Who: Companion of the order of Australia
What: Conferred upon Rod Laver
When: 26 January 2016
Why: For his services to tennis
Rodney George Laver honoured with the Companion of the order of Australia on 26 January 2016 on the occasion of the Australia Day.
He was conferred with the award for eminent service to tennis as a player, representative and mentor, at the national and international level, and as a role model for young sportsmen and women.
With this honour, Rod Laver became the third sportsman to be named a Companion of the Order of Australia. Earlier, the honour was bestowed upon Don Bradman and Herb Elliott who dominated cricket and middle-distance running respectively.
Contributions of Rodney George Laver
• He remains the only man to win the Grand Slam of all four major singles titles in the same year. He achieved this feat in 1962 before repeating it in 1969, the first full season of the Open era.
• He won 11 Grand Slam singles titles and 20 Grand Slam titles in total.
• With 200 titles, he won the most singles titles in the tennis history.
• In his professional career between 1963 and 1976, he ranked world number 1 for the 1964-1970 period.
• He was the representative of Australia in the Davis Cup and part of the 5 winning teams, 1950, 1960-62 and 1973.
• At present, he is a volunteer and mentor at the Australian Tennis Foundation.
Previous awards and recognitions
• Australia’s premier tennis stadium was named ‘Rod Laver Arena’ in his honour in 2000.
• He was inducted into Hall of Fame, Tennis Australia in 1993.
• He was inducted into Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985 and elevated to Legend of Australian Sport in 2002.
• He was inducted into International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1981 and at present, he is its life trustee.
• In 1970, he became a member of the British Empire in recognition for services to tennis in the Queen’s Honours List 1970.
Significance of Companion of the order of Australia
In the Australian honours system appointments to the Order of Australia confer the highest recognition for outstanding achievement and service.
The Companion of the Order of Australia is awarded for eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or humanity at large.
The Order of Australia has five levels
• Knight/Dame of the Order (AK/AD)
• Companion of the Order (AC)
• Officer of the Order (AO)
• Member of the Order (AM)
• Medal of the Order (OAM)