File image of Rod Laver
File image of Rod Laver Sharyn O'Neill ROK210113slaver1

Rod Laver recognised ahead of Brisbane International

SPORTING tennis legend Rod Laver has been recognised ahead of the Brisbane International.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson joined Assistant Minister for Public Transport Steve Minnikin and Rod Laver to name a Yeerongpilly footbridge in the tennis legend's honour.

"I'm proud to be here today to unveil two new plaques recognising the sporting legend as it is important to acknowledge the extraordinary achievements of our fellow Queenslanders," Mr Emerson said.

"Now when tennis fans are travelling across the popular bridge to get to the Queensland Tennis Centre from Yeerongpilly train station they can remember a sporting hero.

"I'm thrilled Rod could visit our city ahead of the Brisbane International to accept this tribute, which will serve as a permanent reminder of his outstanding achievements.

"Australia already pays homage to the legendary tennis player through Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne and a hall in his home town, and we're pleased we can now honour him here in Brisbane."

Mr Minnikin said the idea had been championed by Brisbane Tennis Trail Advocate Peter Rasey.

"Mr Rasey is a tireless volunteer in the community who came to me with the idea of fittingly naming the footbridge as he felt it was important to bring Rod Laver's name back to Queensland," Mr Minnikin said.

"The footbridge's name now heightens its significance to local and visiting tennis enthusiasts, with the original design based on the herringbone sole pattern used on traditional tennis shoes.

"The pattern across the bridge replicates the sole pattern from a Dunlop volley tennis shoe, worn by the likes of Rod Laver among others in his generation."

Mr Laver, who was born in Rockhampton, dominated the tennis circuit in the 1960s, winning 17 of his 20 titles in this decade.

He became the only player to win the Grand Slam twice and also won the first Open Wimbledon in 1968 and the first Australian Open in 1969.

To complement the renamed bridge's new plaque, a larger sign to clearly indicate the bridge's new name to passing motorists on Fairfield Road will also be installed on the footbridge later this year.