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dirkgnuf
11-14-2006, 02:16 PM
Reading a 1980 TIME article on BJORN, I learned that he possessed a resting heartrate of 38, strung his racquets at 80 lbs, had one of the highest leg strength record among sweedish athletes.
I do have a qustion though.
In the article, his technique is described as unorthadox since he hit with topspin. The article attirbuted this to the fact that he never really had formal training as a kid, so he imitated ping-pong players(his dad was one) and hit with whippy motions. His coach even got a specially balanced racquet that would encourage him to stop using so much wrist. What I'd like to know is whether his technique was already something that was around, or was it more something that he seems to have invented. Also, how accurate are the facts in the article?
Link to the article is:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,924275,00.html

stormholloway
11-15-2006, 12:05 PM
There's a lot of speculation about who invented the modern stroke, but if anyone did, it was Borg.

With the racquets used back then, topspin shots allow for little margin for error and the weight of those racquets wasn't considered suitable for the wrist. Borg proved all of this wrong. Borg was the father of modern tennis. Lendl followed as perhaps the godson.

LttlElvis
11-15-2006, 01:45 PM
Yes, I believe the article is factual. I actually have that original Time magazine. I was a big Borg fan when I was 14.

His technique was pretty unusual for that time. He used big loopy topspin strokes and hit with an open stance. Both those techniques were really frowned upon by instructors at the time. Everyone wanted to hit like him, but tennis instructors wouldn't teach that way.

The article also had the typical cartoony Time graphics. One showing the effects of topspin versus traditional strokes. It showed how Borg could hit harder than most players, yet keep the ball in because of his spin. ( This is very well known now, but at the time I don't think anyone used heavy topsin to the extent of Borg. Maybe Vilas, but Borg was just on another level ).

As far as conditioning, Borg had to be one of the most fit pros at the time. I think in a Superstars sprint competition he actually won it beating an Olympic hurdler.

urban
11-15-2006, 02:16 PM
Topspin was invented resp. really practiced in the 60s. Players like Laver, Santana, later Okker began to hit all the shots or the greatest part with topspin. On European clay they began to hit from an open stance. But Borg was the first to hit with an extreme western grip, and with extreme rotation . He came from ping-pong and ice-hockey.While the US top players like Evert or Connors played more a hard court adapted flat style (also with dh backhands), the Europeans and South Americans used extreme topspin on their favorite surface, clay. They had the advantage, that many events in the USA were played on clay-like surfaces. So topspin became the dominant style of the 70s, even adapted by US players like Solomon or Dibbs.

dirkgnuf
11-15-2006, 03:10 PM
A few questions.
I recall reading somewhere that Borg's grip was exterme eastern/mild western?
Also, I'm assuming that Borg's technique was half self-learned/taught, but the former more so than the latter?

eunjam
11-15-2006, 03:26 PM
i read/saw somewhere that he got his stroke from hitting hockey pucks.

Bjorn99
11-15-2006, 04:46 PM
Cyborg was created to play tennis. No sane person buys that theory that he got started with a tennis racquet won at a ping pong tournament, do they?

LowProfile
11-15-2006, 06:47 PM
I've often heard that Borg's unorthodox two-to-one handed backhand was modeled after his hockey slapshot.

thejackal
11-16-2006, 07:40 PM
I've often heard that Borg's unorthodox two-to-one handed backhand was modeled after his hockey slapshot.

While it's probably true, I've never seen any hockey player finish a slap shot with 1 hand on the stick, and I've been playing since the age of 6.

Take2
11-19-2006, 07:01 AM
Borg hit his forehand with a semi-western grip...which, at the time, was considered extreme. The true extreme western grip came later along with poly strings and light-powerful rackets. The "moonballs" that Borg, Vilas and Wilander hit were actually very heavy balls.

We all copied Borg's strokes back in the day, so open-stances and heavy topspin were at all the public courts and junior tournaments back in the late 70s.

I do think Borg is the father of the modern topspin game. And, since someone mentioned Lendl, it's been said here before that he invented the inside-out forehand.

Amone
11-19-2006, 03:02 PM
Actually, while uncommon, it did happen, albiet not with the big-name players. Apparently, there were a number of semiwestern players as far back as Tilden's days in the 20s. Kumagae, for instance. Not many, but there were a very few.

Trinity TC
11-19-2006, 05:12 PM
Bjorn Borg was the first world class player to hit the modern forehand. Nobody of any consequence hit the ball with an open stance, table tennis loop forehand before him. The extreme topspin and unusual bouncing heavy ball was what separated Borg's forehand from Laver, Santana, European clay court specialists and pre-WWII western forehands such as Kumagae and Little Bill Johnston. Another thing, Borg was 15 when he first burst on the scene.

And, since someone mentioned Lendl, it's been said here before that he invented the inside-out forehand.
Lendl didn't invent the inside out forehand. I saw matches where Borg ran into the backhand doubles alley and hit inside-out forehand winners. Forehand dominant players such as Frank Froehling used the inside-out forehand back in the 60s.

BTW, I think that Andre Agassi is the inventor of the modern game as he was one of the first to exploit the advantages of carbon fiber racquets with his catch the ball on the rise, power groundstroke game. Hoad, McEnroe, Mecir and others did it too but not with the power of Agassi.

dirkgnuf
11-21-2006, 08:29 AM
I'm still amazed by his extremely low heart rate and amazing fitness, but I guess most of the players of today are in similar shape?

slice bh compliment
11-21-2006, 08:34 AM
...Lendl didn't invent the inside out forehand. I saw matches where Borg ran into the backhand doubles alley and hit inside-out forehand winners. Forehand dominant players such as Frank Froehling used the inside-out forehand back in the 60s.

BTW, I think that Andre Agassi is the inventor of the modern game as he was one of the first to exploit the advantages of carbon fiber racquets with his catch the ball on the rise, power groundstroke game. Hoad, McEnroe, Mecir and others did it too but not with the power of Agassi.

Good points, especially about Hoad.
Of course Borg brought topspin to the people and Lendl made superb fitness a pre-req for tennis, but let's not forget the violent topspins of Laver and Nastase and the majestic and illegible one-handed backhand topspin lobs and passes that oozed from the frame of the great Manolo Santana.

Rabbit
11-21-2006, 12:38 PM
From what I remember, topspin was just a natural evolution in tennis. Nastase, definetly a precursor to Borg, had everyone in awe because he could hit a backhand topspin lob on the dead run. Nastase also used a big topspin forehand to put his opponents in trouble. I think Nastase's idol was Pancho Gonzalez. I'm not sure if Gonzalez hit with top, but Nastase grew up on red clay and probably learned it there.

Borg's slapshot backhand was more an invention of the press (see one Bud Collins) than anything else. The press went on to say that Agassi's forehand looked like a punch (his father was an Olympic boxer for Iran), Courier's backhand looked like a baseball player's batting swing (Courier wass a big Reds fan). Borg's backhand was unusual because prior to Borg, not many players had two-handed backhands. Borg, Connors, and Evert arrived on the scene at around the same time all sporting two-handers.

Borg's fitness was legendary. The matches back then had longer rallies and lasted longer than today, especially on clay. Lendl has said in an interview that tennis then was more akin to a marathon while today it's closer to being like s sprint.

nickarnold2000
11-21-2006, 05:52 PM
Every tennis player's nightmare - strings breaking by themselves while you're sleeping!

Bjorn99
11-22-2006, 08:07 AM
Evert apparently was very unlike her public image. Meow.

dpfrazier
11-22-2006, 08:46 AM
Every tennis player's nightmare - strings breaking by themselves while you're sleeping!

Evert apparently was very unlike her public image. Meow.

Are these non sequiturs? Or are you two implying that Borg's very-tightly-strung racquet strings would break when he slept with Chris Evert? :rolleyes:

Mick
11-22-2006, 05:18 PM
...The article attirbuted this to the fact that he never really had formal training as a kid, so he imitated ping-pong players(his dad was one) and hit with whippy motions...

Ping pong anyone ??? :)

http://i15.tinypic.com/35d831g.jpghttp://i10.tinypic.com/44kgr2c.jpg

MLoutch
11-23-2006, 09:27 PM
Jim Courier a few weeks back was here in Houston for his senior tour event and was doing the rounds on local Tv and talk radio - on three different shows Courier was asked which past player he looked "up to". well Jim stated:cool: that Borg was his "tennis God" for achieving the grand 3 - Jim said that Borg in the 70's had slept with ALL 3 Charlie's Angels - Farrah, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith!!! He didn't get to elaborate if it was all at once or one at a time!
Borg - the legend continues.

Eli_Ace
11-26-2006, 07:51 PM
Reading a 1980 TIME article on BJORN, I learned that he possessed a resting heartrate of 38, strung his racquets at 80 lbs, had one of the highest leg strength record among sweedish athletes.
I do have a qustion though.
In the article, his technique is described as unorthadox since he hit with topspin. The article attirbuted this to the fact that he never really had formal training as a kid, so he imitated ping-pong players(his dad was one) and hit with whippy motions. His coach even got a specially balanced racquet that would encourage him to stop using so much wrist. What I'd like to know is whether his technique was already something that was around, or was it more something that he seems to have invented. Also, how accurate are the facts in the article?
Link to the article is:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,924275,00.html

They said he also tried to kill himself on sleeping pills...

emerckx53
11-29-2006, 04:24 PM
I'm still amazed by his extremely low heart rate and amazing fitness, but I guess most of the players of today are in similar shape?

Extrememly low heart rates are not always a factor of fitness. Yes, in general terms more fitness means lower HR but much of it is natural. There are some absolute cardio monsters in professional cycling that have resting Hr's in the mid 40's and they could crush someone like borg in cardio fitness....resting and max HR's vary from person to person.....

emerckx53
11-29-2006, 04:37 PM
Mick,

Your Borg stuff rocks......I was the biggest Borg fan on earth! I was self taught and learned by watching Borg play on TV....I had my bedroom walls plastered with Borg photos, I even tried to walk like him on the court, used both models of Donnays, even had like 6 Donnay Allwoods in my bag when I was a senior in high school! begged for Fila pin stripes from my parents, I even used the Bancroft Borg Auto woodie prior to the Donnay's...even strung them as tight as his, the right hand and thumb wrapped in tape... Bjorn was the dogs bollocks!....I was the Minnesota version of Borg! If you have any great photos I would be very grateful. love to have some desktop shots!

madair@fastmail.fm

emerckx53
11-29-2006, 04:38 PM
Ping pong anyone ??? :)

http://i15.tinypic.com/35d831g.jpghttp://i10.tinypic.com/44kgr2c.jpg



Mick,

See my post just above...

Mick
11-29-2006, 05:58 PM
Mick,

Your Borg stuff rocks......I was the biggest Borg fan on earth! I was self taught and learned by watching Borg play on TV....I had my bedroom walls plastered with Borg photos, I even tried to walk like him on the court, used both models of Donnays, even had like 6 Donnay Allwoods in my bag when I was a senior in high school! begged for Fila pin stripes from my parents, I even used the Bancroft Borg Auto woodie prior to the Donnay's...even strung them as tight as his, the right hand and thumb wrapped in tape... Bjorn was the dogs bollocks!....I was the Minnesota version of Borg! If you have any great photos I would be very grateful. love to have some desktop shots!

madair@fastmail.fm

Nice! I only have 3 Donnay rackets :)

I got those pics from this website . Lots of cool Borg pics there, some I saw for the first time. Check it out :)

http://bjornborgfanforever1.free.fr/cariboost1/

emerckx53
11-29-2006, 07:31 PM
Nice! I only have 3 Donnay rackets :)

I got those pics from this website . Lots of cool Borg pics there, some I saw for the first time. Check it out :)

http://bjornborgfanforever1.free.fr/cariboost1/

Thanks..it was priceless..

Mick
11-30-2006, 05:33 PM
Thanks..it was priceless..

No Problem :)

I probably was not as big of a Borg fan as you were but i recall my tennis buddies used to call me Bjorn Borgno (porno) http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/images/icons/icon10.gif

heycal
11-30-2006, 06:44 PM
Did we settle on what kind of grips Borg used? And also, what about the grips used by Laver and Nastase to create their topspin as mentioned above?

The Gorilla
12-01-2006, 06:43 PM
topspin and full westerns were used as long ago as the 1920's,this fella,little bill johnston hit with a full western grip and hit the ball at shoulder height.




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Johnston

slice bh compliment
12-01-2006, 07:50 PM
topspin and full westerns were used as long ago as the 1920's,this fella,little bill johnston hit with a full western grip and hit the ball at shoulder height.




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Johnston

Yeah, and do not forget Zenzo Shimizu (and his contemporaries). Of course they would have lost to Borg by scores like 6-negative 3, 6-negative 2, 6-0.

PimpMyGame
12-06-2006, 12:10 AM
well Jim stated:cool: that Borg was his "tennis God" for achieving the grand 3 - Jim said that Borg in the 70's had slept with ALL 3 Charlie's Angels - Farrah, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith!!! He didn't get to elaborate if it was all at once or one at a time!
Borg - the legend continues.

The sign of a real sportsman - they don't make them like that too often nowadays. Very cool.

civic
12-06-2006, 01:57 AM
Borg's fitness was legendary. The matches back then had longer rallies and lasted longer than today, especially on clay. Lendl has said in an interview that tennis then was more akin to a marathon while today it's closer to being like s sprint.

I bet Borg was Lendl's main idol. In terms of fitness, Lendl definitely followed Borg's path, and it's probably why Lendl became so successful at the French Open.

borg number one
09-20-2009, 12:56 PM
See this interesting article called the hard facts about Bjorn Borg. I enjoyed this excellent summary about him.

http://www.bjornborg.com/en/Heritage/Hard-Facts/

video:

http://www.bjornborg.com/en/Heritage/?version=1

Q&A with Borg:
http://www.bjornborg.com/en/Heritage/Ask-Bjorn-Borg/

jnd28
09-21-2009, 11:16 AM
As has been noted here, there were plenty of players who used western gripped/ heavy topspin forehands before Borg.

Interestingly, Nick B. says that his teaching of the "killer forehand",which really was the stroke that has changed the game, came from Jimmy Arias.

Who would have thought! I remember reading someplace that after seeing Arias as a 12 year old, Bollettieri changed his view of the stroke and started teaching the "arias" forehand which became the Bollettieri forehand that he in turn taught to all of his celebrated students.

JND28

pmerk34
09-21-2009, 11:32 AM
Yes, I believe the article is factual. I actually have that original Time magazine. I was a big Borg fan when I was 14.

His technique was pretty unusual for that time. He used big loopy topspin strokes and hit with an open stance. Both those techniques were really frowned upon by instructors at the time. Everyone wanted to hit like him, but tennis instructors wouldn't teach that way.

The article also had the typical cartoony Time graphics. One showing the effects of topspin versus traditional strokes. It showed how Borg could hit harder than most players, yet keep the ball in because of his spin. ( This is very well known now, but at the time I don't think anyone used heavy topsin to the extent of Borg. Maybe Vilas, but Borg was just on another level ).

As far as conditioning, Borg had to be one of the most fit pros at the time. I think in a Superstars sprint competition he actually won it beating an Olympic hurdler.


Interesting. My bother was constantly being told by the High School tennis coach that he was going to hurt his wrist becuase he hit with an open stance and western grip off his back foot. Our coach was always trying to get him to hit with a closed stance and with more traditional grip and this was in 1988! of course our coach was in his 50's and from the old school

pmerk34
09-21-2009, 11:33 AM
As has been noted here, there were plenty of players who used western gripped/ heavy topspin forehands before Borg.

Interestingly, Nick B. says that his teaching of the "killer forehand",which really was the stroke that has changed the game, came from Jimmy Arias.

Who would have thought! I remember reading someplace that after seeing Arias as a 12 year old, Bollettieri changed his view of the stroke and started teaching the "arias" forehand which became the Bollettieri forehand that he in turn taught to all of his celebrated students.

JND28


Yeah, but who of note? Borg reached number one playing this new style.

borg number one
09-21-2009, 06:13 PM
One more link from that site I talk about in the above post. Some of these things tend to humanize him, just click on the links under "your own stories":

http://www.bjornborg.com/en/Heritage/Your-stories/Mr-Borg-in-a-supermarket/

borg number one
09-21-2009, 06:30 PM
Until the last few years, when I began revisiting Bjorn Borg's legacy, etc. , I did not realize that he had such great success playing for the Swedish Davis Cup Team. Check this out:

"At the age of 14, Borg left school to devote all his time to tennis. It paid off, and at 15 he was selected for the Swedish Davis Cup team; by 16 he was Wimbledon Junior Champion."

Now that is a "prodigy" as others on this website have mentioned.

See his Davis Cup Record. He led Sweden to the Davis Cup win in 1975. His Davis Cup record was 37-3 from 1972-1980.

From: http://www.daviscup.com/teams/player.asp?player=10002258

borg number one
09-21-2009, 06:38 PM
I suppose there was a confluence of events that led to Borg's retirement, including some burnout due to his meteoric rise and then all that winning, but let's not forget this big reason. He most definitely did not just "run away from the game" because he was afraid of other players. That couldn't be farther from the truth in my opinion and greatly discounts this guy after he proved so much and raised the popularity of the game more than anyone before him and more than anyone ever since. He brought tennis to the "masses" and in the words of one British commentator he took tennis out of just the country club set and made it something interesting for the working person.

"Borg chose not to follow the entire world-wide tour, insisting on a long vacation. This decision brought him into conflict with the men’s tennis council in 1982, and some believe this was part of his decision to retire early, aged only 27."


See full text for the excerpt just above and for the excerpt from the post above:
http://www.thebiographychannel.co.uk/biography_story/284:93/1/Bjorn_Borg.htm

borg number one
09-21-2009, 06:48 PM
You guys have to watch this video, it includes Borg/McEnroe hitting just a few years ago, but I did not realize that at 19, McEnroe was so grateful that Borg was the first guy to "take him under his wing". That's an amazing quality and says a whole lot about Borg. Anyway, hear McEnroe talk about "the hell with everyone else".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUa2ltLC0hw

These guys are like brothers now...

jnd28
09-22-2009, 12:25 PM
Yeah, but who of note? Borg reached number one playing this new style.


Lets see...Bill Johnston reached number one in the world and won two US championships and a Wimbledon title. He's in the Hall of Fame. I think that qualifies as player of note.

pmerk34
09-22-2009, 12:31 PM
Lets see...Bill Johnston reached number one in the world and won two US championships and a Wimbledon title. He's in the Hall of Fame. I think that qualifies as player of note.

From when 1928? He played like Borg? Borg spawned the generation of heavy topspin back court guys. Not Bill Johnston

jnd28
09-22-2009, 12:59 PM
Actually he was #1 I believe in 1919. My point in the first post was that Borg was not the first western gripped heavy topspin player. There were plenty before him. Some really good ones at that. The other point was that the modern forehand game can be attributed more to Nick Bolllettieri than it can be to Borg.

My point by the is not meant in anyway to minimize the greatness of Borg. He was great and I can see why some might argue the best ever. But for people to say he was the first western gripped topspin player and to give him credit for the modern topspin game is simply not supported by the actual history of the game.

JND28

pmerk34
09-22-2009, 01:01 PM
Actually he was #1 I believe in 1919. My point in the first post was that Borg was not the first western gripped heavy topspin player. There were plenty before him. Some really good ones at that. The other point was that the modern forehand game can be attributed more to Nick Bolllettieri than it can be to Borg.

My point by the is not meant in anyway to minimize the greatness of Borg. He was great and I can see why some might argue the best ever. But for people to say he was the first western gripped topspin player and to give him credit for the modern topspin game is simply not supported by the actual history of the game.

JND28

Borg is the forefather of the modern game period

jnd28
09-22-2009, 01:06 PM
I guess because you say so I have to believe it regardless of the actual facts.
Thanks for your well thought out and supported perspective.

JND28

pmerk34
09-22-2009, 01:10 PM
I guess because you say so I have to believe it regardless of the actual facts.
Thanks for your well thought out and supported perspective.

JND28

I say so? It's been common knowledge that Borg invented it and then Lendl added the power.

jnd28
09-22-2009, 06:33 PM
Gee, I must have missed that memo. If you say that it is generally accepted i guess I can put it in the category of a flat earth and using leaches for medical purposes.

I base my POV on actually following the history of the game.

Sorry

JND28

borg number one
09-22-2009, 06:59 PM
Guys, I tend to think that you can argue this point both ways actually. From reading about past greats, there were definitely several players that could hit massive amounts of topspin, to combat the original tendency for players to simply "cut" or "slice" the ball to death (esp. on grass, that makes sense).

Yet, my view is that Borg tended to take it to the next level during the Open Era, which greatly influenced so many of the modern players, who of course, grew up watching Borg. So, he has had a huge impact on the modern game. There has been a slow evolution with the use of topspin over time. I don't mean to imply that Borg was the very first player to successfully use topspin (think Vilas during just Borg's time), but he did revolutionize the Open era with his use of it, thus impacting so may youngsters growing up. These players (like Lendl) grew up watching him and then, with modern frames, found the use of topspin to be such a perfect "fit". Thanks for the insights. The history of the game is fascinating though. In that thread started by Borgforever, which alludes to so much of the history of the game, I was struck by the fact that in this book, from perhaps the early 20th century (year?) one of the first sentences states that there is great debate over whether the "modern players" are better than the players of old. That's amazing, they were having the same debate back then that we are having now! Oh how the wheel spins. The history of this game is quite fascinating indeed.

jnd28
09-22-2009, 07:35 PM
points well taken..For the record It was not my intention to say that old school players were better than modern players - or visa versa. The players get to play against who they play against and I happen to believe that the best in whatever era in whatever sport would be able to compete with the modern versions. That aside, my main issue is the belief that tennis history prior to 1970 for some, 1980 for others, 1990, for a few and 2005 for the least informed did not exist. To say that no player of note hit with a western topspin forehand is the only evidence needed that the poster is clueless to the history of the game.

