Tennis legend Rod Laver makes plea for homeland - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Tennis legend Rod Laver makes plea for homeland

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CARLSBAD (CBS 8) - A tennis great from down under is doing his part to help Australians cope with the deadly flooding.

Rod Laver is considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time. He lives in San Diego, but he was born in Queensland, Australia. This weekend the world's greatest tennis stars are raising money for the flood victims. There is no doubt why they contacted him.

Laver can only sit and watch as the devastation strikes his homeland. From his Carlsbad living room, he sees the area he grew up in.

"Rockhampton is the town I am from," Laver said.

Hit with its worst natural disaster in its history, Laver realizes the dark days may still be ahead.

"The water has come up so high and it hasn't receded," he said.

There are two more months left in Australia's rainy season.

"They just keep getting hit with more and more rain," Laver said.

Only days before the world's greatest tennis players take to center court for the Australian Open, Laver got a call from a familiar friend -- Roger Federer.

"Roger wanted to help and what can I do… I think that was the gist of the convo," Laver said.

The day before the start of the big event, the arena will be playing Laver's heartfelt announcement in front of a crowd of 15,000. Current tennis great will also be holding a charity day.

"Roger has said he thinks he can raise $1 million out of this one event," Laver said.

It's just a small, but significant chunk out of the estimated damage, which tops $6 billion.

"To think you can raise so much money so quickly like this," Laver said.

The ATP and the WTA tours are expected to donate around $40,000 with their pledge of $100 for every ace served over the next three weeks in Australia.

If you would like to help with efforts, you can contact the local Red Cross.

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