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LONDON, Tuesday (AAP). - Red-haired Queenslander Rod Laver won his third Wimbledon title yesterday ?- this time the first world professional championship to be played
on the centre court.
In the final, Haver de-j
fealed Ken Rosewall, of New South Wales, who thus lost a final on Wim bledon's centre court for the third time.
The scores, 6-2, 6-2, 12 10, accurately reflect the trend of the match.
In the first two sets, Laver was the cool master - his service greatly superior, his placements and his volleying immacu
Rosewall's game would not click and he seemed to have no weapon to breach the top-seeded Laver's con
Frequently he shook his head, rapped his racquet on the ground and looked up at the cloudless sky as if to wish a cloudburst to halt play and give him time to
Rosewall recovered any way, and the third set
proved to be one of Wim bledon's greatest.
The breakthrough came in the fourth, game, and it was Rosewall who made it, taking advantage of an apparent lapse in Laver's
At 5-4 Rosewall had three set points, but Laver suddenly angled three fore hands out of his rival's reach and eventually broke
Laver broke through again to lead 7-6 and Rose wall, who had double faulted on 0-30, threw away his racquet in disgust.
But the next game pro duced probably the best tennis of the two-hour match, and it was Rosewall who produced it.
A crashing return of ser vice forced Laver to hit long, then Laver netted after Rosewall miraculously returned an ace-like deliv ery into the corner.
Laver missed a volley, and Rosewall ended an ex citing rally by winning the point and the game on a
Games went with service until the 21st, with the cap acity 14,000 crowd roaring in excitement.
Then Laver's consistency was rewarded with a break through as Rosewall seemed to wilt a little in the 75-degree heat
In the 22nd game, Laver had two match points on 40/15 and 40/30, and another on advantage.
Rosewall saved them all. Laver regained a second advantage on a question able linecall, and this time he made no mistake.
Laver will receive SA7.500 first prize money land the honour of being Wimbledon's first profes sional champion.
Rosewall will get a SA5,000 consolation prize.
Veteran Pancho Gon zales, of the United States, and .Spaniard Andres Gim eno showed superior com bination to upset Laver and countryman Fred Stolle in the doubles final, 6-4,
Tn a play-off for third place in the singles, Gimeno proved too nimble for Australia's Lew Hoad. who. although he showed flashes of the form that won his two Wimbledon amateur titles, could not match Gimeno's faster all round game.
Gimeno won 6-3, 6-3.