I also maintain that during borgs era there were tons of heavy topspin players. Pecci, Pannata, Vilas, Nastase are just a few that come to mind. Lendl is only 4 years younger than Borg so I doubt that he was pinning for Borgs game to the extent mentioned here.

Maybe its the lack of definition of the modern game that is at issue. Yes Lendl took fitness to a high level. Maybe even as high as Roy Emerson. He hit a big forehand maybe as big as Hoad. He may even been as quick as Segura but I doubt it.

JND28

borg number one
09-22-2009, 08:33 PM
Good point as far as Lendl, with just a 4 year difference he was too young, so his shots were already well established by Borg's time. I have another person especially in mind. Again, see this fascinating forehand comparison. It always blows me away. Federer, I think, must have watched Borg quite a bit, especially being Swiss. Check this out, and if you've already seen it, excuse my indulgence. In my opinion, Federer has a BEAUTIFUL topspin forehand, as does Nadal (which is more "violent" no doubt), but Borg's is even more impressive to see (IMO). Check out the positioning of 2 of the game's greats. You could use these in a tennis lesson, but man do you have to talent and racquet head speed. With this discussion, Think..accelerating through the strike zone:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31IYa7VsZYg

Now see some footage of a well past his prime Rocket Rod Laver giving Connors fits as well. I do detect some topspin for sure from Laver. What a historic match up! :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcRNZeo70P4&feature=PlayList&p=34B8731EF839BA24&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=29

ubermeyer
09-22-2009, 08:40 PM
heart rate of 38??? isn't that unhealthy?

jnd28
09-22-2009, 08:41 PM
Thanks for the link. I do think that Fed hits the forehand with a straighter arm than Borg did. It all depends on the shot however.

Take a look at this in case you havent seen it. You can see that Lavers topspin is on par with the Borg. Borg won this match but the Rocket was 38 years old. Tell me if you have seen anyone in todays game (other than a 50 year old Mac) who can cover the net like this guy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-VeBIal8TU&feature=related

borg number one
09-22-2009, 08:44 PM
See excerpt from Wiki:

Borg's physical conditioning was legendary as he could outlast most of his opponents under the most grueling conditions. Contrary to popular belief, however, this wasn't due to his exceptionally low resting heart rate, often reported to be near 35 beats per minute. In his introduction to Borg's autobiography My Life and Game, Eugene Scott relates that this myth arose from a medical exam the 18-year-old Borg once took for military service, where his pulse was recorded as 38. Scott goes on to reveal Borg's true pulse rate as "about 50 when he wakes up and around 60 in the afternoon."

I've read that this is a medical condition for certain people and not particularly dangerous. I've got to think it gave him an advantage, because I hardly ever saw him breathing very hard, even at the French!

See info from the web (http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/tc/bradycardia-slow-heart-rate-overview):

"What is bradycardia?

Having bradycardia (say "bray-dee-KAR-dee-uh") means your heart beats very slowly. For most people, a heart rate of 60 to 100 beats a minute while at rest is considered normal. If your heart beats less than 60 times a minute, your doctor may diagnose bradycardia.

A slow heart rate is sometimes normal and can be a sign of being very fit. Healthy young adults and athletes often have heart rates of less than 60 beats a minute."

borg number one
09-22-2009, 08:50 PM
I've watched that before JND28 and the points are amazing. There is no doubt that he was "rocket" rod laver, with amazing closing speed. I agree, there are not many even in today's game that can cover the net like Laver did, no doubt about it. He would absolutely "school" a lot of the players of today, even well past his prime (adjusting for the newer racquets though, b/c they generate SO much pace easily for you and you can hit the ball practically ANYWHERE on the face and still have a solid shot). He was too quick/too sound with his shotmaking. It's great footage, thank you.

borg number one
09-22-2009, 08:54 PM
We were talking Lendl/Borg, so I'll throw in this 1981 Masters action. At this time, Borg was reportedly doing extra strength training by the way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jZmFMUGTTU&feature=related

jnd28
09-22-2009, 09:12 PM
Thanks I had not seen that. Very impressive!

JND28

krosero
09-22-2009, 09:14 PM
Now see some footage of a well past his prime giving Connors fits as well. I do detect some topspin for sure from Laver. What a historic match up! :

Actually that video was copied by a YouTube user from my upload. Please link to the original: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SptdffCeVmM. Thanks.

borg number one
09-22-2009, 10:45 PM
Very famous instance. I've NEVER seen Borg protest a call like this in my life. I remember it made headlines. Check out just how much McEnroe respected him. Have you ever seen McEnroe do something like this with anyone else? Great sportsmanship by Big Mac:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVwPAOpFweY

The Umpire felt the long gaze of the "Ice Man". Borg always said "though he never showed emotion, when he lost a point, it burned him up inside".

Borgforever
09-23-2009, 02:58 AM
I think all of you guys are correct more or less.

May Sutton was playing classic western FH with heavy topspin in early 1900s.

Johnston was a western-grip guy. H. L. received some flack for hitting more topspin on both flanks than let's say Larned and Gore. Everyone was wondering why H. L. did that. Of course the margin for error was bigger with heavy top as opposed to flat-hitting.

It seems tennis, as many other things, move in cycles and memory is short.

Laver deserves a lot of credit for playing moderate to severe topspin on his groundies being direct inspiration to Borg, who went topspin bananas, in a way ushering in today game. The graphite-bats further boosted a topspin, solid groundie-game together with Ivan Lendl's masterful power game.

It's a big confluence of factors were a lot of people deserve credit, not just one guy IMO...

borg number one
09-23-2009, 03:28 AM
Yes, I do agree Borgforever that there were lots of factors. Borg did not bring in topspin all by himself, that's for sure. Krosero, thanks for your upload of the Laver footage. That video is priceless. I could tell by the commentary that Laver was so revered, but here was this "young upstart". Beautiful tennis. What talent on display! Though Laver was well past his prime and Borg was fairly young, the tennis was absolutely, well, "classic".

Wondertoy
09-23-2009, 07:26 AM
The other point was that the modern forehand game can be attributed more to Nick Bolllettieri than it can be to Borg.

WTF? You cannot be serious!

charliefedererer
09-23-2009, 08:03 AM
WTF? You cannot be serious!

Borg not only had the massively heavy topspin from both sides, but the tremendous reflexes, quickness and consistancy to beat most of his opponents with well constructed points, with few unforced errors and pinpoint passing shots.

He played with a wood racquet strung at 80, and did not bludgeon the ball with the "modern forehand" as his main weapon like Courier, a string of others and now Del Potro. Borg did not have to regularly risk all with overly hard hit shots played from the baseline.

That sort of baseline bashing did come out of the Bolletieri camp, with Jimmy Arias being the first of the line and inspiration for Courier and others.

Borg was more artist than basher, though I'm sure he could have been if he had chosen to. I'm just glad he did not.

pundekman
09-23-2009, 09:59 PM
"He played with a wood racquet strung at 80, and ..."

I believed his Donnay was graphite....if I am not mistaken

borg number one
09-24-2009, 06:35 AM
Folks, I have posted some of these weblinks during various posts, including the thread that contains all those video links. Yet, I just wanted to have these together in one spot, and this seemed like a good place. I love watching some of these together before I go out and practice/play tennis, or even go for a run. These are high standards to try and replicate indeed!

Borg/Sampras/Federer (Kings of Wimbledon):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYa1bSRoOzs

Borg on Winning in Tennis:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLVoUl4OVGc

Borg-Federer Forehand (Frame by Frame Comparison):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31IYa7VsZYg

Borg/Federer Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KNcpwsBQHU&NR=1

Borg Wimbledon Video (From Wimbledon DVD collection):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOedxoa_0J0

Borg-Connors (1976 US Open Final):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcBWYNm6b1g


Borg-Lendl (New York, Masters):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jZmF...om=PL&index=72

Borg-Vilas (86 shot rally!):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0_v4gD_QnE&NR=1

Borg-Lendl (French Open Final):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDBaq...rom=PL&index=8

Borg-McEnroe (1980 Wimbledon Final):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n16O_V_Gjw4

Don't Let It Bounce
09-24-2009, 03:42 PM
I never knew the story of Borg's heart rate was a myth. However, a lower RHR does correlate with extreme cardio health: I had a college prof who still ranks high among triathletes; his RHR was in the 30's.

I remember reading in the 80's that Borg used to do side-to-sides, with Bergelin (his coach) feeding outside the doubles sidelines, for an entire cart of balls before resting. (I was always generally ready to display my lunch after a couple dozen.) What makes it even more impressive was that his lifestyle had as much in common with Vitas Gerulaitis's as it did with Lendl's.

As noted above, he also had speed to a degree that you rarely find with that kind of endurance. He and Graf have often been noted as tennis players who could have become world-class sprinters.

The guy really won the genetic lottery (for physical gifts, anyway).

Borgforever
09-24-2009, 04:19 PM
Great post man!

Borg had as low as 33 beats per minute when he woke up and about 35 to 38 during rest during daytime. He's was a freak exactly combining absolutely fantastic chardio-prowess with supreme world class sprinter-properties in one practically extinct package.

When I was at peak -- always being tall, strong, swimmer's build I was slightly impressed with own physical prowess. Running about 15 km a day or every other day until I was 35. And gym and lots of very structured tennis practice and matches in-between -- just living tennis, I was very strong and fast.

I did service as special forces man -- Navy Seal material -- and when I did side-to-sides -- at the peak of my form -- I managed very fiercely to be accurate outside the doubles-lines -- about half-a-cart in splendid fashion -- shortly there after the light started fading fast. And I was reduced to rubble.

My stamina pulverized to ashes -- at once...

Borg did easily one cart in the early practice and the second daily practice -- each and every day. And nailed every one. Maybe shanked a very few sometimes but always greyhounding around smoothly and consistently.

Sick.

Sick I say.

That's one of the reasons why I love to watch him. And his amazing resolute fightning prowess. The terminator.

Vitas and Björn were both freaks. When they played during a few days off every year out on Björn's private island -- on Björn's private court -- out in the Stockholm Archipelago -- the often played matches that blew peoples minds in their insanely spectacular rallies -- one packed after the other -- 7-8 sets a day, on a Plexipave HC-cement, fairly fast surface.

Rarely said witnesses that such spectacular rallies have been performed out in tourneys with audiences.

Although in the 1977 Wimby SF Gerulaitis and Borg gave a supple taste of what those secluded private practice-matches was brim-filled with...

It's an understatement that Borg was lucky in the genetic department...

Nobody deserves to be so lucky...

Borgforever
09-24-2009, 04:27 PM
By the way I was about 43 beats per minute during the day and 41 when waking up. Now about 46-48 beats per minute...

Borgforever
09-24-2009, 04:35 PM
When Jimbo was down -- while playing stunning tennis himself -- about 2-6, 1-3 in the slaughter on cow's food that was the Wimby F of 1978 -- Bud Collins said to John Newcombe in the booth during the NBC coverage -- for which I have a copy of:

Bud Collins: "John -- Jimbo's got Borg problems. And Borg problems is like having termites and in a balsa-tree-house!"...

Yup I say...

Ano
09-24-2009, 06:06 PM
Borg had as low as 33 beats per minute when he woke up and about 35 to 38 during rest during daytime. He's was a freak exactly combining absolutely fantastic chardio-prowess with supreme world class sprinter-properties in one practically extinct package.

It's an understatement that Borg was lucky in the genetic department...

Nobody deserves to be so lucky...

If my memory serves me right, Borg's blood pressure was 70/30.

Borgforever
09-24-2009, 06:16 PM
Ano -- that blood pressure deal I didn't know in fact.

By the way -- as regards to his private practice-matches with Gerulaitis out on the secluded island during the summers of 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1981 -- Borg also says that Vitas was muuuuuuch better, ALWAYS, in practice with him there.

Borg mentions how he once lost two sets in a row to Vitas only getting something like 5 points combined in the sets, while he was playing great and Gerulaitis was just sublime, hitting winners on everything.

Borg said he lost in great matches to Vitas -- out on the island "about 50-60% of the time and he usually played better on the island than he did in our famous semifinal (at Wimby 1977)".

Borg thought that Vitas nerves was the problem. That he was always way better under more relaxed atmospheres -- not in front of 20000 people and millions on TV...

jnd28
09-24-2009, 07:09 PM
WTF? You cannot be serious!

Just pointing out the facts.

borg number one
09-24-2009, 07:29 PM
Great stuff with these last posts. Thank you. Yes, Borg's workout regimen was legendary. Borgforever, yes, you can appreciate Borg's fitness, because you have pushed your body to the limit in the past. Thanks for providing just a few specific examples of just what his workouts were like.

Now, does anyone still want to argue about how the players of today are so much stronger and better trained than Borg was? Anyone at all? That argument has some credence when you talk about all the players as a whole, but it fails miserably when applied to B. Borg. He was WAY AHEAD of his time.

1. Heart
2. Mind
3. Body
4. Composure

What else do you want in a great tennis player?

See Borg Quotes:

"It didn’t matter if it was a practice, I wanted to win every single point. I practiced five hours a day and I wanted to win every single point in those five hours.

"Still in my mind I had the suspension when I was a kid and I think by being very serious on the court, learning how to play well under pressure, I could play really well on the important points in the match. I think that was probably one of my strongest points."

Borgforever
09-24-2009, 07:42 PM
John Barrett tells a wonderful story he witnessed during the French Riviera around 1978 when Lennart had brought a young group of Swedish juniors to practice beside Borg and a maybe a few moments with him a few times -- just so the kids would get some early looks a great pro up close for a week.

Borg practiced with severely structured focus, honing his very aspect like virtouso. It was laughable the match-point seriousness he displayed on every little move.

One afternoon -- after the second 2-2,5 hours practice all the kids and Lennart ended up in the rented bus back to the hotel for the announced dinner -- everyone except Borg of course.

Lennart looked around desperately, The bus was about to go. The driver wouldn't work past 6 o'clock in the afternoon and they were going to miss dinner.

A flash went off in Lennart's head and he dashed off to the courts and -- lo and behold -- Borg stood there polishing his different, new serves, getting pace and the angle just right -- like he had done for the last 60-80 minutes or so...

Pounding serves. Oblivious. Hmmm-ing to himself. Adjusting. pounding the next. Analysis.

Lennart scream hysterically to Björn: "Are you crazy Burken?! Take your racquets and run to the bus -- right this instant -- or the bus will go and we all miss dinner! COME ON -- RIGHT NOW!"

Björn: (in his focused bubble): "One second Lennart -- just one more..."

And he focused -- hammered -- then ran to the bus and they all made it to dinner...

slice bh compliment
09-24-2009, 07:49 PM
An amazing thing I just learned about Borg:
He shops at Mohumbai and Sons in Manhattan. He actually tried to pawn some valuable memorabilia there. My friend Dave told me.

borg number one
09-24-2009, 07:51 PM
Awesome. Borgforever, I have heard of that story before, but never with all the details surrounding it!

SliceBHCompliment-Very Interesting, thank you.

Datacipher
09-24-2009, 10:36 PM
I never knew the story of Borg's heart rate was a myth. However, a lower RHR does correlate with extreme cardio health: I had a college prof who still ranks high among triathletes; his RHR was in the 30's.
).

Wow. This is the first time I looked at this thread, and I was about to post this. In actuality, Borg's heartrate was recorded in the high 30's once, but that was during sleep! The funny thing is, the urban legend was around 37/38 about a decade ago...but now I see it is dropping to 33ish! In about 2030, Borg koolaid drinkers will be proclaiming he had a resting heart rate of -8!

Borg's didn't even need heartbeats, so he donated them to charity. All this while lighting the world with the glow from his buttocks and flowing locks! ;-)

Borgforever
09-25-2009, 12:42 AM
^^^^ I won't answer anymore to this bonda-fide bone-head but you can take it from me from now on -- Data is -- as usual -- as totally misinformed about the facts of Björn -- before the above post and in the above post -- as he is -- as usual -- snarky to the point of silliness and deluded about his supposed "knowledge".

If he sometimes gets it right -- and if I even read his posts from now on -- I will respond and point that out...

Don't hold your breath folks...:-)

But I guess many have noticed this by themselves already...

TheMagicianOfPrecision
09-25-2009, 01:41 AM
There's a lot of speculation about who invented the modern stroke, but if anyone did, it was Borg.

That is absolutely correct.

Borgforever
09-25-2009, 02:06 AM
Borg Number One -- for the record regarding Björn's heart-beats per minute:

If memory serves I think I wrote a while back on the AKAI-thread about Borg's heart rate. Having read various conflicting reports in various different sources -- I did some double-checking and triple checking on first-hand sources which only confirmed my just above mentioned statements: 33 bpm measured in the very early morning, 8 o'clock, resting on a bed for about 15 minutes -- which is the usual and established measurement-routine made by a doctor in the Swedish military. This was when Borg was around 18 years of age and this test was only made once.

When it was measured again a couple of times by doctors when Björn was 20-22, taken during the afternoon, during a medical test, this was during the day but the test was performed after Borg had been lying down on a sick-bed for 15 minutes, fully relaxed the whole time, he was clocked between 35 and 38.

The more usual test of doing this heart bpm-test on people is taking the test after the person has just taken a seat (not lying down), being calm for just a few minutes at the longest (and subsequently not totally relaxing for as much as 15 minutes as Borg did).

Then the pulse-rate usually revolves around 50-60, during your physical peak, if you have extreme fitness and physical chardio-gifts.

I would maybe have 55-65 bpm or slightly more if I just sat down and just took the test within minutes during the day during my peak. I measured it sometimes at 65 bpm during the day then -- sitting straight on a chair.

So now you have the whole context of why Björn was saying he was more in line with 50-60 bpm's in HIS LIFE AND GAME (1980 -- with second, updated edition 1981).

And having any kind of heart-trouble coupled with a slow pulse-rate is a highly individualized issue -- depending on your specific gene-make-up.

My pulse-rate at 41-43 was taken when I was 18 at the military doctor's test with the customary method as Borg did -- early in the morning, not far after sleep, lying down for 15 minutes almost reaching a state of slumber. The doctor measured me 41, which isn't totally unique, but clearly within a small, minority percentage being that low.

This was mostly due to me practicing about 5 hours a day by that time and having a low pulse-rate to begin with.

Having the lowest measured together with another guy that week (a guy who was measured at 42 bpm he told me) he did the test again and I was allowed to sit on chair, being a not as relaxed as lying down, the doctor double-checked by bpm and came out with 43.

I was allowed some more intense chardio-prowess tests which I found were quite easy and was promptly assigned military service for 15 months as second-lieutenant in a special forces branch.

In summary -- there's some truth to all statements made about this, more or less, but all statements are also false considering that the origins of all the different figures aren't fully explored and neither is their correct contexts that existed referenced completely.

Borgforever
09-25-2009, 02:12 AM
Incidentally there's several small errors in Scott's and Björn's MY LIFE AND GAME BOOK. I don't have the time to review them all right now -- but in brief, the errors that do exist are no biggies and it would be erroneous to think that only 300 pages would explain every little detail about Borg during that time and without any flaw here and there in the fact department.

Cesc Fabregas
09-25-2009, 02:27 AM
John Barrett tells a wonderful story he witnessed during the French Riviera around 1978 when Lennart had brought a young group of Swedish juniors to practice beside Borg and a maybe a few moments with him a few times -- just so the kids would get some early looks a great pro up close for a week.

Borg practiced with severely structured focus, honing his very aspect like virtouso. It was laughable the match-point seriousness he displayed on every little move.

One afternoon -- after the second 2-2,5 hours practice all the kids and Lennart ended up in the rented bus back to the hotel for the announced dinner -- everyone except Borg of course.

Lennart looked around desperately, The bus was about to go. The driver wouldn't work past 6 o'clock in the afternoon and they were going to miss dinner.

A flash went off in Lennart's head and he dashed off to the courts and -- lo and behold -- Borg stood there polishing his different, new serves, getting pace and the angle just right -- like he had done for the last 60-80 minutes or so...

Pounding serves. Oblivious. Hmmm-ing to himself. Adjusting. pounding the next. Analysis.

Lennart scream hysterically to Björn: "Are you crazy Burken?! Take your racquets and run to the bus -- right this instant -- or the bus will go and we all miss dinner! COME ON -- RIGHT NOW!"

Björn: (in his focused bubble): "One second Lennart -- just one more..."

And he focused -- hammered -- then ran to the bus and they all made it to dinner...

Thats a great story, thanks for sharing.

borg number one
09-25-2009, 06:24 AM
Excellent Borgforever. That analysis of heartrates and testing of Borg's heartrate, is as detailed as any I've ever come across. There is simply no substitute in life for personal experience and you sir have it when it comes to this issue and many others, especially when it comes to B. Borg. Thanks.

Datacipher
09-26-2009, 03:10 AM
Incidently. My resting heart rate is generally around 48-55, and during sleep drops to 38. Lower than Borg's! Unusual, but actually a lot of endurance athletes (which I'm not) are in this range.

