French Open 1974,1975,1978,1979,1980,1981
Bjorn Borg was the ice cool Swede who trained every hour in the day in his pursuit of titles. Though he played from the baseline and had not got a big serve, Borg dominated on grass at Wimbledon, his heavily topspun groundstrokes and quickness around the court the main reasons for his success. Only at the U.S. Open did he fail to win a title, despite several appearances in finals. He never liked floodlights, claiming that he couldn't sight the ball properly. Borg used to practice for hours against the wall of his home. As a youngster he used to show his emotions on court and broke a few racquets in anger. However, his father did not allow this to continue and Borg knew that if he was to progress in the sport he would have to get control of his emotions. He learnt to bottle his feelings up. Aged just 18 he took his first Grand Slam title at the 1974 French Open, coming from two sets to love down to beat Manuel Orantes in the final. He defended his title the following year in straight sets over Guillermo Vilas but fell at the quarter final stage at Wimbledon to Arthur Ashe. In 1976 Borg lost his French crown to Adriano Panatta in the quarter finals but won Wimbledon defeating Ilie Nastase in straight sets in the final. At the US Open he lost in the final to Connors in four sets. At Wimbledon in 1977 Borg was involved in a marathon semi final with Vitas Gerulaitis. He finally won that match 8-6 in the final set and outlasted Connors in five sets in the final. At the French Open in 1978 Borg thrashed Vilas in the final to take his third French Open title. At Wimbledon Borg thrashed Connors in the final in straight sets to take a hat trick of titles. At the US Open Connors gained his revenge, beating Borg in straight sets in the final. In 1979 Borg took the French for a fourth time over Victor Pecci in four sets and was taken to five sets in the Wimbledon final by Roscoe Tanner, before triumphing to take his fourth successive title. In 1980 Borg won his fifth French Open title in straight sets over Gerulaitis and at Wimbledon was involved in a classic final with John McEnroe. Leading by two sets to one, Borg held several match points in a mammoth fourth set tiebreak, before losing it. He eventually took the fifth set 8-6 to take his fifth Wimbledon title in a row. At the U.S. Open Borg lost to McEnroe in the final in five sets. In 1981 Borg took his sixth French Open title defeating Ivan Lendl in five sets in the final and again made it through to the final of Wimbledon. This time, though, he was beaten by McEnroe in four sets. It was Borg's first loss at Wimbledon since 1975. Then Borg and McEnroe met again in the final of the U.S. Open. McEnroe triumphed in four sets to take his second Grand Slam title of the year and with it the number one ranking for the year. This hurt Borg. He was no longer the best player in the world and had been eclipsed by McEnroe. In 1982 he announced his retirement from the game at the premature age of 26. The main reason for Borg's decision to quit was that he was burnt out emotionally and no longer derived any pleasure from the game. Nine years later, in 1991, Borg attempted a comeback. With all the World's media eagerly watching on, Borg fell at the first round stage of Monte Carlo to journeyman Spaniard Jordi Aresse. There was talk that Borg would apply for a wildcard to enter the French Open but that never materialised. His comeback never really got off the ground and after a scattering of first round losses in minor ATP events, Borg announced his retirement at the end of 1993. He briefly became a star of the senior circuit and renewed rivalries with the likes of McEnroe and Connors. He retired from the senior circuit at the end of 2000, though he did return to play occasional exhibitions after that. In 2005 Borg put his replica Wimbledon trophies up for auction thinking they'd solve his cashflow problem, but was persuaded to withdraw them by his old rival McEnroe. In 2007 Borg made only his second appearance at Wimbledon since he retired (his first visit had been at the Champions Parade in 2000). Borg was on hand to witness Roger Federer equal his record of five consecutive Wimbledon titles. The following year he was also present to see Rafael Nadal become the first player since he did it in 1980 to win the French and Wimbledon in the same year.
© GRAND SLAM TENNIS ARCHIVE
HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: A.Ashe 1-1, J.Connors 5-3, M.Edmondson 1-0, V.Gerulaitis 5-0, A.Gomez 1-0, J.Kriek 1-0, R.Laver 1-0, I.Lendl 1-0, J.McEnroe 1-3, I.Nastase 3-0, Y.Noah 2-0, M.Orantes 2-0, A.Panatta 1-2, S.Smith 1-0, R.Tanner 5-1, B.Teacher 1-0, G.Vilas 3-0
AUSTRALIAN OPEN ARCHIVE FRENCH OPEN ARCHIVE
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