Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Laver Cup 2021: Stefanos Tsitsipas


Boston, Massachusetts 


The Laver Cup is underway this weekend, from Sept. 24th through the 26th. The tennis tournament was created in 2017 by Roger Federer who approached Rolex to sponsor the championship. It was named after Australian tennis legend Rod Laver who is also a Rolex brand ambassador.

The Laver Cup is like nothing else: it pits Europe against the rest of the world and includes other tennis legends like Björn Borg, the team captain for Europe, and John McEnroe, the World Team captain. It is fun to see so many tennis stars on one stage… like Stefanos Tsitsipas.


A new generation of tennis players have carried on the perpetual torch of Rolex. Rod Laver, Björn Borg, John McEnroe, Roger Federer—all have kept the time of their lives with a Rolex on their wrists. Now the next generation is here, including 23-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is the highest ranked Greek tennis player in history.

Tsitsipas is the second youngest player ranked in the ATP top 10, and currently has a career-high ranking of No. 3 in the world, making him the highest-ranked Greek player in history. Tsitsipas was the champion at the 2019 ATP Finals, becoming the youngest winner of the year-end championships in eighteen years. He has won seven ATP singles titles.

He arrived in Boston this week to get ready for the Laver Cup... by throwing a football on the Harvard University campus, a Rolex Cellini moonphase on his wrist, an unusual sight as he is always spotted with a white-dial, ceramic Daytona.

At 6-foot-4 (1.93m), Tsitsipas is often nicknamed the Greek God by his fans, especially female fans, because of his striking features. His father is Greek and his mother is Russian of partial Greek descent. Both of his parents are experienced tennis players. His mother was a world No. 1 junior who had a career-high professional ranking inside the top 200 and represented the Soviet Union in the Federation Cup.

His parents had been working as tennis instructors at the Astir Palace resort hotel in Vouliagmeni at the time of Stefanos' birth. They originally met at a WTA tournament in Athens where his mother was competing and his father was a line judge.

He will play at the Laver Cup this weekend as part of Team Europe, being captained by über-Rolex Testimonee Roger Federer. But his long-time pal Djokovic will be absent from the team. 

...Rolex Super-Coolness...


Australian Tennis Legend

Yellow Gold Datejust

Special Burled Madrone Wood Dial

36mm Reference 16018

Rolex has published a Rod Laver profile on the "Every Rolex Tells A Story" gallery on Rolex.com. Being a tennis player and huge professional tennis fan, over the past decade I have written many stories about Rolex and tennis, and I have been meaning to write a piece about Rod Laver, so here it is:

Rod Laver is considered to be one of the greatest tennis players in history with an unmatched record he holds to date of having won 200 singles titles. Laver was a dynamic player that excelled on all court surfaces including hard, grass, clay, carpet and wood/parquet.

He began his amateur tennis career being ranked at Number 1 from 1961 to 1962.  From 1964 to 1970, he was ranked as the number one tennis player in the world, which spanned four years prior and three years after the beginning of the Open Era in 1968. 

I have to admit, I am totally fascinated with Rod Laver's yellow gold Rolex Datejust he is wearing in these official Rolex photos. As far as I know, Rolex no longer makes burled wood dials, which is a big mistake in my opinion. In the 1970s through the 1990s Rolex made these wood-based dials with applied yellow gold indexes, that were magnificent. Each wood dial is unique and has a very warm vintage look. 

In 1981, Rod Laver purchased his yellow gold Datejust which was the same year he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. What a cool guy, and what a cool Rolex!!!!

The 1979 Rolex ad seen below is from my Vintage Rolex Christmas Story and shows a yellow gold Day-Date with a similar dial. Rolex refers to this wood as being from a Madrone tree which is an evergreen tree belonging to the genus Arbutus, which grows in North America and Canada, as well as in Europe, and are known for their pale reddish-brown wood.