Correction. My min. heart rate during last 24 hour monitor was 39. Average rate over 24 hours, including 3 workouts was 66.

laboule
09-26-2009, 09:39 AM
Björn when he was 14 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1Rmiq5uXRk

Hehe I love that he got suspended from his local tennis club when he was young because he had such bad temper. He was not allowed to come there for some months so he played against his garage wall all day long with the 2 handed backhand. Which came from the fact that the racquet was heavy and the fact that he had played hockey.

Xenakis
09-26-2009, 11:21 AM
Thanks for the vid borg number one, not seen Borg and Mac play as 'oldies', even at their age they are better than I'll ever be by a country mile. Would be good to see more of them play.

borg number one
09-26-2009, 07:55 PM
No problem Xenakis, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Yes, they can still hit that ball around pretty well can't they? What struck me was the last part of that youtube clip. I only recently heard McEnroe's take on what it was like to come onto the tour at 19. Thank you.

borg number one
09-28-2009, 05:00 PM
To get a great overview of Borg at Wimbledon especially see these videos from the Wimbledon DVD Collection:

http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1694076/5681964

http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1694418/5686082

http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1694791/5681794

http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1695359/5682850

http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1695735/5683378

http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1702965/5702564

http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1695987/5684466

borg number one
10-08-2009, 06:23 AM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article5161864.ece


See this article above entitled "Bjorn Borg peerless in Paris; The Swede stuns the world of tennis at the 1974 French Open" for a look back at Borg. See this excerpt:

"The British Davis Cup captain John Lloyd recalled an example of the Swede’s strength on the BlackRock Tour of Champions a few years ago. “He was asked by an institute of sports science in Sweden to do a cardiovascular test,” said Lloyd. “It was December, so there wasn’t any tennis at that time of the year and he wasn’t in peak shape, but he just got on the running machine and set a fair pace. Two and three-quarter hours later somebody asked him if he wanted to stop. ‘Up to you,’ he replied. That just shows how fit he was.”

borg number one
10-10-2009, 06:27 AM
Here is some background on Borg's losses at the US Open through 1979.

Of course, he lost to McEnroe fair and square in the 80 and 81 finals, but see this excerpt below from "Bjorn Borg, My Life and Game" as told by Eugene L. Scott about Borg's losses there through 1979:


"Borg is not given to making excuses for himself, but it is a matter of record that he has been unlucky at the U.S. Open. In 1975, when he lost to Connors in the final, he was taking massive doses of antibiotics for an intestinal infection. In 1977, he lost to Dick Stockton and had such a bad shoulder injury that he could barely lift his arm to serve. In 1978, he lost to Connors after doctors had advised him not to play because of a severe thumb injury for which he took two injections of morcaine, a powerful pain killer, an hour before the final, and in 1979, he lost to Tanner's 140-mph serve under lights, which may be a worse handicap for him than any injury."

As to the U.S. Open, the lights were not as good back then as they are now, and it's interesting that Lennart Bergelin had been told by Asst. Referee Bob Howe two months before the Tanner match that Borg would not have to play under the lights, and then on the first day of the Open, Lennart requested that if Borg had to play at night, schedule him on one of the first few days, and not for the Tanner match.

Lennart was then told that Borg would not have to play under the lights at all. Then, Connors at the last minute said that he wanted to play his quarterfinal during the day, and not at night. Then, they put Borg on at night against Tanner. Roscoe beat Borg in 4 sets. Borg said that "I wasn't thinking about the Grand Slam. I wouldn't ever think about it unless I had won three legs and then had to change my regular plans to go to Australia at the end of the year, which is the time I normally rest".

borg number one
10-10-2009, 06:31 AM
I really like the great Harry Hopman's quote concerning Borg on the back of Scott's book:

"Bjorn Borg is like Rod Laver in being a pleasant, shy country boy who could win with never a boast and lose with never an excuse and who became a great in Tennis in his early twenties. Just as Laver did in his era, Bjorn has turned all pre-tournament conjecture into the simple question: "Who can beat Number One?" What I like best about Bjorn, and Gene Scott has brought it out well in his story, is that it is hard to fault Borg on or off the court. He is a complete credit to the game."

hoodjem
10-10-2009, 08:29 AM
"Bjorn Borg is like Rod Laver in being a pleasant, shy country boy who could win with never a boast and lose with never an excuse . . . ."
Nice quotation.

slice bh compliment
10-10-2009, 09:16 AM
I really like the great Harry Hopman's quote concerning Borg on the back of Scott's book:

"Bjorn Borg is like Rod Laver in being a pleasant, shy country boy who could win with never a boast and lose with never an excuse and who became a great in Tennis in his early twenties. Just as Laver did in his era, Bjorn has turned all pre-tournament conjecture into the simple question: "Who can beat Number One?" What I like best about Bjorn, and Gene Scott has brought it out well in his story, is that it is hard to fault Borg on or off the court. He is a complete credit to the game."

I love this. Thanks for posting it.

I'm sure Eugene L. Scott wrote it long before the cokehead days, the divorce, the trist with Loredana Berte, the alleged suicide attempt and the attempted selling of the trophies.

Somehow he went from pleasant, shy country boy to tortured soul. But still credit to the game, without question.

Borgforever
10-10-2009, 09:32 AM
Slice BH -- you know I like you -- so I have to respond to this.

* Björn Borg never took more Cocaine than anybody on the tennis circus. That is libelous what your saying. Just trying something a few times doesn't make you Scarface-like sitting at your desk with three Gasherbrum-size mountains of nose-candy in front of you.

* Selling the trophies, as I have written here about 95 gazillion times before but everyone seems to have the memory of a horse-fly -- was because Borg is the kind of person that doesn't care about fame, trophies or anything like that. The trophies were shoved under a table in his garage for over 20 years. If your inside Borg's home -- nothing in there suggests he ever played tennis ever. Not one thing. He is not a bragging, chest-thumping self-aggrandizing guy.

* The late 80's stuff though, the divorces and bad businesses was natural errors. Everybody has a bad patch, or patches in their lives. For someone like Borg, who was almost perfect on and off court while he was the world's most famous man -- at what? 21?! -- the contrast to his subsequent set-backs look bigger. And it's also blaming the victim here. Borg's business partner Lars Skarke makes Bernie Madoff look like FDR in comparison and Borg is not alone in the world at going through a divorce.

* The suicide attempt was also a paper-tiger -- pure and utter bull-crap. I could tell you the backstory and what really happened there -- but you wouldn't remember what I said next week anyway so why bother...

Borgforever
10-10-2009, 09:39 AM
There's an old newspaper adage: "Good news is no news."

And the sleaziest copy rife with insinuations are the ones that sell the best.

I absolutely despise the fact that Borg was so famous. I wish he was as famous as Lendl, maybe he would've played until 1987 or thereabouts...

Fame killed the Bear...

slice bh compliment
10-10-2009, 09:41 AM
Slice BH -- you know I like you -- so I have to respond to this.

* Björn Borg never took more Cocaine than anybody on the tennis circus. That is libelous what your saying. Just trying something a few times doesn't make you Scarface-like sitting at your desk with three Gasherbrum-size mountains of nose-candy in front of you.

* Selling the trophies, as I have written here about 95 gazillion times before but everyone seems to have the memory of a horse-fly -- was because Borg is the kind of person that doesn't care about fame, trophies or anything like that. The trophies were shoved under a table in his garage for over 20 years. If your inside Borg's home -- nothing in there suggests he ever played tennis ever. Not one thing. He is not a bragging, chest-thumping self-aggrandizing guy.

* The late 80's stuff though, the divorces and bad businesses was natural errors. Everybody has a bad patch, or patches in their lives. For someone like Borg, who was almost perfect on and off court while he was the world's most famous man -- at what? 21?! -- the contrast to his subsequent set-backs look bigger.

* The suicide attempt was also a paper-tiger -- pure and utter bull-crap. I could tell you the backstory and what really happened there -- but you wouldn't remember what I said next week anyway so why bother...
I like you too.

Nah, I've got a good memory.

The late 80s stuff, of course, everyone's got bad deals. Business is one thing. It's the other stuff. ANd, yes, absolutely...bad patches abound. No big deal at all. I never said so.

The drugs. He's not Tony Montana. But...sorry, I just don't see the shy country boy Rod Laver guy there. I'm not sayig he's a bad guy at all. I am saying he more than experimented with the nose candy. If you think that's average or cool in any way, fine. I just don't think it is consistent with the Gene Scott musings. Sorry mate.

I'm also sorry about the 95 gazillion times you've written that the selling of the trophies was a sign of his not caring about fame. Yore right, he's not a braggart. He does not have to be. He thought about it for the money. It was about debt, man. Trying to save up for retirement. If he really did not want the trophies, don't you think he would have quietly donated them or auctioned them off for charity?

About the ALLEGED suicide attempt, go ahead, try me. I've got a good memory. You just never know what is spin and what is real.

Borgforever
10-10-2009, 09:47 AM
Trust me man. I know about these things.

And that Borg needs cash is also complete and utter bunk Slice BH.

Borg had about 100 mill in 2000 -- his clothing line had been going fantastic since about 1995 -- why would he need to sell the trophies?! Your don't know one iota of which you speak and your sinking in my estimation since your so strident with you steaming bs and lies.

Borg bought the trophies back for a bigger amount just weeks after he sold them.

You know absolutely nothing about Borg in this matter.

Rod Laver was married, didn't have a 50 mill when he retired at 25 and a more normal life -- and when he reitred at 36-37 he wasn't a guy invited to STUDIO 54, hanging out with Peter Sellers, Ingrid Bergman and the Rolling Stones and many others that hung around Borg when he was 22-23...

Borg was isolated, lacking the youthful experiences that most of us had and his yearning life was understandable.

Please, do your research and, at least, read the AKAI-thread before you spread lies here man...

You're embarrassing.

Shape up!

Borgforever
10-10-2009, 09:53 AM
Borg has given away each and every trophy he ever has won -- EVERY SINGLE ONE -- except the RG and Wimby ones which he planned to auction since people thought you can't give these away too.

Borg is extremely generous -- he even let Roscoe Tanner borrow 100 000 dollars in the late 1990s -- money that Roscoe has never paid back of course -- being the person that he is...

Borg never needed any money. That's the funniest thing I have heard in a long time. Björn Borg is one of the strongest brands in the world and has been for over 30 years...

Amazing that empty myths like this gain traction...

Borgforever
10-10-2009, 09:59 AM
Borg has earned -- about 100 000 dollars for every exxo he ever played since the mid 90s. He's got offers every week to do this. If he needs money he can scoop up a couple million dollars in a month without notice...

Borgforever
10-10-2009, 10:34 AM
Okey -- here's the truth about the so-called "selling-papers" suicide-lie:

Borg was depressed in the late 1980s, shocked by the backstabbing of Skarke and that his relationships hadn't worked out. Also, since he was so revered as a tennis-player -- an image that bored him since he was bored of tennis ("from being the most fun activity to me to becoming as much fun as watching paint dry") he wasn't in tip-top shape and had sleeping problems.

One of the main problems he had was finding his place in life. He was an all time great in tennis, but being a genius is tennis doesn't mean you're comfortable anywhere else.

Anyway -- if you're knowledgable about sleeping pills you may know that a certain type of sleeping aid are very deceptive -- I could name the brand but it's unnecessary, if you ask me I will answer, anyway -- these types of tablets make you very tired of course -- but they have the side-effect that if you don't fall asleep at once, you will take another, and another, and another...

These types of sleeping aids are very dangerous. You're basically sleeping but your eyes are open and you can go around and do things anyway. The next day you don't have any memory of what you did the night before -- although you're shocked when you see you emptied the sleeping pill bottle and you can't remember why.

Borg didn't wake up -- was rushed to hospital -- they pumped his stomach and got out about 20 tablets. Not lethal. But in that zombie state of mind that these tablets easily produce there could've been more.

The lovely, classy news-magazines like NATIONAL ENQUIRER and such of course wrote -- of course without knowing or caring about the ENTIRE COMPLEX TRUE BACK-STORY -- and since people tend to believe a negative story more than a positive one -- just human nature even if it's out of whack -- people always also love the comfort of the false, simple, easy to grasp explanation rather than the complex, paradoxical truth -- at any rate NE and the like wrote that there were maybe over a 100 sleeping pills in Borg's stomach. Couple that with the context of him having problems at the time and you got circumstantial -- but still phoney as a 3 dollar bill -- evidence of a suicide attempt.

Borg being still one of the most famous men on the planet -- take a really wild guess what NATIONAL ENQUIRER opted to write in their screaming headlines to raise their circulation?

Yeah, you right...

borg number one
10-10-2009, 10:35 AM
Bingo Borgforever, exactly! Money is not one of the problems Borg has had. He can earn money at will really, just by making appearances at places and playing tennis. He was/is also generous almost to a fault. He's a humble genius in my estimation, being both "an artist and a scientist" on Court. We may never again see the likes of him play Tennis, though Federer, I believe learned quite a bit by watching and analyzing him. The combination of so much "fire in the belly" and "competitive drive/intensity", along with "clutch ability", joined by unrelenting coolness on the court and seemingly effortless grace/class was something to behold. What a truly unique player he was! Alas, at the pace he set for so many years, it certainly took a toll on him, as he was a victim of his own fame surely. I keep saying it, but gosh I wish he would have properly taken a extended vacation (perhaps 6 months) in 1982 or so, during which he could have trained some, but stayed away from so much match play and travel! Then, if you had a more understanding tennis body that would not have forced him to qualify for everything, that may have been enough for him to keep playing. Yet, Borg I'm sure would say "I have zero regrets" and wouldn't change one thing. He truly met "triumph and defeat" and treated those two "imposters" the same, as that great quote at The All England Lawn & Tennis Club reads.

slice bh compliment
10-11-2009, 01:01 PM
Trust me man. I know about these things.

... complete and utter bunk Slice BH.

...Your don't know one iota of which you speak and your sinking in my estimation since your so strident with you steaming bs and lies.

.You know absolutely nothing about Borg in this matter.

...Borg was isolated, lacking the youthful experiences that most of us had and his yearning life was understandable.

Please, do your research and, at least, read the AKAI-thread before you spread lies here man...

You're embarrassing.

Shape up!

I'm very sorry I sank in your estimation. But the above vitriol smacks of fanboi-ism. Tons of it.

I think your estimation of me doesn't really matter, but I also think you've gotten the idea that I'm libelously looking to slam your idol. Look man, and I think you know this: he was a genius tennis player, not a genius. He was an amazing athlete, but not a guy with all his mental and emotional faculties about him. I grew up idolizing him, too, and my first non kiddy frame was a sawed-off Bancroft Borg Personal. I always admired him. But I feel he fell short of the Gene Scott quote. I have actually met Gene Scott, and I may be overstating this, but I think he'd shake his head at the way Borg ended up (pills, thrills and bellyaches). It's very mysterious.

I absolutely accept and I'm happy to read your explanation of the sleeping pill incident. I do not know a thing about precription drugs, except to simply stay away from them (including NSAIDs). Believe me, I am thrilled he did not attempt suicide. However, you must know, I did not get that from a salacious tabloid. It somehow made its way on to actual news sources.

Now on the other hand, the money problems issue....it was two reputable news sources who triple-source, and one John McEnroe...(and a Swedish tennis player I knew personally in the 90s) who alleged that. I'm just going on that. I realize money problems are not consistent with his megamillionEuro earning potential, but I was there in 1996 when Borg started in with the exos. I remember how not into it he was. Obviously he's a huge name with tremendous earning potential (more than even Mac, because Borg is not overexposed, in fact, he's still mysterious).

The coke use thing....well, that's common knowledge. I appreciate your discounting Laver from that and from NYC club culture for his age. But it was also because Laver really did end up as Gene Scott wrote. Borg, sadly, as you pointed out, suffered from depression. Probably clinical depression. In some ways, I'd say he started his brilliant career like Laver, and ended it more like Cliff Richey with a side of Vitas.

Now, he seems happy. ANd he's got TONS of us as fans. That is nice.

EDIT:
And under the topic: Amazing things I learned about Borg....I've learned that his fans are more committed than *******s, *******s, McEnHeads, Graffers, Beckturds, Gorans, Murrons, and even Seventh-Day Baghdatists!

ZhengJieisagoddess
10-11-2009, 01:17 PM
I think that, for some things, our minds form a template of what is, at least to our subjective judgement, perfection.
For instance, I'll always think of President Kennedy as THE President. Johnny Unitas was THE quarterback. Pope John XXIII was THE Pope.
Well, for me, Bjorn Borg is THE tennisplayer.

slice bh compliment
10-11-2009, 01:18 PM
I think that, for some things, our minds form a template of what is, at least to our subjective judgement, perfection......
Great point.

Borgforever
10-11-2009, 01:23 PM
Slice BH -- I am sorry I was too harsh on you -- that's what I think I was.

But I've checked this stuff five times over -- since I was personally curious myself. Being the world's most famous man is a great curse for anybody except the narcissistic extrovert.

Today's media is a joke too. To say the least. They report the most sensational angle at all times. Ben Bradlee of Washington Post would spin in his grave if he worked as an editor today -- and he's not even dead yet!

There's not even blip of interest in fact-checking in today so-called media-outlets -- only quarterly bottom-line linked to circulation.

Usually I never respond when a greenhorn moron splashes in here barfing such complete bunk such as Borg being Tony Montana with party-powder in the 1980s, McEnroe became better than him that's why he retired, he could never, ever have won USO, swallowing a cart of suicide-pills while he was homeless not worth a nickel -- but I always cringe when a guy I respect a lot -- like you Slice BH -- throws out such stuff...

I know that respected papers reported lies about the trophies -- since it was spun by some guy at Reuters looking at the bottom-line again. Those quarterly reports are a nightmare every three months!

However, I don't see at all that Borg-fans are ***** in that sense. I think pc1 and Borg Number One, and if I may say so myself, talk quite well of other players and don't indulge in tardish-behaviour to a disturbing and unmotivated amount, you really think so?

Personally I am very careful before I accuse any tennis-player anywhere of criminal conduct or extremely irresponsible behavior -- even if I read it in the NY Times -- why do you do that?

It's not particularly classy or nice -- or is it?

slice bh compliment
10-11-2009, 01:35 PM
...
Personally I am very careful before I accuse any tennis-player anywhere of criminal conduct or extremely irresponsible behavior -- even if I read it in the NY Times -- why do you do that?

It's not particularly classy or nice -- or is it?

Because I think it is wrong. I myself have done it (recreational drug use). It's wrong. I'd never do it again.

It's not classy or nice. But I do believe in the truth. I do not think pro athletes and legends should get a pass. I do not think they should be lied about either.

I also would take the truth over glorying over a legend. I would like my kids' generation to learn of a man's great tennis and character, but also learn from his mistakes. Rather than glossing over them. Not nice? True. Not classy...hmmm. I think truth, acceptance, forgiveness and learning from mistakes is classy. Classier than fanboy-ism.

My point was simply that Gene Scott's beautiful quote eloquently referred to a certain time in Borg's life. And that said quote did not apply to the man's entire life. That's all.

I believe we all agree that journalism for the shareholders is disgusting. Frankly, I do not know what is true and what is spin. So I go with whatever I can learn and I pray for discernment.

Borgforever
10-11-2009, 01:45 PM
Fair point. But I've never denied that Borg didn't party and did illegal substances -- I don't mind people mentioning that or saying the truth even if it sounds uncomfortable. But what I do mind is the exaggerations about Borg's partying or his economy and stuff -- which was just a few years out of his 53 now. Borg never had his teens and since he was such p*ragon from his baby years I do cut him some slack -- isn't Borg allowed to make some mistakes and be human? Must he be Ice Borg every waking minute?

Some people talk about Borg like he was Roscoe for crying out loud -- and that has to be argued against since silence usually means agreement...

I know some facts about other tennis-players both from that time, earlier and more recent -- that is true and truly serious and worrying but I won't talk about that either because I refuse to smear anyone. That's not decorum.

Or do you want me to name names now and really spill the beans Slice BH?

slice bh compliment
10-11-2009, 03:33 PM
...I know some facts about other tennis-players both from that time, earlier and more recent -- that is true and truly serious and worrying but I won't talk about that either because I refuse to smear anyone. That's not decorum.

Or do you want me to name names now and really spill the beans Slice BH?

Nah, let the 'journalists' do it when it's a slow news day..or it's the end of the quarter and it's time to spill some otherwise useless beans.

Better yet, let Peter Bodo do it.

LOL!

borg number one
10-24-2009, 06:46 PM
See:http://besteversportstalk.blogspot.com/2007/07/bjorn-borg-sandy-koufax-of-tennis.html

See excerpt below about Borg:

"Well before Borg's unexpected retirement (he played his last Grand Slam in 1981 but did not officially announce his retirement until 1983), many observers felt that he had already proven himself to be the greatest player of all-time. In a September 17, 2003 Tennis Week article , Raymond Lee evaluated the statistics of all players whose careers took place entirely in the Open Era (1968-present). Borg proved to be the runaway winner in Lee's analysis, placing first in seven of the 10 categories considered, including career won-loss percentage (.855), best five year won-loss percentage (.916), career percentage of tournaments won (.483--a staggering number; Jimmy Connors ranked second at .312), percentage of tournaments won during best five year period (.655), percentage of career Grand Slams won (.407--another staggering number; Sampras ranked second at .269), Grand Slams won in best five year period (eight, tied with Sampras) and percentage of Grand Slams won during best five year period (.571). Federer's career was just kicking into high gear when that article was written, so it remains to be seen if he can match Borg's numbers. Federer broke the Borg/Sampras mark by winning 10 Grand Slams in a five year period (2003-07--and he may add this year's Wimbledon and U.S. Open to that list) but Borg retains an edge in most of the categories that are based on percentages, so Federer will have to play even better than he has (and then retire young before he begins to decline) in order to beat Borg in those departments.

