 200 today playing like this?
Pallav Choudhary
Pallav Choudhary:
Can't watch this,tennis before 2000 was boring only serve and volley,no other skills