Tennis Hall of Famer Tracy Austin has been added to a special evening at this year’s Ojai Tennis Tournament as she will help in honoring all-time great Rod Laver during the 117th tournament April 26-30.
Austin is a longtime South Bay resident who is currently a popular Tennis Channel television analyst. She and Laver have a special friendship and Austin calls the Australian legend currently living in Carlsbad “one of my all-time favorite people.”
Austin is a former world No. 1 and two-time US Open champion. She first burst onto the tennis scene back in 1977 by winning the Ojai Women’s Open title before becoming the youngest female to ever win the US Open in 1979.
Laver is the only men’s player to ever win two calendar year Grand Slams (1962 and 1969) and was known during his playing days as “Rocket” Rod Laver.
Laver will be introduced by longtime Ojai resident and renowned actor Malcom McDowell in Ojai on Friday, April 28, during the Ojai Valley Tennis Club’s annual fundraising reception at Topa Mountain Winery. For more information and to purchase tickets online beginning on Friday, go to: www.ojaitourney.org.
Laver will be the special guest at the Thursday Night BBQ on April 27, that will help kick off the 117th edition of the tournament to take place April 26-30 at venues all over Ventura County and headquartered at venerable Libbey Park in downtown Ojai. The Ojai is one of the oldest and most storied tournaments in the country and hosts the Pac-12 Championships, and includes 26 divisions, 1,200 players and more than 500 volunteers.
The 78-year-old Carlsbad resident Laver was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1981. Besides his 11 singles Grand Slam titles, Laver also won six Grand Slam doubles titles and three in mixed doubles. He was the No. 1 ranked professional from 1964 to 1970, spanning four years before and three years after the start of the Open Era. Laver’s 200 singles titles are the most in tennis history, and he holds the all-time men’s singles records of 22 titles in a single season (1962) and seven consecutive years (1964–70) winning at least 10 titles per season.