Borg's dominance can really be seen in his Grand Slam record. He won at least one Grand Slam title for eight straight years (1974-81), a mark later matched by Sampras. Borg's Grand Slam winning percentage of .898 is the best of the Open Era (Federer's stood at .850 entering this year's Wimbledon). A record five of his Grand Slam titles came in five set matches, showing his mental and physical toughness (Borg's overall record in five set matches, 24-4, is by far the best in the Open Era). Three times he won a Grand Slam singles title without losing a single set (1976 Wimbledon, 1978 and 1980 French Open); only three other players have accomplished this in the Open Era, none of them more than once.

Borg's Grand Slam totals would undoubtedly be even more impressive but for the fact that he only played in the Australian Open once, losing in the third round in 1974, his second season as a pro. In 2001, Borg explained in a Reddiff.com interview why he made a habit of not playing in the Australian Open: "When I boycotted the Australian, I was trying to make a statement. I had made my mind up. My point was that a player requires some time to himself, he can't keep rushing from one court to another all the time without a break. They all heard me say that, but no one did anything about it. So I did it myself, I skipped the Australian and gave myself the time I needed. That was the only way that I could think of to do it. I have always played my tennis and lived my life on my own terms. I have no regrets."

He really made his mark at the French Open and Wimbledon, going a combined 100-6 in his matches in those two events. Borg won a record six French Open titles, including a record four straight (1978-81); he retired with a 28 match winning streak at Roland Garros. Borg won his first French Open at age 17 in 1974 and for eight years he held the record as the youngest man to win a Grand Slam singles title. He won Wimbledon for the first time in 1976, the youngest winner in the Open era there until Boris Becker's 1985 triumph. Borg won a record 41 straight matches at Wimbledon, a streak that extended from his first title in 1976 to his loss to John McEnroe in the 1981 Finals.

The only blemish, such that it is, on Borg's Grand Slam resume is that he never won the U.S. Open. Still, he reached the Finals four times in nine tries, losing twice each to Connors and McEnroe, his two main rivals. Borg finished his career with a 15-8 overall record versus Connors and a 7-7 overall record versus McEnroe.

Borg did not lose a match to a younger player until 1977, when he had already been a professional for several years. During his career he set numerous records for being the youngest player to achieve various accomplishments; in addition to being the youngest ever (at the time) to win the French Open and Wimbledon titles, Borg was the youngest player to win a Davis Cup match (1972 at age 15), the youngest Italian Open winner (1974, age 17; this record has since been broken) and the youngest player to win 11 Grand Slam titles (1981 at age 25; Sampras was nearly 27 when he won his 11th, Roy Emerson was 30 and Rod Laver was 31)."

jrepac
10-24-2009, 07:39 PM
Here is some background on Borg's losses at the US Open through 1979.

Of course, he lost to McEnroe fair and square in the 80 and 81 finals, but see this excerpt below from "Bjorn Borg, My Life and Game" as told by Eugene L. Scott about Borg's losses there through 1979:


"Borg is not given to making excuses for himself, but it is a matter of record that he has been unlucky at the U.S. Open. In 1975, when he lost to Connors in the final, he was taking massive doses of antibiotics for an intestinal infection. In 1977, he lost to Dick Stockton and had such a bad shoulder injury that he could barely lift his arm to serve. In 1978, he lost to Connors after doctors had advised him not to play because of a severe thumb injury for which he took two injections of morcaine, a powerful pain killer, an hour before the final, and in 1979, he lost to Tanner's 140-mph serve under lights, which may be a worse handicap for him than any injury."

As to the U.S. Open, the lights were not as good back then as they are now, and it's interesting that Lennart Bergelin had been told by Asst. Referee Bob Howe two months before the Tanner match that Borg would not have to play under the lights, and then on the first day of the Open, Lennart requested that if Borg had to play at night, schedule him on one of the first few days, and not for the Tanner match.

Lennart was then told that Borg would not have to play under the lights at all. Then, Connors at the last minute said that he wanted to play his quarterfinal during the day, and not at night. Then, they put Borg on at night against Tanner. Roscoe beat Borg in 4 sets. Borg said that "I wasn't thinking about the Grand Slam. I wouldn't ever think about it unless I had won three legs and then had to change my regular plans to go to Australia at the end of the year, which is the time I normally rest".

It is wrong to imply that Borg's losses were not fair and square....injuries are part of the game, and night at the USO, under the lights, is what makes it so unique.

I think Borg later recognized the 76 final (not 75) as his best chance to win that escaped him; re: 78, I believe he has said that Jimmy would've won that match, regardless of the thumb situation...he was just on fire that match

Ironically, Bjorn lost to Jimmy in the semis in 75, on clay....(which some have noted as one of Connors best matches against Bjorn)

Borg was just a bit unlucky, a bit cursed at the USO, much like Lendl at Wimby. That plus some very tough competitors (for both, Mac and Connors) and it just never quite worked out for either of them.

wyutani
10-24-2009, 07:44 PM
chris evert started the two handed bh trend. not borg.

CyBorg
10-24-2009, 08:26 PM
I like you too.

Nah, I've got a good memory.

The late 80s stuff, of course, everyone's got bad deals. Business is one thing. It's the other stuff. ANd, yes, absolutely...bad patches abound. No big deal at all. I never said so.

The drugs. He's not Tony Montana. But...sorry, I just don't see the shy country boy Rod Laver guy there. I'm not sayig he's a bad guy at all. I am saying he more than experimented with the nose candy. If you think that's average or cool in any way, fine. I just don't think it is consistent with the Gene Scott musings. Sorry mate.

I'm also sorry about the 95 gazillion times you've written that the selling of the trophies was a sign of his not caring about fame. Yore right, he's not a braggart. He does not have to be. He thought about it for the money. It was about debt, man. Trying to save up for retirement. If he really did not want the trophies, don't you think he would have quietly donated them or auctioned them off for charity?

About the ALLEGED suicide attempt, go ahead, try me. I've got a good memory. You just never know what is spin and what is real.

Didn't Borg buy back the trophies for twice the money?

Does not sound like a man in serious financial debt. Not a very smart thing to do, perhaps. But you've got no information to go on here, except for some gossip and rumour mills.

slice bh compliment
10-25-2009, 07:39 AM
Didn't Borg buy back the trophies for twice the money?

Does not sound like a man in serious financial debt. Not a very smart thing to do, perhaps. But you've got no information to go on here, except for some gossip and rumour mills.

Not to beat a dead horse, but....

The information about his financial woes comes from articles on CNN SI and ESPN. McEnroe also referenced the situation during commentary (maybe he was trying to take credit for talking Borg out of it). I do not have a recording of it. I'm sure you can research it in the CNN SI or ESPN archives.

My understanding is that he did not sell them, and thus, did not buy them back.

Hypatia
10-26-2009, 12:37 PM
Not to beat a dead horse, but....

The information about his financial woes comes from articles on CNN SI and ESPN. McEnroe also referenced the situation during commentary (maybe he was trying to take credit for talking Borg out of it). I do not have a recording of it. I'm sure you can research it in the CNN SI or ESPN archives.

My understanding is that he did not sell them, and thus, did not buy them back.

Borg himself said at the time that he was selling the trophies in the interest of 'financial security' and in consideration of his family's future, or words to that effect. News reports suggested (or assumed) that Borg needed the money.

I did read that Borg had to buy the trophies back from the auction house. I think that if you commit with an auction house to sell, there is some kind of hefty fee or charge for withdrawing the items.

I never understood the fuss anyway. Borg had the victories and the memories, he didn't need trophies around the house to prove it.

Rabbit
10-26-2009, 01:10 PM
I had seen, in a documentary on Borg, that his dad had a trust fund set aside for him that would keep him comfortable for the rest of his life. I think Borg found out a little late that being a great tennis player doesn't translate to being a great businessman. I guess another BB, Boris Becker, is learning that lesson...

In any event, I have also read and have no idea as to the validity that he's doing well financially and able to live in Monaco.

CyBorg
10-26-2009, 04:38 PM
Not to beat a dead horse, but....

The information about his financial woes comes from articles on CNN SI and ESPN. McEnroe also referenced the situation during commentary (maybe he was trying to take credit for talking Borg out of it). I do not have a recording of it. I'm sure you can research it in the CNN SI or ESPN archives.

My understanding is that he did not sell them, and thus, did not buy them back.

CNNSI and ESPN are not reputable sources. They report rumours and false information as well. Secondly, I bet 100 bucks that the word 'reportedly' or 'allegedly' was used in the articles you've read. I suggest doing close, critical reading next time.

I have read that Borg sold the trophies and then bought them back at twice the amount. I might be wrong, but I'm not claiming to know anything for sure.

slice bh compliment
10-26-2009, 05:08 PM
Oh okay. Thanks for the tip about critical reading! If you only knew what I do for a living, hahahha.

Look, I love Borg, too. I'm just saying that he did not quite end up as the shy country boy Gene Scott thought he was early in his career.

Don't Let It Bounce
10-26-2009, 05:17 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/1996/10/24/sports/borg-bankruptcy-sought.html

Borg's business difficulties appear to be more than rumor, but I can't see that they offer any insight into his character, tennis career, achievements as an athlete, or anything else of interest to me.

CyBorg
10-26-2009, 05:58 PM
Oh okay. Thanks for the tip about critical reading! If you only knew what I do for a living, hahahha.

It's not a "tip". You're being immodest and people don't appreciate it.

slice bh compliment
10-26-2009, 10:15 PM
CNNSI and ESPN are not reputable sources. They report rumours and false information as well. Secondly, I bet 100 bucks that the word 'reportedly' or 'allegedly' was used in the articles you've read. I suggest doing close, critical reading next time.

I have read that Borg sold the trophies and then bought them back at twice the amount. I might be wrong, but I'm not claiming to know anything for sure.

It's not a "tip". You're being immodest and people don't appreciate it.

I am sorry I called it a tip. It was a SUGGESTION. Thanks for the suggestion about close, critical reading.

As for me being immodest, I agree with you and I apologize.

I've always admired Borg's tennis, but I do not apologize for being something other than a YES MAN in a Borg thread. I am pretty sure that's what PEOPLE don't appreciate. People who have Borg's name in their usernames, LOL!

Perception is what you'd like it to be. We read critically when we want to, especially when we have a dog in the race (fanboys one way or another).

I am objective and as I've demonstrated, I'm more than willing to accept facts countering the published stories. In fact, I want to believe Borg is a wonderful example of integrity and character!

I have no dog in this race. I just like Borg's tennis and I feel comparing his persona to Laver's is not entirely accurate if you look at the entire career arc of both guys.

I'm purely speculating, but I suspect if you were to have a cup of tea with Gene Scott (he liked tea), he might agree that Borg shed the shy country boy label at some point while Laver did not.

pundekman
10-26-2009, 11:55 PM
I had seen, in a documentary on Borg, that his dad had a trust fund set aside for him that would keep him comfortable for the rest of his life. I think Borg found out a little late that being a great tennis player doesn't translate to being a great businessman. I guess another BB, Boris Becker, is learning that lesson...

In any event, I have also read and have no idea as to the validity that he's doing well financially and able to live in Monaco.

u mean Borg was from a rich family?

Puddy
10-27-2009, 01:08 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/1996/10/24/sports/borg-bankruptcy-sought.html

Borg's business difficulties appear to be more than rumor, but I can't see that they offer any insight into his character, tennis career, achievements as an athlete, or anything else of interest to me.

The article was posted in 1996. In 1996, I hardly had two pennies to rub together. I'm sure Borg is doing much better today :confused:

borg number one
10-27-2009, 06:48 AM
Yes, it looks Bjorn Borg is doing just fine financially now. See this excerpt from the following 2006 article:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tennis/2006-05-24-borg-cover_x.htm

"Borg is a million flashbulbs away from those days. The player nicknamed "Ice Man" for his emotionless poise keeps a residence in the tax haven of Monte Carlo but lives on the outskirts of Stockholm with his third wife, Patricia, a Swede he met in tennis circles about five years ago. They married in 2002 and had a son, Leo, in 2003.[/I] "[I]She is my third and last wife, hopefully," Borg says with a chuckle.

He is still fit, athletic, with graying hair — not as long as when he competed — and glasses or contacts when he's playing tennis. His face is still handsome but more weathered.

His home, castle-like, is right on the water in the Stockholm archipelago, about 20 to 25 minutes outside the city. There is a pool and a tennis court and two huge wings where Borg's grandparents and parents used to live.

Borg's other son, Robin, the product of a long-term relationship with Jannike Bjorling, will turn 21 this year. Robin lives in southern Sweden and, like his father, is involved in the fashion industry.

Now absent the business associates Borg once partnered with, the Bjorn Borg fashion line of sportswear, shoes and accessories for men and women is doing "unbelievably well" in Europe, he says.

"We started all over again because it was too infected with bad people before who were just after the money," he says.

The company, Worldwide Brand Management AB, licenses his name under the Bjorn Borg Sport collection in seven European markets. The upscale line, created in 1997, includes clothes, footwear, bags, eyewear and fragrances. It did more than $117 million in sales in 2005 (at current exchange rates), according to the company's annual report. Borg gets a percentage. When not working, he spends his free time with his son and his wife's two children from a former marriage.

He dabbles in golf but prefers soccer. In the winter he plays ice hockey, the game he favored as a child. He plays tennis five hours a week. "I still love tennis very, very much."

Borg says he keeps a distant eye on pro tennis and believes the lack of rivalries — such as the one he shared with McEnroe and Jimmy Connors — is one reason the sport has declined in recent decades. But he sees hope in the budding struggle between No. 1 Federer and No. 2 Rafael Nadal.

"It's two different styles they play, and that's why people like to see them playing," says Borg, who won an unprecedented six French Open titles.

"It makes you think back a little bit. People enjoyed watching, for instance, Agassi-Sampras. Or even me and McEnroe."

"Post-tennis life cannot duplicate the thrills he experienced as the Open era's first transcendent figure, particularly the rock-star status he achieved at Wimbledon. "All those girls, all those teenagers," Borg recalls. "It was kind of a rock thing, a music thing. It was a new thing for tennis. It was a new thing for me."

Although nothing has surpassed the adulation, one thing has equaled it.

"Babies," Borg says. "I think that is the most fulfilling thing, the most beautiful thing you can have in life, actually. You have to have a nice wife, too."

He has no regrets about leaving tennis when he did, and he is comfortable with his legacy. Entering his sixth decade, he says he has never been more at peace.

"I've never been more happy than I am today," he says. "I have a great family, great kids. I have practically everything, you know? Sometimes I have to pinch myself. It's really true: Life starts at 50."

Then, here's a 2009 UK Interview:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article6637160.ece

Hypatia
10-27-2009, 10:17 AM
u mean Borg was from a rich family?

My understanding is that the trust fund was from money made during Borg’s playing days. I have a vague recollection of reading that Borg might have run through those funds too but I find that difficult to believe. In any case he seems to be doing fine today, although if he was sitting on a giant pile of money it's hard to understand why he'd offer up financial security for loved ones as a reason for putting his trophies up for auction to the highest bidder. However, when he withdrew them he said publicly that he was not in any financial trouble.

Rabbit
10-28-2009, 05:00 AM
u mean Borg was from a rich family?

No, the documentary said that Borg's father (Rune?) had take over managing Borg's finances while he was on tour. Prudently, he set aside enough money that Borg couldn't touch to ensure he would live comfortably if he did lose the rest of his earnings. The trust fund then was a fall back plan which turned out to be a great idea.

Hypatia
10-28-2009, 09:47 AM
Borg's father (Rune?)

Yes. (Which was Borg's middle name, too.) I think he ran a grocery.

borg number one
11-03-2009, 06:51 AM
What people don't realize is that Borg played no grand slams in 1982, and he was actually starting to play even better.

See article:
http://besteversportstalk.blogspot.com/2009/07/debunking-myths-about-bjorn-borg-john.html


The article contains video clips of Borg playing the big money AKAI event where he beat #1 McEnroe indoors, as well as Lendl. Obviously, it was not a fear of being #2 to McEnroe that caused Borg to leave Pro Tennis. It was largely due to Tennis Organizers who insisted on him playing a minimum number of events to avoid qualifying for Grand Slam tournaments. Just look at years 1980 and 1981 (his 2 last grand slam years). The big majors were the FO, US Open, and Wimbledon. Of the 6 total events, he won 3 of them ('80 FO, '80 Wimbledon, '81 FO), while McEnroe won the other 3. He also won the big Masters event in 1980 (New York, Indoors). This idea that McEnroe had simply outclassed Borg at the top of the game is fiction.

See excerpt:

"Though Borg did not play in the number of events that the lords of the sport thought that he should have played in, he was still training and, if anything, his game was actually getting better in some ways; he became stronger and he was serving harder than he ever had before: if you don't believe that or are still convinced that Borg could no longer handle McEnroe after 1981, consider what happened in November 1982 in the Akai Gold Challenge Round Robin; Borg won the event by defeating the number one ranked McEnroe 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 and trouncing Ivan Lendl--who just months later would become the number one ranked player--6-1, 6-4, 6-2."

newmark401
11-03-2009, 03:05 PM
I don't think that Borg was afraid of being no. 2 to John McEnroe, but it is clear that McEnroe had replaced Borg at the very top of the game when Borg walked out in 1981 for whatever reason(s). Their head-to-head results in the majors, close as they were, speak for themselves.

I think Borg was actually relieved to have all of the pressure off his shoulders, at least initially. After a while he began to miss the game and get swallowed up in the void his absence had created.

borg number one
11-10-2009, 07:26 PM
Newmark 401, so using your logic, if Federer had retired after the 2009 AO, his H2H deficit to Nadal in GS would mean what exactly? Nadal was obviously superior to him as a player? No, especially because Nadal's game happens to be a PERFECT FIT for Federer's.

JUST looking at the Big 3 slams back then and JUST 1980-1981, you've got 6 total slams: 2 FO, 2 Wimbledons, and 2 US Opens. Of those 6, Borg won 3 of them and McEnroe won 3 of them. Of course, McEnroe didn't have a prayer against Borg at the French going forward. Plus, they would have likely faced off some more (or not), depending on whether they both made the final. In 1980-1981, they split the Wimbledon Finals, and Yes, McEnroe EKED out the 1980 win at the US Open and won comfortably in the 1981 US Open Final (hello death threats for Borg...and cumulative burnout by then). So, he only has a clear edge on hard courts, while Borg has the clear edge on clay going forward, am I wrong?

See this interesting excerpt from McEnroe's "You Cannot Be Serious". In about 1985, Borg and McEnroe were playing exhibitions, and obviously Borg was partying a lot during that rough patch for him. The two were out having a few drinks and here is what Borg said to him (which really motivated McEnroe to go right back at Lendl who had taken over #1 from McEnroe by then, just a little over 1 year after his DOMINATING 1984 (he had also lost to Lendl at the US Open recently):

"...Maybe it wasn't such a bad thing to be number two, I mused. There was a hell of a lot less pressure, and number two wasn't exactly chopped liver! Maybe I should hang it up as number two and call it a good career, or-here was another idea-what about just regrouping for a while, then going for the gold again? He interrupted me, shaking his head. "Number one is the only thing that matters John," he said. "You know it as well as I do. If you're number two, you might as well be number three or four-you're nobody." He motioned me closer, and lowered his voice, even though the music was blaring in the hotel bar. "You've got to go win the Australian!" Bjorn whispered, fervently. "If you win down there, then come back and win the Masters, it'll put you back on top again." "Huh," I said. I blinked, thought about it a moment. "You're going to be twenty-seven, John," Borg said. "Getting on. Grab it while you can grab it." He nodded slowly and solemnly, with absolute certainty. I was listening. I felt he was about the only person I could've discussed these things with who really knew what he was talking about. I decided then and there to go Down Under. He had convinced me I could still be number one."

That's Borg for you, ever the tennis perfectionist. I think the quote above speaks to Borg's regret at how he left the game so suddenly, albeit with some extenuating circumstances at 26. I think, that by 1985, he was thinking, "why didn't I just stay in the Game and grab #1 back!"

I'm also reminded again of McEnroe's comments at the end of the video clip of that Black Rock Tour they did together:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUa2ltLC0hw

So, Borg took McEnroe "under his wing" when McEnroe came on the scene at 19 and then he tries to motivate McEnroe when McEnroe was still 27 in Nov. 1985. What a class act and a good friend to McEnroe!

CyBorg
11-10-2009, 08:03 PM
What people don't realize is that Borg played no grand slams in 1982, he was actually starting to play even better.

See article:
http://besteversportstalk.blogspot.com/2009/07/debunking-myths-about-bjorn-borg-john.html

Some nice bits here, but the author is giving Borg too much credit for being an early bloomer. A career winning percentage in the grand slam is an irrelevant number. Some players become competitive almost immediately. Other struggle for years before becoming competitive. Ultimately the most important thing is how well they perform once they reach they prime. This span of years should be isolated and analyzed.

I'm a huge Borg fan, but even I realize that an honest examination of career achievements places Federer higher than Borg. Not necessarily by much, but I think it's fairly clear nonetheless.

However at peak form I'll take Borg. :)

borg number one
11-10-2009, 08:18 PM
Cyborg, I agree with almost all of the post above except where you say that the author of that article (me too in effect because I agree with the author's central contention) is giving "too much credit to Borg for being an early bloomer".

