How it's played: tennis secrets by Rod Laver
This newsreel shows Australian Davis Cup tennis player Rod Laver, the 'Rockhampton Rocket', demonstrating his winning style. Despite the lack of sound, we can still appreciate Laver's timing and power.
Laver focused on developing his serve and volley game, with aggressive ground strokes, and has been described by some commentators as 'technically faultless'. Close-up shots show his grip on the racquet and his forehand and backhand strokes.
The footage also shows Laver playing against Italy's Nicola Pietrangeli in the 1961 Davis Cup Challenge Round at Kooyong Stadium, Melbourne and partnering with Neale Fraser in a doubles match against Nicola Pietrangeli and Orlando Sirola. The Australian team won the cup five rubbers to nil and are shown with the winning trophy.
Please note this clip is silent. The NFSA holds the picture negative only for this newsreel rather than the final version, with voice-over narration, that would have screened in cinemas at the time.