Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Rod Laver bronze statue unveiled at Melbourne Park

Rod Laver bronze statue unveiled at Melbourne Park
January 5, 2017

The legendary Rod Laver, the only person to have won two calendar-year Grand Slams, has been immortalised in bronze at Melbourne Park.

Unveiled today on the concourse of Rod Laver Arena, the 2.3 metre high statue was crafted by renowned sculptor Lis Johnson and depicts Rod Laver in full flight after he’s hit a backhand top-spin volley.

The new likeness was commissioned by Tennis Australia.

Speaking at the unveiling in advance of the 2017 Australian Open, Tournament Director Craig Tiley stated “Rod Laver is undoubtedly one of the greatest tennis players the world has ever seen, and we are delighted to further honour his achievements with this stunning work of art.

“As one of Australia’s most revered sporting figures it’s only fitting that Rod Laver welcomes the public to ‘his’ arena, whether it’s for the Australian Open or the many other concerts and events staged there every year.

“This spectacular sculpture, which captures the essence of Rod Laver, will be a tribute to his contribution to tennis in Australia and around the world for generations to come.”

Also speaking at the revealing of the statue, Laver stated “ think there’s very much a likeness. It brings me back to the 60’s when my competing days were at full swing.

“To be at the Rod Laver Arena and to now unveil this statue with the sculptor … is a big honour, for both of us to share what we’ve got now. All credit to Lis Johnson (the sculptor), she’s done a great job and really captured the essence of my game.

“It’s a thrill, thanks to Tennis Australia. You’d never think when you’ve got a little wooden racket, that something like this would happen to an individual.

“When you look back at all the great champions we’ve had here, who have come along with me, I’m thrilled to know that through them I became a player.

“I was one of the smaller players and the great thing about retirement is that the writers and the artists enlarge your reputation.

“I hope the new sculpture will bring more crowds to Melbourne Park. And maybe encourage people to pick up a racquet and play the game. I think good public art lifts the spirits and inspires the soul.”

Artist Lis Johnson, creator of many of Melbourne’s best known sporting sculptures, was initially apprehensive at the prospect of reproducing such a universally renowned figure.

Johnson explained “Rod Laver’s international iconic status is daunting and I was anxious about creating a worthy tribute.

“Meeting Rod Laver has been both an honour and a great pleasure. I’m so excited he’s happy with the final result.

“Rod welcomed me into his home, helped me with my research, answered all my queries, let me measure his head with my strange instruments and generously gave me access to all his photos.

“It’s always challenging to try to convey athleticism and dynamism in a static solid material, but this sculpture was the most difficult I’ve tackled, with the action pose almost impossible for my life-models to hold, so I had to use my imagination and understanding of anatomy.

“I focused on trying to get the right kind of energy, and importantly ensure the sculpture worked and looked interesting from every angle.”

This marks the start of a very busy year for the man many call the greatest player of all time, with the inaugural Laver Cup, a tournament named in his honour and featuring the stars of Europe against the rest of the world, taking place in the Czech Republic capital of Prague in September.

Images from today's unveiling show Rod Laver and his bronze statue. Images courtesy of Tennis Australia.

19th September 2016 - COX ARCHITECTURE REVEALS ROD LAVER ARENA REDEVELOPMENT DESIGNS 

29th February 2016 - INNOVATION THE SECRET TO SUCCESS AT THE 2016 AUSTRALIAN OPEN 

26th January 2016 - ROD LAVER, GRAHAM FORD AND DAVID GALLOP RECOGNISED IN AUSTRALIAN DAY HONOURS


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Hadley/Series Australia Pty Ltd

Hadley Australia and Series Australia Pty Ltd are the leading quality theatre chair manufacturers in the southern hemisphere. The businesses work closely with architects, interior designers and…

read more

Arts / Culture / Design / Entertainment / Venues

 
 

PathMinder

PathMinder Pty Ltd have partnered with AllUser Industries srl to bring Europe’s most advanced high security portals to the Australian and New Zealand markets. AllUser Industries started to…

read more

Access / Fitness / Recreation / Security

 
 

SWIMPLEX AQUATICS

Swimplex Aquatics are a world-class company dedicated to the commercial pool, waterslide industry. We are Australian market leaders servicing all states Australia wide. Swimplex provide a full…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Design / Play / Waterparks

 
 

Centaman Entrance Control

Turnstile Entry Systems and Access Control Centaman Entrance Controls’ Award Winning Range of Access Control Systems includes tripod & triarm turnstiles, speedgates, full height…

read more

Access / Entertainment / Sport / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

Augmented Creative

Augmented Creative is an open organization of like-minded and highly dedicated, creative people who conceive, plan and execute visual solutions. We pursue new and innovative visual ideas to help…

read more

Arts / Attractions / Consultants / Design / Tourism

 
 

State Wide Pool Services

Known as Hydrilla since September 2020 - see www.ausleisure.com.au/suppliers/hydrilla-pty-ltd

read more

Aquatics

 
 

Pricemark Pty Ltd

Pricemark supplies a wide range of custom branded membership & RFID access products for the Health & Leisure Industry. 

read more

Access

 
 

Pico Play

Pico Play is a global leader in the planning, design, development and construction of world-class themed attractions and entertainment that deliver extraordinary and memorable experiences to millions…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Design / Recreation / Tourism

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business