The material about 1982 was used by me to illustrate that yes, Borg was not too "injured" or physically spent after 1981, that is all really. The video also gives one a glimpse of some future possibilities, but yes, not certainties. Being an early bloomer does not necessarily mean that one could not say continue to get better from say 27-30 in tennis.

I agree that IN GENERAL an early bloomer basically means you've spent more "mental and physical capital", so maybe you have less left by say 26-27. Yet, you're talking about averages then, and not about Bjorn Borg who was anything but your average guy. I envision another possible road that Borg COULD HAVE CHOSEN BUT FAILED TO/DIDN'T WANT TO/DIDN'T HAVE TO:

A extended vacation and a return to the Game in gradually better form in terms of a little more strength (like 1982), plus a equipment adjustment (say Donnay would design a new generation frame ESPECIALLY for Borg).

Then, he could have continued focusing on the Slams primarily, but he could have still fought back and regained #1 from McEnroe, and basically had a great continued rivalry with him, with Connors, Lendl and Wilander later in the real mix through about 1985. That's all. That would have most likely translated in at least 1-2 more slams for Borg (still the best on clay, about even on grass with McEnroe, but a bit behind at the US Open). Also, remember McEnroe was to Borg what Nadal has been to Federer (a perfect match up to face Borg's game). The other rivals did not have such an advantage. Yes, I agree that Federer's overall Grand Slam record is now more impressive in total than Borg's, and yes, I agree that I would take a peak Borg over peak Federer (especially because Borg was more "clutch" than Federer and because the quality of his main rivals).

What I don't agree with you on is your seeming assertion/implication that Borg had already peaked, thereby meaning that he was on a natural downward slope in terms of his playing ability/mental focus on court. I would disagree with that. How does being Borg (not Joe Smith) being an "early bloomer", correction, "unmatched prodigy", NECESSARILY mean that he would start declining EARLIER than others too? Thanks for the thought provoking post. I appreciate your perspective as a fellow Borg fan and knowledgeable poster as well.

CyBorg
11-10-2009, 08:43 PM
I was actually referring to the constant bringing up of Borg's career grand slam winning percentage (11/27). The number does speak volumes about Borg's greatness, but it is also as high a percentage largely due to a) Borg's early development and b) Borg's early retirement.

Conversely, Federer is a late bloomer (meaning he had a lot of mediocre losing years early in his career) and may stick around into his thirties. In entirety his grand slam win percentage will never be as good as Borg's. However accounting for his prime his numbers are right up there with anyone's.

borg number one
11-10-2009, 08:53 PM
Got it Cyborg, yes I agree in part, but not totally as to your analysis above. It's just that Borg is such an anomaly, so it's not out of the realm of possibility, in my opinion, that he could have basically maintained that 11/27 percentage (~40-41%! of slams played). Let's see, say he played during 1982-1984 (3 years), and focused on the Big 3 still. That's another 9 more slam opportunities, and I think that he could VERY WELL have won approx 40-41% of those remaining ones.

If he won 4 of out of those remaining 9, his percentage would have actually INCREASED. With 3/9, it would basically stay the same, but would drop very slightly, and he would STILL be ahead of Federer I believe because that would be 14/36 (winning 39% of slams played).

borg number one
11-10-2009, 09:09 PM
Cyborg, as an aside, please say that you have the DVD's from the Wimbledon DVD Collection, including the full 1980 Wimbledon Final, and "Legends of the Game-Bjorn Borg". That is MUST HAVE stuff for Borg fans and I think great DVD's to have for all tennis fans.

Mats
11-13-2009, 12:36 AM
Borg only lost to three players younger than himself
up to the Tokyo tournament October 1981.
John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl and Bill Scanlon (Born 13 Nov 1956).

pc1
11-13-2009, 06:24 AM
Some nice bits here, but the author is giving Borg too much credit for being an early bloomer. A career winning percentage in the grand slam is an irrelevant number. Some players become competitive almost immediately. Other struggle for years before becoming competitive. Ultimately the most important thing is how well they perform once they reach they prime. This span of years should be isolated and analyzed.

I'm a huge Borg fan, but even I realize that an honest examination of career achievements places Federer higher than Borg. Not necessarily by much, but I think it's fairly clear nonetheless.

However at peak form I'll take Borg. :)

Cyborg,

You can't take away the fact Borg was brilliant from day one and take that away from him. Federer was playing at a young age also and Borg was far far better when both were young. You also state on peak form Borg was better. Essentially you'll saying Borg was better young and just afterwards Borg was better when he reached peak form, which was basically the rest of his career.

Borg was also FAR better than Federer in Games Won percentage in their peak years. Borg has the Open Record for highest GW% for a year in 1978 with an amazing 66 plus percent which is even higher than John McEnroe's 65.32 percent set in his great year of 1984. Borg averaged over 65% in GW% for a three year span from 1978 to 1980. No one but McEnroe is close to 65%. Federer is miles behind at 61 plus percent in his best years.

You also have to take into account the far greater amount of tournaments Borg won by age 25 at around 100 to Federer's current 61 or so. That's a big difference despite what some may argue that the players don't have the time to win so many tournaments now.

Think about it, I know you're a huge hockey fan. If Wayne Gretzky retired after only ten years would you rank Messier over him because Mark Messier scored more goals and had more assists over a longer playing career. I don't think so considering how great Wayne was. If you compare the first ten years however Gretzky destroys Messier. I think Borg is very much like the Gretzky of tennis.

Incidentally I'm a Bobby Orr fan but it's easier to compare stats with Gretzky. lol.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1fMcTq8Esk

Now that I think of it maybe Borg is the Bobby Orr of tennis. Both started young and were great and both retired young.

Federer may very well surpass Borg someday but I don't think he's done it yet. Of course that will be argued by many from kingdom come.

Actually Cyborg when you think of it you actually have said that you feel that Borg's average level of play from start to peak was much higher than Federer's average level of play from start to peak. Peak level to me is very important is analyzing a player's place in tennis history and in GOAT rankings. Very few, if any in the history of tennis can match Borg for peak level of play.

So as of now (remember Borg played more tournaments than Federer in their respective careers) Borg is ahead in lifetime winning percentage, percentage of tournaments won lifetime, percentage of majors won, total tournaments won and Federer is ahead in total majors. I think it's a fair comparison because Federer is still very young at under thirty and perhaps around his peak so his percentage numbers haven't gone down yet due to a decline in skills. I don't think Federer is ahead of Borg yet.

pc1
11-16-2009, 06:56 AM
Borg only lost to three players younger than himself
up to the Tokyo tournament October 1981.
John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl and Bill Scanlon (Born 13 Nov 1956).

Great work Mats. I knew about McEnroe and Lendl but didn't realize that Scanlon was another younger player who defeated Borg.

Scanlon practiced with Borg at least one year just before Wimbledon. Borg had some special sneakers (I think they had dimpled soles) made for him so he could move better on grass. Anyone, according to Scanlon's book Borg let him have one of the sneakers for the tournament and I think Scanlon never had a better Wimbledon. Scanlon may have painted the sneakers so he wouldn't upset his endorsers.

CyBorg
11-16-2009, 10:00 AM
Got it Cyborg, yes I agree in part, but not totally as to your analysis above. It's just that Borg is such an anomaly, so it's not out of the realm of possibility, in my opinion, that he could have basically maintained that 11/27 percentage (~40-41%! of slams played). Let's see, say he played during 1982-1984 (3 years), and focused on the Big 3 still. That's another 9 more slam opportunities, and I think that he could VERY WELL have won approx 40-41% of those remaining ones.

If he won 4 of out of those remaining 9, his percentage would have actually INCREASED. With 3/9, it would basically stay the same, but would drop very slightly, and he would STILL be ahead of Federer I believe because that would be 14/36 (winning 39% of slams played).

This is true and partly why I hate the fact that he retired so soon. But I'm at peace with it knowing that he could have stuck around even less than he did.

CyBorg
11-16-2009, 10:02 AM
Cyborg, as an aside, please say that you have the DVD's from the Wimbledon DVD Collection, including the full 1980 Wimbledon Final, and "Legends of the Game-Bjorn Borg". That is MUST HAVE stuff for Borg fans and I think great DVD's to have for all tennis fans.

I don't have those. Don't really trust commercially edited DVDs much. I do have most of Borg's famous grand slam matches and am just now waiting for some more Borg matches to come in. I'm currently on the lookout for matches from more obscure events as well as early round grand slam matches of Borg's.

CyBorg
11-16-2009, 10:26 AM
Cyborg,

You can't take away the fact Borg was brilliant from day one and take that away from him. Federer was playing at a young age also and Borg was far far better when both were young. You also state on peak form Borg was better. Essentially you'll saying Borg was better young and just afterwards Borg was better when he reached peak form, which was basically the rest of his career.

Let me illustrate what I meant with a hypothetical.

Player A plays professionally for 15 years. His prime lasts seven years. His peak lasts three years (includes prime). He has three other years in the top-10. In his remaining five years he's a developing player outside of the top 20 in the world.

Player B plays professionally for 11 years. His prime/peak/top 10 numbers are identical. However he had only one developing year as a low-ranked player, before emerging in the top 10 in year two.

Player B's career grand slam percentage is obviously higher than player A's. Player A's numbers are weighed down due to his more gradual development into his prime. Player B is an early bloomer.

I am arguing that the prime is what truly matters between these two, while the development years should not be payed too much attention. Some players develop earlier, some develop later. Those that take longer often stay in the game longer.

These players are equally accomplished, in my opinion. Their peak/prime/top 10 accomplishments are alike. While the early bloomer did player fewer years, the very fact that he was an early bloomer probably contributed to his swift decline.

Borg was also FAR better than Federer in Games Won percentage in their peak years. Borg has the Open Record for highest GW% for a year in 1978 with an amazing 66 plus percent which is even higher than John McEnroe's 65.32 percent set in his great year of 1984. Borg averaged over 65% in GW% for a three year span from 1978 to 1980. No one but McEnroe is close to 65%. Federer is miles behind at 61 plus percent in his best years.

This is true and I can't stress this part enough. Borg at his very best was probably better than Federer. However the entirety of Federer's peak (2004-2007) is remarkable and his winning percentage I believe is better than Borg's comparing to Bjorn's best four years (1977-1980).

However, to me the tiebreaker between the two guys isn't their peak prowess (great for both), but rather Roger's conquering of the French Open, the one elusive title. Borg did not win his elusive crown at the US Open.

Before Roger won the French, I continuously stressed that I didn't believe he had a better resume than Borg. Now I think he does, but not necessarily by much.

Within this thread, my argument isn't specifically about Borg v Federer, as much as it is about a particular approach to arguing the pro-Borg position. I believe that it makes much more sense to isolate quality and prime years to compare players, rather than look at overall numbers.

It's not too different in other sports. In hockey, for example, Joe Thornton made his NHL debut at the age of 18, rushed into action as a professional out of junior. In his first two or so years his numbers weren't very good at all, but he eventually developed into a great player. Because he made his league debut so early, his career points-per-game average is not particularly indicative of his excellence. A player who came into the league at, say, 22 years old, with comparable skills, will probably have a better career points-per-game. But that player is not necessarily better.

Thornton, not an early bloomer, is now in his 30s and is still a great player. He has put up several great years. But compare him to an early bloomer like Michel Goulet - he was a star almost right away; dominated out of his teenage years and put up some of his best numbers in his early-to-mid 20s. But he was done by about 30. Or at least a shadow of his young self. In Goulet's case his worst years came at his career's decline. In Thornton's his worst numbers so far have come at the start of his career. Those, in my opinion, cancel out.

Borg is a classic early bloomer without the late-career drop-off. It probably would have come had he stuck around. But he retired before we got a chance to see it.

You also have to take into account the far greater amount of tournaments Borg won by age 25 at around 100 to Federer's current 61 or so. That's a big difference despite what some may argue that the players don't have the time to win so many tournaments now.

Borg won about 60 events that were similar in their format to contemporary events. "Close to 100" would include exhibitions with very small draws. They do matter, but they do not necessarily take as much time and effort to win. And, yes, it is indeed harder to win tournaments today in a more standardized tour. There just aren't as many out there.

Borg's accomplishments are still staggering.

Think about it, I know you're a huge hockey fan. If Wayne Gretzky retired after only ten years would you rank Messier over him because Mark Messier scored more goals and had more assists over a longer playing career. I don't think so considering how great Wayne was. If you compare the first ten years however Gretzky destroys Messier. I think Borg is very much like the Gretzky of tennis.

What I would do is isolate the prime and peak years of Gretzky and and Messier and compare them. Gretzky, even after 10 years, would still have much greater numbers than Mess.

I'm not sure whether Borg is the Gretzky of tennis, but Federer is definitely not the Messier of tennis. Messier was great, but he was probably never the game's best player.

Incidentally I'm a Bobby Orr fan but it's easier to compare stats with Gretzky. lol.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1fMcTq8Esk

Now that I think of it maybe Borg is the Bobby Orr of tennis. Both started young and were great and both retired young.

If I were to choose between the two for my team I think I'd take Orr. He had an impact on the game at both ends of the ice.

Actually Cyborg when you think of it you actually have said that you feel that Borg's average level of play from start to peak was much higher than Federer's average level of play from start to peak. Peak level to me is very important is analyzing a player's place in tennis history and in GOAT rankings. Very few, if any in the history of tennis can match Borg for peak level of play.

"Peak" play varies in length. In the case of great players peak play tends to last a few years. For Borg I would say his peak was four years - 1977 to 1980. Federer also four years - 2004 to 2007.

You decide which one is superior. I think it's a throw-up.

I believe that Borg "at his best" was better than Federer. Meaning, not necessarily at his peak, but in his best moments. Such as his dominance at the French Open in 1978. Federer never beat up on his opponents like that.

But peak is a much more extended frame of period. At least, by my definition.

So as of now (remember Borg played more tournaments than Federer in their respective careers) Borg is ahead in lifetime winning percentage, percentage of tournaments won lifetime, percentage of majors won, total tournaments won and Federer is ahead in total majors. I think it's a fair comparison because Federer is still very young at under thirty and perhaps around his peak so his percentage numbers haven't gone down yet due to a decline in skills. I don't think Federer is ahead of Borg yet.

I don't think lifetime winning percentage is a representative stat, for reasons already given. Think about it. It even works against Borg. Bjorn's winning percentage would have been much greater had he never made the ill-fated comeback in the early 1990s. It dropped from about 84-85 to 82%. What if Bjorn had stuck around longer in the 1990s and it had dropped to 80-81%? Then he wouldn't have the best winning percentage anymore. Is he any less great?

"Percentage of tournaments won lifetime" - you mean quantity of tournaments? Well, Connors is superior to Borg in that respect.

"Percentage of majors won" - again, not fond of that percentage bit. Percentage of majors won in prime years is much more interesting and relevant.

pc1
11-16-2009, 11:00 AM
Let me illustrate what I meant with a hypothetical.

Player A plays professionally for 15 years. His prime lasts seven years. His peak lasts three years (includes prime). He has three other years in the top-10. In his remaining five years he's a developing player outside of the top 20 in the world.

Player B plays professionally for 11 years. His prime/peak/top 10 numbers are identical. However he had only one developing year as a low-ranked player, before emerging in the top 10 in year two.

Player B's career grand slam percentage is obviously higher than player A's. Player A's numbers are weighed down due to his more gradual development into his prime. Player B is an early bloomer.

I am arguing that the prime is what truly matters between these two, while the development years should not be payed too much attention. Some players develop earlier, some develop later. Those that take longer often stay in the game longer.

These players are equally accomplished, in my opinion. Their peak/prime/top 10 accomplishments are alike. While the early bloomer did player fewer years, the very fact that he was an early bloomer probably contributed to his swift decline.



This is true and I can't stress this part enough. Borg at his very best was probably better than Federer. However the entirety of Federer's peak (2004-2007) is remarkable and his winning percentage I believe is better than Borg's comparing to Bjorn's best four years (1977-1980).

However, to me the tiebreaker between the two guys isn't their peak prowess (great for both), but rather Roger's conquering of the French Open, the one elusive title. Borg did not win his elusive crown at the US Open.

Before Roger won the French, I continuously stressed that I didn't believe he had a better resume than Borg. Now I think he does, but not necessarily by much.

Within this thread, my argument isn't specifically about Borg v Federer, as much as it is about a particular approach to arguing the pro-Borg position. I believe that it makes much more sense to isolate quality and prime years to compare players, rather than look at overall numbers.

It's not too different in other sports. In hockey, for example, Joe Thornton made his NHL debut at the age of 18, rushed into action as a professional out of junior. In his first two or so years his numbers weren't very good at all, but he eventually developed into a great player. Because he made his league debut so early, his career points-per-game average is not particularly indicative of his excellence. A player who came into the league at, say, 22 years old, with comparable skills, will probably have a better career points-per-game. But that player is not necessarily better.

Thornton, not an early bloomer, is now in his 30s and is still a great player. He has put up several great years. But compare him to an early bloomer like Michel Goulet - he was a star almost right away; dominated out of his teenage years and put up some of his best numbers in his early-to-mid 20s. But he was done by about 30. Or at least a shadow of his young self. In Goulet's case his worst years came at his career's decline. In Thornton's his worst numbers so far have come at the start of his career. Those, in my opinion, cancel out.

Borg is a classic early bloomer without the late-career drop-off. It probably would have come had he stuck around. But he retired before we got a chance to see it.



Borg won about 60 events that were similar in their format to contemporary events. "Close to 100" would include exhibitions with very small draws. They do matter, but they do not necessarily take as much time and effort to win. And, yes, it is indeed harder to win tournaments today in a more standardized tour. There just aren't as many out there.

Borg's accomplishments are still staggering.



What I would do is isolate the prime and peak years of Gretzky and and Messier and compare them. Gretzky, even after 10 years, would still have much greater numbers than Mess.

I'm not sure whether Borg is the Gretzky of tennis, but Federer is definitely not the Messier of tennis. Messier was great, but he was probably never the game's best player.



If I were to choose between the two for my team I think I'd take Orr. He had an impact on the game at both ends of the ice.



"Peak" play varies in length. In the case of great players peak play tends to last a few years. For Borg I would say his peak was four years - 1977 to 1980. Federer also four years - 2004 to 2007.

You decide which one is superior. I think it's a throw-up.

I believe that Borg "at his best" was better than Federer. Meaning, not necessarily at his peak, but in his best moments. Such as his dominance at the French Open in 1978. Federer never beat up on his opponents like that.

But peak is a much more extended frame of period. At least, by my definition.



I don't think lifetime winning percentage is a representative stat, for reasons already given. Think about it. It even works against Borg. Bjorn's winning percentage would have been much greater had he never made the ill-fated comeback in the early 1990s. It dropped from about 84-85 to 82%. What if Bjorn had stuck around longer in the 1990s and it had dropped to 80-81%? Then he wouldn't have the best winning percentage anymore. Is he any less great?

"Percentage of tournaments won lifetime" - you mean quantity of tournaments? Well, Connors is superior to Borg in that respect.

"Percentage of majors won" - again, not fond of that percentage bit. Percentage of majors won in prime years is much more interesting and relevant.

Great post my friend, I disagree with some points but that's what this forum is about.

Percentage of tournaments won is the amount of tournaments won compared to the amount of tournament entered. I saw some stats in which Borg was superior during peak period and lifetime to Connors by a decent amount.

I think Borg won around 65% or 66% of his tournaments during his best years.

CyBorg
11-16-2009, 11:07 AM
Great post my friend, I disagree with some points but that's what this forum is about.

Percentage of tournaments won is the amount of tournaments won compared to the amount of tournament entered. I saw some stats in which Borg was superior during peak period and lifetime to Connors by a decent amount.

I think Borg won around 65% or 66% of his tournaments during his best years.

Yes, I have little doubt that Borg's percentages are far better than Connors's, although Jimmy did beef up his quite a bit with mickey mouse events - particularly in 1974.

borg number one
11-16-2009, 11:23 AM
^^^^Excellent Posts above PC1 and CyBorg. You guys are a wealth of knowledge for a Borg "fan" (short for fanatic by the way) like myself. If anything, I AM biased towards Borg, but gosh, the guy just continues to amaze me TO THIS DAY, because I've been doing continual analysis of his career since he retired. I tend to agree with the general sentiment above: Borg was better at peak (I've posted this before) BUT now Federer has a more impressive TOTAL CAREER, WHEN FOCUSING on winning.

Having said that, how about bad losses? Borg simply AVOIDED very many IF ANY at the majors. If you guys compare the losses of Borg, Sampras, and Federer at the Big 3 Slams, you'll find, as you may already know that both Federer and Sampras doesn't compare with Borg. So, they get "dinged" for that a bit NOT for their bad losses post 26 or so, but for the ones BEFORE they reached their peak years. Why? Borg should get credit for being a early bloomer relative to those two, shouldn't he? It's not his fault that neither Sampras, NOR Federer could compete with his accomplishments pre-20. Am I wrong?

PC1: for your viewing pleasure, please watch and critique these for me. This is the DVD I referred to. Thanks.

See just one small portion:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOedxoa_0J0
(sound/voice over is actually better on the DVD).

CyBorg
11-16-2009, 11:33 AM
Borg should get credit for being a early bloomer relative to those two, shouldn't he? It's not his fault that neither Sampras, NOR Federer could compete with his accomplishments pre-20. Am I wrong?

I don't think it makes any difference at what age a player is great. Laver wasn't great like Borg in his teen years. But he was better in his late 20s.

P.S. I've seen that video on tv before.

borg number one
11-16-2009, 12:08 PM
CyBorg, my central point is that Borg in essence had a "peak period that went from 1976-1980 (1981 is arguable in that McEnroe did win the US Open and Wimbledon Majors). Now, he started playing majors in 1974 though. So, he had the opportunity for bad losses from 1974-1976, but just didn't have that many bad ones. So, that's his "pre-peak" period. Comparing Federer and Sampras relative to Borg in the pre-peak years should be a PART of the analysis though not the SOLE focus of the analysis. I agree that peak periods are more illustrative of greatness though. I've compared losses that all three had at the Big 3, and Borg's list of people that he actually lost too is pretty short, compared to the other two, not just because he didn't have the "decline", but because he outperformed as to the pre-peak years. That's an "apples to apples" analysis: pre-peak AND peak, but just no post-peak.

borg number one
11-16-2009, 12:17 PM
Ok, here's the material from another post:

When trying to analyze the greatest of all time on each surface, it is useful to look at LOSSES as well as WINS/TITLES. So, I looked up the track records of Borg, Federer, and Sampras at the 3 biggest Grand Slams. The Australian Open is catching up, but of course, the tournament was not the same during the era of Borg and Sampras as it is now.

Borg's track record especially as far as "bad losses" is a big reason I give him the slight nod over both Sampras and Federer as the greatest player overall.

Of course, for all 3, many of these losses were while they young and upcoming, and I'm sure some occurred primarily due to injury (Sampras at the US Open, Borg retired vs. Stockton and was not well for 2 US Open matches vs. Connors).

Yet, this list of losses is illustrative of the fact that even these 3
greats get beat by lesser mortals from time to time.

In my estimation, Borg was the most consistently dangerous/dominating player around considering all the surfaces, and he is underrated on grass/hard courts, relative to Sampras and Federer.

Just look at the dearth of bad losses (big upsets) by Borg even on the fastest surfaces. Of course, he and Nadal should be considered tops in terms of prowess on red clay.

See the losses compiled below by Sampras, Federer, and Borg at the "Big 3" Slams:


Bjorn Borg:

US Open:
Jimmy Connors (3), John McEnroe (2), Roscoe Tanner, Dick Stockton (retired), N. Pilic, and V. Amritraj.

Wimbledon:
Roger Taylor, I. El-Shafei, John McEnroe, A. Ashe.

French Open:
Adriano Panatta (2).


Roger Federer:

US Open:
J. Del Potro, D. Nalbandian, M. Mirnyi, A. Agassi, J. Carlos Ferrero.

Wimbledon:
R. Nadal, M. Ancic, T. Henman, Y. Kafelnikov, and J. Novak.

French Open:
R. Nadal (4), G. Kuerten, L. Horna, H. Arazi, A. Corretja, and P. Rafter.


Pete Sampras:

US Open:
Lleyton Hewitt, M. Safin, P. Rafter, P. Korda, J. Yzaga (2), S.
Edberg, J. Courier, and Jay Berger.

Wimbledon:
George Bastl, R. Federer, R. Krajicek, G. Ivanesevic, D. Rostagno, Christo Van Rensburg, and Todd Woodbridge.

French Open:
Andrea Gaudenzi, B. Blanco, M. Philippoussis, A. Medvedev, R. Delgado, M. Norman, Y. Kafelnikov, G. Schaller, J. Courier, S. Bruguera, A. Agassi, T. Champion, and M. Chang.

pc1
11-16-2009, 12:28 PM
Borg Number One,

The point that I was trying to make and you explained probably more clearly than me was the Borg was a star from the very beginning and when he reached his peak (Cyborg thought Borg's peak was higher than Federer's) it was essentially the rest of his career. I believe his peak was around 1976 to 1981 and he retired in 1982. His period of almost complete dominance was around 1978 to 1980 in which he AVERAGED over 65% in Games Won Percentage which may be the best indicator of the total strength of a player. To put it in perspective, only John McEnroe is over 65% for the Open Era and that was for one year in 1984. Borg averaged that for three years at least, maybe four years if you included 1977!

borg number one
11-16-2009, 12:42 PM
Yes, exactly, PC1. I agree and I think you and I are on the "same page" as to that "sub-issue" we are discussing here. By the way, I'm going to try and post those clips from that DVD (5 parts). I know you don't trust all the commercial stuff, but I think you know enough about the history of the Game especially during this period to separate "fact" from "fiction" or legend. If you are a Borg fan, I promise you that you'll be somewhat mesmerized. I literally watch it from time to time before I go out and play to this day, because it motivates me so much. Thank you. I don't think I'm explaining this position as to "pre-peak", "peak", and "post-peak" years any better than you have already. You've added a lot of very specific details.

borg number one
11-16-2009, 01:39 PM
PC1-For your viewing especially at your leisure. This may require Adobe "flash player" on your computer, but I'm not certain. Enjoy.

Bjorn Borg-Legends of Wimbledon (Wimbledon DVD Collection)

(Part 1)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1694076/5681964

(Part 2)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1694418/5686082

(Part 3)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1694791/5681794

(Part 4)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1695359/5682850

(Part 5)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1695735/5683378

(Part 6)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1702965/5702564

(Part 7)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1695987/5684466

pc1
11-16-2009, 02:47 PM
PC1-For your viewing especially at your leisure. This may require Adobe "flash player" on your computer, but I'm not certain. Enjoy.

Bjorn Borg-Legends of Wimbledon (Wimbledon DVD Collection)

(Part 1)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1694076/5681964

(Part 2)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1694418/5686082

(Part 3)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1694791/5681794

(Part 4)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1695359/5682850

(Part 5)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1695735/5683378

(Part 6)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1702965/5702564

(Part 7)
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1695987/5684466

Someone gave me that DVD a few years ago but thank you.

Not that it means much but my favorite Borg match at Wimbledon is not the 1980 final against McEnroe but the 1977 semi-final against Vitas.

I thought both McEnroe and Borg had a few patchy moments in the 1980 and that both were capable of playing better.

borg number one
11-16-2009, 03:55 PM
Good PC1, I'm so glad you have that DVD. I think you may be right in hindsight as to that awesome Borg-Gerulitas semifinal. It was incredible tennis.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXiRhlCnNgE (Borg on Gerulitas, with some of that match)

I think it's because of the SHEER ATHLETICISM on display. Gerulitas was quick/fast, with plenty of stamina..it's just that the McEnroe-Borg 1980 final was such a "sports moment". All converged at once for that match and it propelled tennis to heights never seen before or since. The MOST FAMOUS match, but not necessarily the best in terms of quality of play. The drama of Wimbledon is unequaled. It's the "cathedral" of tennis.

pc1
11-16-2009, 05:48 PM
Good PC1, I'm so glad you have that DVD. I think you may be right in hindsight as to that awesome Borg-Gerulitas semifinal. It was incredible tennis.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXiRhlCnNgE (Borg on Gerulitas, with some of that match)

I think it's because of the SHEER ATHLETICISM on display. Gerulitas was quick/fast, with plenty of stamina..it's just that the McEnroe-Borg 1980 final was such a "sports moment". All converged at once for that match and it propelled tennis to heights never seen before or since. The MOST FAMOUS match, but not necessarily the best in terms of quality of play. The drama of Wimbledon is unequaled. It's the "cathedral" of tennis.

I would agree with that.

The best I think I ever saw Borg play at Wimbledon was his great match against Connors in the 1978 final. I thought Connors played a great match and yet he only won seven games.

I understand from second hand accounts that Borg was also fantastic against Connors in the 1979 Wimbledon semi but I didn't see the match. I just remember reading Mike Lupica writing the Connors as well as he possibly could and again only won seven games.

pc1
11-16-2009, 06:00 PM
Bjorn Borg once participated in a show called "Challenge of the Sexes" which pit men against women in various competitions. Borg had only one serve and had to play the doubles alley as his handicap. Borg defeated Wade by a score of 6-3. Ilie Nastase in the same competition lost to Evonne Goolagong 7-5 after lead 2-0. I think it was in 1975.

borg number one
11-16-2009, 08:04 PM
Very interesting PC1. I'm sure Borg and Nastase were "behaving nicely" so to speak in that situation. Both Wade and Goolagong were both very classy ladies on the Court.

I remember watching that 1979 Wimbledon semifinal as a young kid, with my Dad at night. I got nervous as the match started and Connors looked tough (he's always so dangerous). Borg said once that "with Jimmy, they (Wimbledon Crowd) always loved to watch him". "He was always such a fighter. He played every point as if it was a match point". Yet, literally Borg turned it up several notches and just swept Connors off the court. I think he didn't want to even "open the door" for Jimmy C. Final Score (from the web: http://blog.wimbledon.org/2009/10/06/wimbledons-rivalries/) 6-2, 6-3, 6-2!! I was amazed at the pace watching those two. I thought, "how do they do that!" (I was about 11 or so).

borg number one
11-16-2009, 08:16 PM
Connors Interview:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBuwSL6pecM (tennis channel)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdyB0VEz7NA (part 2)

Thanks Krosero for this youtube upload
(1979 Pepsi gives you a sense of their play at the time):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTMx--E0OhY

They are hitting the ball like its 2009 back then!

zapvor
11-18-2009, 11:40 AM
Are these non sequiturs? Or are you two implying that Borg's very-tightly-strung racquet strings would break when he slept with Chris Evert? :rolleyes:

thats a great idea...

hifi heretic
11-19-2009, 11:08 AM
...had one of the highest leg strength record among sweedish athletes.


This seems like an exaggeration. ..How did they measure this?? ..Leg press machines - though (somewhat) useful in building strength - are not so useful in comparing unless EVERY participant in the comparison uses precisely the same type of machine (not likely as there are hundreds). The gold standard for comparing leg-strength among strength athletes is to do barbell squats, which is what they do in powerlifting competitions. ..I have a hard time believing that Bjork ever attempted to squat 500 or 600 pounds which is probably well short of the Swedish powerlifting champ at his weight.

toddrobert38
11-19-2009, 07:36 PM
More about the heart rate...

I was giving a lesson to an MD a year or so ago and he mentioned Borg's freaky resting heart rate. Guess who else he said was the same? That would be Michael Jordan. Hmmm, I wonder if it's an indicator of something.

Borg was not the powerlifting champ of Sweden, or even his town in Sweden but man did he have heart strength! That definitely helps pump the legs. I too would like to know what they tested in that one.

Stroke wise, I'd say Borg hit with significantly more topspin than anyone before him, and that Johnston DID have a semi western grip long ago. They are both pioneers in my mind.

Great Stuff guys!

BTW... Borg's worst head to head w anyone was an even 7-7 with Johnny Mac. If Fed has a career losing record vs Rafa how can he be better than Borg!???????????

borg number one
11-20-2009, 08:08 PM
Great points ToddRobert38. Your noting of his head to head record against the perfect "match up" for his Game is quite appropriate. McEnroe called him the greatest athlete in the history of our Sport, and "I don't think there's been anyone even close to him." Nadal has come on since that quote, but Borg was so much lighter on his feet.

Borg had incredible stamina, speed, quickness, leg strength, upper body strength (torque), anticipation, and temperament. What else do you want on court in a tennis player? He simply "fiddled" with his headband all the time and looked like he was walking around in his living room. Though he obviously didn't have the strongest legs in Sweden, he did have very strong legs that propelled him everywhere. Besides powerlifters, I would be surprised if the quote by dirkgnuf that he "had one of the highest leg strength record among sweedish athletes" wasn't accurate.

Of course, guys like Federer and Nadal do have tremendous "wheels" as well, but Borg is tough to match. When folks talk about how athletes in Tennis are much better today than the "old players", I just shake my head when it comes to this guy especially.

That's interesting about Michael Jordan's heart rate. He did always look like he was barely breathing while playing. One thing I'm astonished by is how Borg looks after some of his matches and between points, returning or serving. He always gets ready for the next point with a skip in his step doesn't he, even after a 50 shot rally.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZL__OcegrbY
Notice how soon he's racing towards the shot, just before it's actually hit by Lendl!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKQVdZNsyuQ (Thanks Andres for pointing me to this Krosero upload)

His face always looks downright serene and he's barely breathing hard and walking SUPER FAST shaking hands at the net, while the other guy looks like he's thinking "man!!, what a freak!, get me off this Court please"....

Can anyone ever recall seeing him at least LOOK LIKE he was actually breathing very hard?

borg number one
11-30-2009, 04:51 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/8350824.stm

See November 2009 Interview With Bjorn Borg:


Bjorn Borg Q&A

Bjorn Borg
Borg has returned to tennis on the ATP Champions Tour in recent years

Five-time Wimbledon champion Bjorn Borg renewed his rivalry with John McEnroe on the ATP Champions Tour last week, beating the American for the first time in nine-and-a-half years in Chengdu, China.

Borg became a tennis legend with his unbeaten run at Wimbledon between 1976 and 1980, eventually losing his title to McEnroe in 1981.

He also won the French Open six times between 1974 and 1981, taking his Grand Slam tally to 11 before retiring aged just 26 in 1982.

Last week's 6-4 6-4 victory over McEnroe was not enough to take the Swede through to the final in Chengdu, but the 53-year-old did take time out to answer questions from 606 users.

Q: Now that racquets are considerably lighter than at your peak, do you find yourself attempting strokes that weren't in your make-up previously?

A: "I grew up with a wooden racquet and it was part of my body, part of my arm. Now I'm used to the current racquets, but it's different. You get more power with these racquets, but there was more touch with the wooden racquet."

Q: During your reign as Wimbledon Champion you did play some matches on the outside courts. What was that experience like being much closer to the fans compared to Centre and Number One?

A: "It's different. To play on the Centre Court and Number One Court, the people are not as close to you. On the outside courts they were very close to you, but it never mattered to me - I was always really focused, no matter what the court was. I was lucky to play on the Centre Court many, many times and it was always special."

Q: As you have played against some of the greats in tennis, such as Arthur Ashe and Rod Laver, and then throughout the 80s with the greats there, who in your opinion is the best player you have played against and why?

A: "The greatest rivalries I ever had were with Jimmy (Connors) and John (McEnroe). We always brought out the best in each other and there was something special happening when we played each other. Most of the time when we played, people got to see great tennis."

Q: What was your biggest professional disappointment - not winning a US Open?

A: "Yes, probably not winning the US Open. That's the one that was missing for me. I probably could and should have won four of the five finals that I played, but I have no regrets sitting here right now.

"I prepared for those finals professionally and did the best that I could. I have no regrets and never say 'why didn't I do this or that?' but it would certainly have been nice to have won it."

Q: How far in the game can Robin Soderling go?

A: "He has always been able to play great tennis, but he 'found' himself on the court this year. He was more focused, concentrated and thinking about every point. He took a big step in the rankings and he has the game and capacity to be inside the world's top five.

"It's great for Swedish tennis and I'm looking forward to following him. I think one day he will win a Grand Slam tournament."

Q: Who is your favourite player at the moment and why?

A: "Roger Federer is certainly the best of them, but I don't have one favourite. He is the greatest player I've ever seen, but with Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray as well this is a great time for tennis.

"I've seen every single match that Nadal and Federer have played against each other. They bring out the best in each other, but it's great that there are others there as well to push them."

Q: Do you think Andre Agassi was right to reveal his use of crystal meth and his subsequent lie to the ATP?

Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Rod Laver
Borg joined Sampras and Laver to see Federer's sixth Wimbledon victory

A: "It's a different generation - you should ask the players that played with him. I was very surprised reading it in the media, but I don't know what his thinking is behind it. I don't know Andre very well, so it is probably better to ask people that know him."

Editor's Question: Should Agassi get a retrospective penalty?

A: "I'm not involved in the situation and I don't know really the facts, so it's very hard for me to comment at all."

Q: Bjorn, you had nearly 10 years in the spotlight with adoration of millions of fans. Was it difficult to adjust to a more mundane life?

A: "It was nice in a way. When we were travelling on the circuit it was very difficult to have a private life and to be on our own, so in a way it was a nice thing. I just didn't have any motivation left at the time, that's why I retired. But I'm so happy now that I am back in tennis, because I love the game and it's great to still be involved."

Q: Was there one match in particular that you felt was your perfect match, where you felt you really couldn't have played any better?

A: "That's very difficult to say, but the match that I think everyone remembers is the 1980 Wimbledon final with John (McEnroe). That match had everything. To have a match like that in a Grand Slam final is very unusual. We had that with the Nadal versus Federer match in 2008, and also this year in 2009 with Federer and Roddick."

Q: Did you call/text/thank Rafa for preventing Roger from beating your five-in-a-row Wimbledon record?

A: "No, I didn't do that! I was happy for Roger when he equalled my record - I was there to see it. And records are there to be broken, and I was there the year after also. If Federer had beaten the record it would have been great."

Q: You are the reason I have enjoyed 30 years of playing tennis. My one regret is that you retired too early at 26 and deprived me of watching you and McEnroe going head to head. Any regrets?

A: "No, no regrets. I knew that I could have had another five more years at the top. I retired very young, but I did a lot in that time, won a lot of big tournaments and did a lot for tennis, so I have no regrets."

Q: Bjorn, watching your tennis was like magic - thank you for all those wonderful matches and many hours of special tennis. Which one of your slams was most special and why?

A: "I think for all players the first one is the most special - mine was the French Open. But I also had a dream to win Wimbledon - even just to play in the main draw there. In 1976, the first time I was in the final to play Ilie Nastase, was a huge thing."

Q: Did the emotion come out in the locker room after you lost a match you should have won?

A: "Yes, but in the hotel, with my coach afterwards. Behind closed doors!"

Q: You were such an iconic and central figure of the golden era full of such great personalities, do you think that maybe players these days have to take things much more seriously and that perhaps this gets in the way?

A: "I don't think the game misses personalities at all. I think there are a lot of personalities, different styles, tough competition and great tennis today.

"In tennis today there is also so much money at stake, so I can understand them taking it seriously. But still, when you see how they play, it's really entertaining."

The ATP Champions Tour culminates in London with the AEGON Masters at the Royal Albert Hall (1-6 December)

borg number one
12-15-2009, 07:01 AM
See details below surrounding Borg's Exit from Tennis (1982-1983).

From:http://www.bjornborg.20m.com/biographies_flink.htm


"From 1978-1980 he achieved the incredible feat of winning French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back, but in 1978 and 1980 his dream of GS was ruined by defeat in US Open f.

Connors beat him in 1978 at Flushing Meadow and McEnroe narrowly stopped him in 1980. His marriage in Romania, on 24 July, 1980 to Mariana Simonescu was one of the social events of the international year and by the season's end he had won his fifth Wimbledon singles title, his fifth French Champs and a second successive Masters crown (Jan. 1980 and Jan. 1981). No longer wanting to play as much as he once did, he cut his schedule considerably in 1980 and played just 11 GP tournaments (of which he won 6) plus 2 special events (which he won and Nations Cup, where Vilas beat him.

In 1981 Borg cut his schedule even further, playing only 9 GP tournaments and winning 3. By the autumn he felt burnt out and announced he would take a long break from the game, before preparing for Monte Carlo in April 1982. Yet ¡t was clear that only Mcenroe, his conqueror in the Wimbledon and US Open finals, presented serious problems in major events as Borg won his sixth French Open title over Lendl and reached f of both Wimbledon and Flushing Meadow.

In Jan. 1982 the Pro Council refused his request that he should not have to play 10 GP tournaments as well as the 3 Grand Siam events.

In 1982 he played in only two GP tournaments, losing both. At Monte Carlo Noah stopped him in qf after he went through 3 qualifying matches and 2 in main draw. In that contest Borg garnered just three games. Then he went out in 2r qualifying at Las Vegas to Stockton and thereafter was seen only in exhibitions. Playing with inspiration on many occasions, he beat all of his foremost rivals in the special events and seemed ready to launch a big comeback in 1983. But during the Masters news leaked out that he had pulled out of all GP events except Monte Carlo, which would mark his retirement from the mainstream of the game. The next week Borg confirmed these facts. In 1983, he did indeed play only one GP event, fulfilling a commitment in his hometown of Monte Carlo.

borg number one
01-07-2010, 11:18 AM
I didn't realize that Borg's OVERALL winning percentage and winning percentage against top 10 guys was so high. He's also tops in terms of 11/27 slams won/entered (around 40%) and GS singles winning percentage (89%).

From: http://www.bjornborg.20m.com/achivements.htm

BJORN BORG V/S Top Ten PLAYERS FROM THE ATP TOUR:
1974-1981
MATCHES WON: 203
MATCHES LOST: 47
AVERAGE: 81.3%


Borg also has the highest overall winning percentage on the Tour at 83%

Here is that list:

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATP_Tour_records#Earnings

Rank Player W.% W/L **
1. Sweden Björn Borg .827 608-127
2. Czech Republic/United States Ivan Lendl .818 1,071-239
3. United States Jimmy Connors .818 1,241-277
4. United States John McEnroe .815 875-198
5. Switzerland Roger Federer* .808 678-161
6. United States Pete Sampras .774 762-222
7. Germany Boris Becker .769 713-214
8. Argentina Guillermo Vilas .765 923-284
9. United States Andre Agassi .760 870-274
10. Sweden Stefan Edberg .749 806-270

BTURNER
01-07-2010, 03:09 PM
this is a result of his retiring so early. Had he a normal career his results and the yearly win/loss percentages would have a bell curve shape if graphed. He left before his declining years could be included in his lifetime stats

borg number one
01-07-2010, 03:30 PM
He also started playing pro matches when he was very young relatively (turned pro at 15 and was in full swing by 17), so he has lots of losses when he was very young. He was a prodigy though. You mention "declining years", but ages 26-29 are not necessarily "declining" years for a tennis pro. In fact, at that age, physical skills have not diminished, plus they have the added benefit of lots of match play/experience. When Borg retired at 26, though he may not have dominated as he once had, maintaining an 80%+ winning rate for the next couple of years at least would definitely not be out of the question.

BTURNER
01-07-2010, 04:11 PM
You are defining the years I am discussing the stage. Who's to say he stops at 29and doesn't play 30, 31, 32 and start hitting those lower numbers. Most players historically did. Think of those nagging injuries late careers get. Think of longer breaks and mini comebacks former champs endure, and he missed He wouldn't necessarily have lost in the semis. How does the occasional but painful rd 2 loss sound - several times a year! and to players he would never have imagined loosing. The young upstarts who gained confidence playing him watching him deteriorate. finding and exploiting weakness you do not envision.

borg number one
01-07-2010, 04:18 PM
BTURNER, I agree with you, that certainly could have occurred, which would have dropped his percentage to say the 70's, something like that. Yet, he may have also played from age 26-28 or 26-29 and maintained a 80%+ rate for 2 or three more years, especially if he cut down to only 10-12 tournaments a year. So, I'm not saying that's LIKELY, but I'm just saying that he could have very well maintained that percentage for maybe 2-3 more years, thereby avoiding UNAVOIDABLE physical decline by say 30-31, especially because he started playing at pro tennis in his late teens, so was building up those "miles", especially with all his exhibitions played as well.

Moose Malloy
01-07-2010, 04:36 PM
Borg lost a lot of matches in his comeback('91-'93, never won a match in that span) & his win % didn't drop much. I think some of you need to work on your math, short of Borg turning into Vince Spadea, its highly unlikely that his % would have dropped to below 80 had he played into his 30s. We are talking about someone who played over 700 career matches & won 600 of them.. When you have won that many matches you need to lose A LOT to drop that % even a little bit. Borg had a huge headstart to work with in this stat.

To have a 83% winning percentage over 10 years(not exactly a 'short' time frame) is amazing. The 'but he retired young' argument really doesn't hold up. Try picking the 10 best years of Connors, Mac, Lendl, Fed etc & compare the win % to these 10 years.

borg number one
01-07-2010, 05:29 PM
You may be right Moose. At 83%, even if he lost a lot from say 26-32, he probably would not have dropped even to 80%. So, he would likely have maintained the top spot, especially since he only planned to play 10-15 tournaments a year, that's only 100 matches or so a year, which would not impact 700 total matches that much, especially since he was at the top of the game still at 25-26. Yes, McEnroe had beat him recently on hard courts and grass courts, but Borg had prevailed at the Masters and he was still clearly the best on clay, and easily capable of still winning in the future against McEnroe, even though he would have also lost at times. That's the nature of a top flight rivalry. His WORST head to head is 7-7 vs. McEnroe, NO CLAY COURTS!

BTURNER
01-07-2010, 06:30 PM
Hey Moose got any data on how many tournaments this professional athlete played in 1991-3? Lets compare.

golden.ace
01-08-2010, 07:50 PM
You guys have to watch this video, it includes Borg/McEnroe hitting just a few years ago, but I did not realize that at 19, McEnroe was so grateful that Borg was the first guy to "take him under his wing". That's an amazing quality and says a whole lot about Borg. Anyway, hear McEnroe talk about "the hell with everyone else".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUa2ltLC0hw

These guys are like brothers now...

Saw them at the Chengdu tournament in November - they love each other alright

borg number one
01-08-2010, 08:20 PM
Very cool Golden Ace. That must have been a thrill. I saw Borg and Connors play an exhibition here in Houston about 10 years ago, on clay. They were still hitting the ball great, with unbelievable hands and still impressive speed.

golden.ace
01-09-2010, 09:13 AM
Must have been great to see Connors up close 10 years ago.
I saw some clip of him hitting with Roddick a couple of years ago and he looked really fit ....pretty much the same at 59 as he did when he was 39.

golden.ace
01-09-2010, 09:15 AM
make that 56 and 36

borg number one
01-09-2010, 08:10 PM
Yes, Golden Ace, it was an electric atmosphere, in front of a great, vocal, but small crowd at a private club that hosted it (on clay at River Oaks). Connors won in 3 sets, with some really great tennis. I'm sure you had a similar experience, but I kept thinking of all the great tennis experiences that the 2 players had over their careers. Watching 2 legends play is a real treat. Those 3 players, Borg, Connors, and McEnroe, were such an interesting trio!

hoodjem
01-10-2010, 06:42 AM
Somewhere, someone has a complete list of all of Borg's exhos. (I saw him and Mac back in the latter 80s in Burnsville MN. It was a treat: Borg like a silent, entranced mystical demi-god, and Mac hamming it up with his antics. Oh, and also some great shot-making.)

borg number one
01-11-2010, 04:30 PM
See video clips below of Borg and several other top players at the French Open in 1981. This is from the 1982 film "The French" from William Klein.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2Fs5GrUBwI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vPWLylD7Yg&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7AeEhIY_rc&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV7hteazFYI&feature=related

WORLDWITHINAWORLD
01-19-2010, 08:25 PM
Topspin was invented resp. really practiced in the 60s. Players like Laver, Santana, later Okker began to hit all the shots or the greatest part with topspin. On European clay they began to hit from an open stance. But Borg was the first to hit with an extreme western grip, and with extreme rotation . He came from ping-pong and ice-hockey.While the US top players like Evert or Connors played more a hard court adapted flat style (also with dh backhands), the Europeans and South Americans used extreme topspin on their favorite surface, clay. They had the advantage, that many events in the USA were played on clay-like surfaces. So topspin became the dominant style of the 70s, even adapted by US players like Solomon or Dibbs.
I vaguely remember Okker,but I can picture him hitting very looping groundstrokes off of both sides.

borg number one
01-19-2010, 09:51 PM
See Okker vs. Panatta in the 1973 QF at Roland Garros for a taste of his game. He was a great doubles player as well and very fast/quick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JPQ0qeXvMI

Wikipedia on Okker:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Okker

The above page notes "Tom Okker (born 22 February, 1944), nicknamed The Flying Dutchman and Tom the Twitch, is a former Dutch tennis player. He was ranked among the world's top 10 singles players for seven consecutive years, 1968-74, reaching a career high of world # 3 in 1969. He also was ranked World # 1 in doubles in 1969."

borg number one
01-19-2010, 10:34 PM
I posted this in the other thread regarding "Greatest Serves of All Time", but it should be here as well. So, I am reposting this video clip. I've never watched that much of this match as it was a little before my time, and just before I really started following my tennis idol.

See video footage of Borg vs. Nastase in the 1976 Wimbledon Final below. Note the impressive serve and volleying of Borg on fast grass on a very hot day, with speedy conditions. This is evidence of his very high Tennis IQ.

TW Poster Borgforever kindly uploaded it on YouTube after some reworking of the footage on his part. Borgforever, thank you sir, I hope you don't mind me posting this before you have a chance at a new thread that you mentioned. Excellent work. Thanks on behalf of tennis fans. I like the quality and many of the viewing angles as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU0SG-ZkUA4 (Part 4) Borg wins all 21 sets of the Tournament!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ugw-pjROUQ (Part 2)

Borgforever
01-20-2010, 03:26 AM
Just you wait BNO -- parts 1 and 3 -- about 14 minutes of rallies in all with brilliant observations by the great Jack Kramer will be on Youtube in a couple days.

Right now I am enjoying one of my all-time fave tourneys the AO while posting huge chunks of roughly edited video-footage on my H. L. Doherty-documentary to my producer which takes time and an awful lot of bandwidth. I negotiated a reprieve last week so I could post the marvelous Laver-clips.

It's frustrating because the Laver-clips 1969, the final two Borg-clips of 1976 and the H. L-inspiration reel was done in November/December and I have been enjoying these clips on my own for quite some time now but -- what's the use if you can't share the pleasure with others who maybe would enjoy them also. Shared pleasure is double pleasure. That's an old Swedish proverb.

Soon my friend...

Great to hear about Kroon. I've seen him several times play here in old Sweden although I don't know him. I am in his generation you know...

Great to hear you have a good time on the court...

pc1
01-20-2010, 08:49 AM
Just you wait BNO -- parts 1 and 3 -- about 14 minutes of rallies in all with brilliant observations by the great Jack Kramer will be on Youtube in a couple days.

Right now I am enjoying one of my all-time fave tourneys the AO while posting huge chunks of roughly edited video-footage on my H. L. Doherty-documentary to my producer which takes time and an awful lot of bandwidth. I negotiated a reprieve last week so I could post the marvelous Laver-clips.

It's frustrating because the Laver-clips 1969, the final two Borg-clips of 1976 and the H. L-inspiration reel was done in November/December and I have been enjoying these clips on my own for quite some time now but -- what's the use if you can't share the pleasure with others who maybe would enjoy them also. Shared pleasure is double pleasure. That's an old Swedish proverb.

Soon my friend...

Great to hear about Kroon. I've seen him several times play here in old Sweden although I don't know him. I am in his generation you know...

Great to hear you have a good time on the court...

Borgforever,

If you ever have a chance I would appreciate seeing the Borg-Connors Wimbledon semi of 1979 in which I've read Borg was brilliant and the Connors-Tanner Wimbledon semi of 1975 in which I've read Connors' returns were faster than lightning bolts. If you could get that on youtube I would be be very happy.

Borgforever
01-20-2010, 11:26 AM
I'll see what I can do -- it's a tall order since my copies of these matches are on very fragile VHS-tapes.

It won't be as ambitious as the 1969 or 1976 classics -- and I hope you forgive the shaky quality. I watched these matches a lot about 10-12 years ago. The 1979-bout I saw about 20 times then. Now I haven't watched it for a few years and the color starts to go in patches -- but at least the tape isn't yet as dilapidated so the image starts to jump.

I'll try and get some minutes of these on Youtube around the start of February. If a building don't fall on top of my head that is.

One can never know...

I am glad I am not living in Haiti and my heart goes out to those there. Holy Moses...

pc1
01-20-2010, 12:40 PM
I'll see what I can do -- it's a tall order since my copies of these matches are on very fragile VHS-tapes.

It won't be as ambitious as the 1969 or 1976 classics -- and I hope you forgive the shaky quality. I watched these matches a lot about 10-12 years ago. The 1979-bout I saw about 20 times then. Now I haven't watched it for a few years and the color starts to go in patches -- but at least the tape isn't yet as dilapidated so the image starts to jump.

I'll try and get some minutes of these on Youtube around the start of February. If a building don't fall on top of my head that is.

One can never know...

I am glad I am not living in Haiti and my heart goes out to those there. Holy Moses...

Thanks Borgforever.

borg number one
01-20-2010, 01:05 PM
Yes, thanks BorgForever, that's very kind of you. Look forward to that 1979 Match whenever you get a chance. I haven't watched it since I was in my living room watching at night with my father. I was just starting to play the Game and entering tournament and my jaw dropped at the play during that match, won by Borg 6-2, 6-3, 6-2, almost identical to the 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 win in 1978. That was one of the best early "lessons" i could have ever received. So inspiring for me..

Two very UNIQUE players, each truly one of a kind.

Here is a table of the head to head series between him and Connors off of Wikipedia for a reference.

Björn Borg 15-8 Jimmy Connors

1 1973 Stockholm Hard SF Björn Borg 6-4, 3-6, 7-6

2 1974 Indianapolis Clay F Jimmy Connors 5-7, 6-3, 6-4

3 1975 US Open Clay SF Jimmy Connors 7-5, 7-5, 7-5

4 1975 Stockholm Hard SF Jimmy Connors 6-2, 7-6

5 1976 Philadelphia Carpet F Jimmy Connors 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-0

6 1976 Palm Springs Hard SF Jimmy Connors 6-4, 6-1

7 1976 US Open Clay F Jimmy Connors 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4

8 1977 Wimbledon Grass F Björn Borg 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4

9 1977 Boca Raton Clay F Björn Borg 6-4, 5-7, 6-3

10 1977 New York City Carpet F Jimmy Connors 6-4, 1-6, 6-4

11 1978 Pepsi Grand Slam Clay F Björn Borg 7-6, 3-6, 6-1
12 1978 Wimbledon Grass F Björn Borg 6-2, 6-2, 6-3

13 1978 US Open Hard F Jimmy Connors 6-4, 6-2, 6-2

14 1979 Pepsi Grand Slam Clay F Björn Borg 6-2, 6-3

15 1979 Las Vegas Hard F Björn Borg 6-3, 6-2

16 1979 Wimbledon Grass SF Björn Borg 6-2, 6-3, 6-2

17 1979 Tokyo Carpet F Björn Borg 6-2, 6-2

18 1979 WCT Challenge Cup Carpet F Björn Borg 6-4, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4

19 1979 New York City Carpet RR Björn Borg 3-6, 6-3, 7-6

20 1980 WCT Invitational Carpet RR Björn Borg 6-3, 6-1

21 1980 New York City Carpet SF Björn Borg 6-4, 6-7, 6-3

22 1981 Wimbledon Grass SF Björn Borg 0-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0, 6-4

23 1981 US Open Hard SF Björn Borg 6-2, 7-5, 6-4

pc1
01-20-2010, 01:10 PM
Yes, thanks BorgForever, that's very kind of you. Look forward to that 1979 Match whenever you get a chance. I haven't watched it since I was in my living room watching at night with my father. I was just starting to play the Game and entering tournament and my jaw dropped at the play during that match, won by Borg 6-2, 6-3, 6-2, almost identical to the 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 win in 1978. That was one of the best early "lessons" i could have ever received. So inspiring for me..

Two very UNIQUE players, each truly one of a kind.

Here is a table of the head to head series between him and Connors off of Wikipedia for a reference.

Björn Borg 15-8 Jimmy Connors

1 1973 Stockholm Hard SF Björn Borg 6-4, 3-6, 7-6

2 1974 Indianapolis Clay F Jimmy Connors 5-7, 6-3, 6-4

3 1975 US Open Clay SF Jimmy Connors 7-5, 7-5, 7-5

4 1975 Stockholm Hard SF Jimmy Connors 6-2, 7-6

5 1976 Philadelphia Carpet F Jimmy Connors 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-0

6 1976 Palm Springs Hard SF Jimmy Connors 6-4, 6-1

7 1976 US Open Clay F Jimmy Connors 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4

8 1977 Wimbledon Grass F Björn Borg 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4

9 1977 Boca Raton Clay F Björn Borg 6-4, 5-7, 6-3

10 1977 New York City Carpet F Jimmy Connors 6-4, 1-6, 6-4

11 1978 Pepsi Grand Slam Clay F Björn Borg 7-6, 3-6, 6-1
12 1978 Wimbledon Grass F Björn Borg 6-2, 6-2, 6-3

13 1978 US Open Hard F Jimmy Connors 6-4, 6-2, 6-2

14 1979 Pepsi Grand Slam Clay F Björn Borg 6-2, 6-3

15 1979 Las Vegas Hard F Björn Borg 6-3, 6-2

16 1979 Wimbledon Grass SF Björn Borg 6-2, 6-3, 6-2

17 1979 Tokyo Carpet F Björn Borg 6-2, 6-2

18 1979 WCT Challenge Cup Carpet F Björn Borg 6-4, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4

19 1979 New York City Carpet RR Björn Borg 3-6, 6-3, 7-6

20 1980 WCT Invitational Carpet RR Björn Borg 6-3, 6-1

21 1980 New York City Carpet SF Björn Borg 6-4, 6-7, 6-3

22 1981 Wimbledon Grass SF Björn Borg 0-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0, 6-4

23 1981 US Open Hard SF Björn Borg 6-2, 7-5, 6-4

Notice that after the 1978 Pepsi, Connor only won one match from Borg and that was when Borg was injured. Incredible.

borg number one
01-20-2010, 03:08 PM
Yes, PC1, it is. Beating CONNORS that mant times in a row! Not easy...

At the 1978 US Open Final, Borg's shoulder was CLEARLY bothering him.

I remember hearing Pat Summerall mentioning it early on and thinking, OH NO!!! That was a fabulous chance for him to take his first US Open. Oh well, Borg once said that some of the "breaks" he got at Wimbledon seemed to go the "other way" at the US Open.

Yet, Borg would not use it as an excuse, thereby heeding the words of Roy Emerson. Anyway, Borg calmly proceeded to beat Connors the last 10 matches of their career!!

jeffreyneave
01-21-2010, 05:39 AM
this is not the true head to head relying on the atp web site is a joke. connors beat borg 7 out of 8 in 1982 and 3 out of 4 in 1983. if the boca raton exhibtion event can be counted so can all the other exhibition events they played. akai in november 1982 was an exhibtion but borg supportes are always quoting his wins at that exhibtion as evidence of borg's quality in 1982. the reaity of 1982 is rather different with all of borg's losses to connors and mcenroe are taken into account. connors leads the head to head 22-19 when all matches are counted.

jeffrey

Borgforever
01-21-2010, 06:15 AM
Jeffrey -- please don't be so tar-black bitter and deragotory in your posts and please try and spell a little better. I know you're a very sick man -- but come on. Cary Grant is spinning in his grave...

If you learn to READ a little better too -- among many other things -- I explain the 1982-situation quite clearly in the AKAI-thread.

Take care and good luck. Sincerely.

borg number one
01-21-2010, 06:32 AM
Well Jeffreyneave, that's a good point. You're picky, that's good. I'm the same way. Of course, when looking at a head to head series, we should in the end keep the focus on official matches more than exhibition matches. That's certainly true, as I'm sure you'll agree.

You're right. To be fair then, taking out Borg's win at the 1979 Pepsi would put his official H2H series with Connors at 14-8 with him. Then, he won the last 9, not 10, official matches versus Connors.

With McEnroe, it was 7-7. I don't assert that he was up 8-7 against McEnroe due to the AKAI win.

I look at the 1982 AKAI event, at the core, as an indication of Borg's ability to STILL SUSTAIN a certain playing level. There's no doubt that even in 1982 he was capable of playing at an extremely high level, that's all.

That exhibition included both McEnroe and Lendl, and was unique in that folks were wondering if Borg could still play, as there were so many questions swirling around his mysterious and sudden departure at 25-26 from the official Tour.

The central point is that Borg outperformed Connors at the Grand Slams and held his own against McEnroe even in 1980 and 1981, in my opinion.

Why? Look at the French Open, and not just Wimbledon and the US Open. The years 1980-1981 meant 6 slams competed in for the top players. During those last two years, Borg took the French twice and Wimbledon in 1980. McEnroe won the U.S. Open in 1980-1981, and Wimbledon in 1981. So, they split the 6 slams during those last two years.

Anyway, that's a fair and valid point you make as to Borg-Connors and I'm glad you pointed that out.

jeffreyneave
01-21-2010, 06:49 AM
borg beat connors 3 times at the boca raton exhibition not once. as far as l'm concerned there is no such thing as official matches; the atp web site is inconsistent and patchy in coverage. i still insist connors has the head to head advantage over borg and that's what we are discsussing here not grand slam performances. borg's wins at exhibtion events are counted on the wikki web page and so they should be.

jeffrey

borg number one
01-21-2010, 06:54 AM
Here is a list of head to head matches between McEnroe and Borg. It is tied 7-7, with no matches on clay. This is his WORST head to head series versus any player during his career, if I'm not mistaken.

McEnroe won their last 3 meetings, with Borg's win at the 1981 Masters Indoors being his last win against McEnroe. Again, to say that McEnroe had suddenly clearly surpassed Borg is just not an accurate assessment.

Basically, McEnroe had "caught up" to Borg and joined him at the very top. Borg suddenly had company at the very top, much like Federer-Nadal now. To have 3 players at the very top like Borg, Connors, and McEnroe by 1981 is what made Tennis at that time so special. Tennis players felt absolutely lucky to have such a circumstance. Then SUDDENLY, the bottom seemed to drop out, leaving even McEnroe perplexed, as he tried to coax Borg to stay on the Tour. I think he understood what Borg would bring to the table if he stayed on the Tour ALONG with both McEnroe and Connors post 1981.



Borg 7–7 McEnroe

1 1978 Stockholm Hard SF McEnroe 6–3, 6–4

2 1979 Richmond Carpet SF Borg 4–6, 7–6 (10-8), 6–3

3 1979 New Orleans Carpet SF McEnroe 5–7, 6–1, 7–6 (8-6)

4 1979 Rotterdam Carpet F Borg 6–4, 6–2

5 1979 Dallas Carpet F McEnroe 7–5, 4–6, 6–2, 7–6

6 1979 Canada (Montreal) Hard F Borg 6–3, 6–3

7 1980 New York City Carpet SF Borg 6–7, 6–3, 7–6

8 1980 Wimbledon Grass F Borg 1–6, 7–5, 6–3, 6–7 (16-18), 8–6

9 1980 US Open Hard F McEnroe 7–6, 6–1, 6–7, 5–7, 6–4

10 1980 Stockholm Carpet F Borg 6–3, 6–4

11 1981 New York City Carpet RR Borg 6–4, 6–7, 7–6

12 1981 Milan Carpet F McEnroe 7–6, 6–4

13 1981 Wimbledon Grass F McEnroe 4–6, 7–6, 7–6, 6–4

14 1981 US Open Hard F McEnroe 4–6, 6–2, 6–4, 6–3

borg number one
01-21-2010, 07:03 AM
Jeffrey, you're right again as to Boca Raton, as I only took out 1 of those matches. I overlooked them referring to it as the Boca Raton clay event versus the Pepsi Grand Slam. Got it.

Okay, that would be 12-8 in the official Head to Head series then with Connors and Borg. Correct?

Borgforever
01-21-2010, 07:21 AM
Fair enough, Jeffrey and I don't really contradict anything you state in the above post -- and as I've stressed before I do agree with you for the most part on almost anything you post.

What does irk me though is your tone in many of your posts. You easily become derogatory towards opposing view-points. We're all human -- but IMO -- and take this as a serious constructive feedback -- you're too great a poster to continually insult the intelligence of those you debate with.

Your best work -- here IMO -- is your posts about the 50s and 60s when you're 100% correct all the time with spectacular and fascinating insights that are vital to the point. When you talk about all other decades in tennis your inconsistent IMO -- one easily sees you haven't actually watched and studied the matches on video recently, haven't done the necessary contextual research -- which you always do when you write about the 50s and 60s. Still you make excellent posts about most other eras here as well -- with the exceptions stated as above.

You sometimes go like "Oh, Laver was sick that time so it wasn't his true level that year" and I agree on this pretty much all the time when you talk about this. I can add a contextual detail myself here:

For example -- I think it's easy to prove that Laver lost at Wimby 1971 because of the Chemold-racquet. That might sound like an unsustainable and heavily Laver-**** opinion -- but if you do your research -- deeply -- there's pretty much nothing that contradicts this. That Laver even won one match at Wimby 1971 with that monstrousity in his hands should almost guarantee his ranking as No. 1 in 1971.

That Chemold was, arguably, the worst tennis-racquet ever made including Henry the VIII's. It cost two-bucks and was sold at gas-stations together with a pack of bananas and a Coke.

I can never, ever understand how, perhaps, the GOAT could, when he was pretty much on top of the world in tennis started to play with that turd-stick.

Absolutely incredible.

One of tennis-history's greatest mysteries IMO. There's a WAR & PEACE-size detective-thriller in that mystery waiting to be written.

Björn Borg sat himself court-side and watched that match and EVERYONE including himself and the pros in the locker-room agreed without the slightest hesitation that that Chemold defeated Laver at Wimby that year.

Björn said: "It was like the No. 1 came out with a badminton racquet in his hands at Wimby. And he still played marvelous -- but with a badminton racquet you cannot win a tennis-match on the top level."

Anyhoo -- back to my opinion on your posts Jeffrey. When it comes to 50s and 60s, and particularly when it comes to Laver, you know the vital contextual nuances -- but when you talk about Borg, Lendl, McEnroe and others you disregard the finer points over and over IMO. Not to a directly disturbing degree -- I wouldn't write this if I didn't respect your posts and your intelligence overall and I do mostly enjoy your posts -- but your too stand-offish, insulting and derogatory towards an opposing view-point, and often that person has behaved very courteously to begin with while you throw bricks at them for no reason.

But combine the minor flaws -- in an otherwise highly expert-skill when it comes to tennis and its history in your output here on TW -- with your many insults it becomes boorish and irritating and tough for me to agree with you even if I already do so.

And I never, ever heard you say that you stand corrected on anything. You seem to believe that you are absolutely correct always. Never admitting any mistake. Ever.

Sean Connery made a movie called NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN and I guess that title was better than the movie itself -- but it's so true and people can branch out and become better at aspects of their personality traits...

Truth...

IMO -- to underline yet again -- you're too great a tennis-expert to sustain that extra negative attitude -- your content in your posts can stand on its own. And a little humility wouldn't hurt. To the contrary.

krosero
01-21-2010, 07:46 AM
At the 1978 US Open Final, Borg's shoulder was CLEARLY bothering him. that was his right thumb, I believe.

krosero
01-21-2010, 07:49 AM
this is not the true head to head relying on the atp web site is a joke. Is this a criticism of the web site only? Because the numbers, as you know, as much older (for example CBS reported Borg leading Connors 14-8 lifetime before their 81 USO sf).

Borgforever
01-21-2010, 08:00 AM
I am reluctant to reveal what my real name is here on TW -- but I guess it will be revealed here in time -- maybe sooner than later.

I mean -- how many people on this earth are doing an in-depth two hour long -- deeply analytical and biographical documentary about H. L. Doherty?

I may be stupid -- but not that stupid.

But I can reveal some things about my thinking and what I like and don't like and some peculiar details for a change :-)

For instance -- if I had a gun to my head and someone told me: "What do you consider is the greatest novel ever written that has also revealed maybe the most about the human condition and the human psychology?"

"I would say Shakespeare's entire canon but that goes out the window if one only has to choose one book. So I agree with, among others than JFK and James Jones, that IMO the greatest novel ever written is LE ROUGE ET LE NOIR by the great French author Stendhal or THE RED AND THE BLACK as it is called in English.

A stunning, burningly modern book. Although it was written back in 1830...

pc1
01-21-2010, 08:04 AM
that was his right thumb, I believe.

I think you're right. Wasn't it a bad blister on his thumb? I know he couldn't even grip the racket well. Didn't the racket fly out of his hands several times on the follow through?

borg number one
01-21-2010, 08:16 AM
I think you're right Krosero. Maybe that's true about it being the thumb more than any shoulder injury. That would be consistent with the racquet flying out of the hand.

I do remember the racquet flying out of his hand.
That Bancroft flew and slammed to the ground, flying close to the right net post. It was a dead giveaway for a tennis "shark" such as Connors, who fully capitalized as he should have.

Bjorn said on that "Legends of Wimbledon DVD": "to beat Jimmy you always had to play your best tennis. He was such a fighter, and they loved to watch him play. He played every point like it was a match point".

Was it the mainly the thumb? Or was it both shoulder and thumb? Perhaps he had a nagging shoulder injury, but it was MORE the thumb than anything else that bothered him especially.

Anyway, NO EXCUSES, for Bjorn in true Roy Emerson style. That wouldn't be the Bjorn Borg way either. He doesn't "qualify" his losses like that, and is VERY MODEST, in my opinion as to his accomplishments and defeats.

I remember Summerall and Trabert talking about Borg clearly being injured and there being some questions as to extent of injury, etc..

Then, when the racquet flew out of his hand, they said, "ok, Borg is clearly injured".. and in my mind, Trabert seemed confident then that Connors would prevail, and I was so angry and upset in that moment, being the 10 year old fan I was.

Anyway, such is life, that can happen. Tennis is so physical at that level and injuries are a part of the Game. Borg definitely taped his hands more post 1978 or so, that's for sure. The tape, the sawdust, the blowing in the hand..just a few of those "Borg quirks"...

Borgforever
01-21-2010, 08:54 AM
I think you're right. Wasn't it a bad blister on his thumb? I know he couldn't even grip the racket well. Didn't the racket fly out of his hands several times on the follow through?

Yes, it did. But he usually let the racquet fly out of his hands in other matches after this as well. Usually about once at match, maybe two times, but then it was because his hands was heavily taped -- as a result of the blisters in the spring of 1978 at WCT and at US Open later in the fall that same year.

In the USO Open 1978-final the racquet flew out of his hands purely by the numbness of the hand from the pain-killing shot and the stinging pain that increased enormously after the first set. Most painful said Borg afterwards were the groundies that felt like knife-cuts. You see him -- by this time in the match -- shanking many, many extremely uncharacteristically easy FH's and BH's into the bottom of the net on medium hard-hit balls landing perfectly within Borg's usually most consistent strike-zone -- entirely backing up his statements.

The blister, cracking up in his thumb on the last point of his SF-match, got enormously infected and swollen with puss at midnight before the final. The doctor urged Borg to give a walk-over. He cannot hold his racquet. But people had payed good money and it was a major final. Borg said I better lose on the court rather than off. Sportsmanship is important in sports. Borg said that he sometimes went all out -- hitting with his usual snappy pace just to give the audience some value -- heck it's Borg vs Connors -- the biggest thing in tennis at the time -- but the pain after these "showoffy" moments were dire. The pain increased with every ambitious effort and soon he couldn't even hold the racquet in his right hand even between points. You see him walking around with the racquet in his left hand all time and just putting it on the right hand with the bandaged thumb just before the point starts and after the point he takes it with his left hand again like he was Rafa Nadal.

Borg started to tape his hands heavily after this. He lost a little feeling and touch in the handle because of the heavily taped hands and it all became a little bit more slippery as an effect, resulting in the occasional racquet-slip from then on -- but more importantly; no blisters anymore robbing him of his best performance.

When it comes to Connors and Borg H2Hs during their prime/peak years, as I see it, Connors won only two matches against Borg between early February 1977 and mid-1982 -- a period of 5 years when Borg was 21 to 26 years old and Jimmy was 25 to 30 years old.

The matches Jimmy won facing an at least competitive and reasonably healthy Borg during this strange 5 years span during almost all the way through their prime/peaks were the YEC Masters-final for the year 1977, played in January 1978 -- an amazing and underrated match with absolutely stunning rallies. A classic. It is available in black and white to buy on the internet. Borg didn't lose this -- he was amazing -- close to winning in fact -- but Jimbo won it with eye-popping shots. Same goes for his exxo-Copenhagen-blowout of Borg in early 1980 -- I guess 6-3, 6-1 -- or something and Borg was great there as well according to all reports...

All other matches during this time, around 15 matches between 1977 to mid-1982 Borg dominated Jimbo or just barely out-paced "The Belleville Basher" in immortal classics...

In mid-1982 Borg played many exxos with Jimbo during the summer when Jimbo just had won Wimby and Borg had not touched a racquet for a long while, much less competing, mostly yachting around the coast of south of France being blown away hearing about baby-Wilander beating Lendl at RG.

Björn said:"Before I went boating I hoped I could play at Wimby so I actually started to get my juices up and practiced with this young, promising little kid Mats Wilander. I started to reach good form and the kid improved a lot practicing with me -- but I he couldn't take any games off me -- so I gave him some to encourage him to keep improving without him really noticing. Subtle stuff you know. Then I got stuck with and wasn't allowed to start, even at Wimby, even though the All England was willing to give me a wild-card. So I went on a long wonderful relaxing, fanastic cruise. All my practicing was for naught. But it seemed it hadn't been for Mats. The little kid goes and wins the whole deal. I still can't believe it."

Borg then -- to get back to match-form as fast as possible -- decided to perform parctice with Jimbo in a number of exxos after Wimby. This worked. Jimbo was peaking in confidence and playing level with much match experience facing a by now rusty Borg form-wise.

I have many of these exxos on VHS and they usually tell the same story. Jimbo dominates an unusually error-prone Borg, who starts to pick up pace about mid-match, having patches where he absolutely stuns peak-playing Jimbo over and over with streams of outright winners making Jimbo scream over and over "you've been practicing" while Borg smiles. They did it both at Richmond and at several other venues. There's a Youtube clip of it even. Then Borg start to look USO-final 1981 with a lot of unfocused errors sprayed all of a sudden. It must be pointed out though that Jimbo doesn't just win these matches because Borg loses them -- Jimbo plays some glorious and consistent tennis all the way through all these matches. Remember he was No. 1 again in 1982 and rightly so. Very great and very consistent. Borg wasn't until all his weight-lifting and all-round training was complete in October 1982. That's when Borg's form started to peak -- his comeback was dated as early 1983 with RG, Wimby and USO and the works.

After AKAI he went to Stockholm and realized he wasn't that excited about his AKAI-triumph. It wasn't even a 10th of the vibe he felt after winning RG 1981 and then he was already a bit numb of success because of all the hassle around him. The bad had started to outweigh the good. His results dived at the end of 1982 and he looked like he did in early 1982 as a zombie qualifier whistling tunes loudly to himself between points against Noah at Monte Carlo in 1982 -- this was before his intense pre-RG-Wimby prep-sessions with the young, stubborn baby-Wilander...

borg number one
01-21-2010, 09:33 AM
Borgforever, EXCELLENT information as always friend. Tell you what, if we ever meet and you want to work on some sort of book on Bjorn Borg in the years to follow, count me in!! The Book "His Life and Game" leaves out so much, though it's very interesting, in my opinion. It just needs a big update, with details, more photos, more interviews, the whole deal.

I have a somewhat sad photo of him hitting away with a reddish graphite frame circa 1991 at River Oaks in Houston on red clay, in all white clothes (absolutely no labelling on it, my photographer friend took it.) hitting away, practicing. You could clearly see glimpses of all that he was before.

That photo, which hangs in my living room, next to my graduation photos, always reminds me of what we all missed, Borg choosing to play during the early to mid-1980's. It is one of my most prized possessions.

When he walked around the grounds there, EVERYONE would be transfixed, and talked about Borg being there. That Borg aura was still apparent.

There's a big book that's just waiting to be written about him. Maybe I should explore that option when I decide to stop working full time.

I could hear details about him and analyze them forever. I just hope I get to actually meet the guy and actually talk to him and tell him how great he was and is at some point, that's all. You bring a lot to the table within this Forum, no doubt.

krosero
01-21-2010, 07:58 PM
I think you're right Krosero. Maybe that's true about it being the thumb more than any shoulder injury. That would be consistent with the racquet flying out of the hand.

I do remember the racquet flying out of his hand.
That Bancroft flew and slammed to the ground, flying close to the right net post. It was a dead giveaway for a tennis "shark" such as Connors, who fully capitalized as he should have.

Bjorn said on that "Legends of Wimbledon DVD": "to beat Jimmy you always had to play your best tennis. He was such a fighter, and they loved to watch him play. He played every point like it was a match point".

Was it the mainly the thumb? Or was it both shoulder and thumb? Perhaps he had a nagging shoulder injury, but it was MORE the thumb than anything else that bothered him especially. All I know about is the thumb blister. You may be thinking of '77 when he defaulted with a sore shoulder.

In '78 he was serving well throughout the tournament so I think his shoulder was good.

Excerpts from Sports Illustrated:

Borg had taken an injection in the thumb ("a long-acting anesthetic," the doctor called it) earlier, and the thumb undoubtedly bothered him—he double-faulted five times and on two other serves the racket flew from his hand, landing by the net. But in the face of Connors ' spectacular performance—"such great tennis, such force, such aggression. I don't know if I've ever put on so much pressure for so long," Jimbo said afterward—Borg might have looked all thumbs anyway. Not once did Borg break serve. Not once did he even earn a break point against Connors ' improved flattened-out deliveries. In a reversal of their usual form, Connors fired in 80% of his first serves, Borg 58%.

'The thumb didn't make any difference," Borg said afterward with a less-than-reassuring grin. Of the lightning-quick rubberized asphalt court he had been complaining about all week, he said, "Jimmy was born on this stuff. This is his court. I saw he was on top of his game from the beginning. There was not much I could do."

…Borg himself kept saying that the court was too fast, that he needed more than 10 days to get used to it. Then he would amble out in his bowlegged way and drill holes in the asphalt with his enormous service. It should be noted that Borg always complains about the grass at Wimbledon, too, and every mother's double-fisted son knows what he has done there.

If some early-round matches didn't prove that Deco-Turf II afforded plenty of opportunities for long rallies, exciting points and admirable shotmaking—namely, Vitus Gerulaitis' 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 struggle over Amaya and the three-set escapes of Borg and Connors from the clutches of Bernie Mitton and Pat DuPre, respectively—then the Labor Day night classic between Vilas and bazooka-serving Butch Walts surely did. Consider this:

Walts, a tall Californian ranked 54th on the ATP computer, whose temper routinely out-fierces his serve, rocketed 11 aces and 35 service winners even though Vilas waited to receive some 20 feet behind the baseline.

…Meanwhile, Borg was first toying with and then destroying Raul Ramirez, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-0, and Gerulaitis, 6-3, 6-2, 7-6, in his warmups for the final.

"The way I was today I would beat 50 other players," said Ramirez, "but I cannot beat this guy." Then he thought a minute. "Bjorn may be breakable here because of his doubts about the surface," he said. "If Jimmy gets on top of him, Bjorn may say to himself he can't play on this court."

Whether Borg's self-doubts plagued him; whether his thumb pained him; whether the fleet of airplanes that roared over the stadium every 30 seconds disturbed his concentration—all these seemed moot points in the darkness of Borg's bloody Sunday.

You're very right, Borg made no excuses.

krosero
01-21-2010, 08:02 PM
I think you're right. Wasn't it a bad blister on his thumb? I know he couldn't even grip the racket well. Didn't the racket fly out of his hands several times on the follow through?The racket flew from his hand twice on his service motion, but I've seen that happen to him when healthy (for example, the finals at 76 USO, 78W, 81 RG).

What I found really strange was in the third set, a few times he held two balls in his left hand to serve. He put the extra ball into his pocket to play the point but once he held it, even while hitting a two-hander.

borg number one
01-21-2010, 08:19 PM
Very good Krosero, thank you sir. Hey, we forgot to talk about Butch Walts and his serve in that Greatest Serves thread!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butch_Walts

Walts' career was cut short by testicular cancer it looks like, but he raises a lot of money for cancer research:

http://www.usc.edu/hsc/info/pr/hmm/05winter/build.html

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Wa/B/Butch-Walts.aspx

That guy had a monster and I believe he went to a metal frame pretty early, relative to other players. Yet, he was pretty inconsistent otherwise in singles.

Thanks for the article, it's excellent. It's good to be reminded of guys like Ramirez and Walts, who tend to fade from our tennis memories with time.

It does look like Borg didn't have any nagging shoulder concerns, though he retired against Dick Stockton (remember him with the Wilson Advantage?) in 1977 with that shoulder injury at 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (ret.). Stockton actually pushed him pretty hard in 1978, with Borg escaping in 4 sets in the 4th Round. Anyway, no excuses for him in 1978, because he wouldn't want any. How "old school" is that?

jeffreyneave
01-22-2010, 06:39 AM
borgforever is a rude nasty man who obviously has a personal grudge against me. he shpould be banned for such personal abuse.. go to hell mate. I have no need to apologise for any of my posts . I never attack people unless they attack me first. just because i disagree with borgforver about bjorn borg does not make rude ; the rude, bad mannered one is borgforever who attacks me for perfectly innocent posts by me.

jeffrey

jeffreyneave
01-22-2010, 07:01 AM
Yes its a crticism of the atp web site,whise coverage is patchy and whose treatment of exhibitions is inconsistent. As far as l'm concerned the head to head between players includes all matches and not some dubious definition of official as the atp web is often regarded as. Connors leads borg 23-19 counting all matches (yesterday i said it was 22-19 but connors won an extra match in 1983 that I had forgotten) and that's the stat which be remembered not the atp web site.

jeffrey

krosero
01-22-2010, 03:55 PM
Yes its a crticism of the atp web site,whise coverage is patchy and whose treatment of exhibitions is inconsistent. As far as l'm concerned the head to head between players includes all matches and not some dubious definition of official as the atp web is often regarded as. Connors leads borg 23-19 counting all matches (yesterday i said it was 22-19 but connors won an extra match in 1983 that I had forgotten) and that's the stat which be remembered not the atp web site.

jeffreyokay I see what you're getting at. But the website and the original ATP numbers are two separate issues. The website has only existed a few years, and its coverage is indeed patchy. For the early Open Era its coverage is sparse or nonexistent. But in the late 70s, the numbers reported at the website start to match up with the numbers reported back then. CBS had Borg leading 14-8, as I said before the 81 USO -- same as reported on the website.

Of course, you're questioning the definition of what is "official" and what is "exhibition". That's fine. If Borg and Connors regarded some matches as important which were classified then as mere exhibitions, and not included in their H2H, that's a problem. But the issue is what Borg and Connors, and the ATP, considered THEN as official matches, not merely the coverage that the ATP has on its website now.

An entirely separate issue is what the H2H says about who was the better player. If we have Borg leading Connors 5-3 in Grand Slam matches (whose importance no one disputes), and leading him 15-8 in matches which were regarded then and now as "official" (with rewards in computer points and prestige), but Connors leads him in the H2H only when exos are included, what does that say? The contrast strongly suggests that Borg won, generally speaking, when it mattered. The lesser player had the edge only when all exhibitions are included (and in later years won only the exhibitions).

And it also suggests that there's a real difference between "official" and "exhibition" -- meaning, Borg and Connors themselves saw certain matches as more important (and the superior player put in his best performance in order to win them). Sure, the "official" count in tennis history can't be restricted to ATP numbers (website or pre-website). But everyone uses the terms "official" and "exhibition" to talk about matches -- and they did so in the 70s too, of course. That distinction has been in place for a long time, as a way of saying how important the stakes were in any given matches.

Not lecturing you here, just trying to talk about the issue. And I agree with you that the FULL h2h -- a count of ALL matches played between two players -- matters. To say that unofficial matches are completely meaningless is clearly wrong.

jeffreyneave
01-23-2010, 05:36 AM
the point is that 14-8 number you quote includes matches that did not carry atp points. The counting is inconsistent and wrong when you include a few exhibitions and exclude others As far as l'm concerned all matches count and so called official matches do not exist. connors leads the head to head 23-19 and that's important to remember and no so called phoney official definition can take that away from him. borg may have dominated connors in 1979 but connors dominated borg in 1982 and 1983 winning 11 of 13 matches. borg only really played the so called special events in 82 and 83 and those results should be remembered just as much as other years when he played atp ponts counting events.

jeffrey

borg number one
01-23-2010, 08:40 AM
Jeffrey, I agree all matches should be considered. You say that the series is 23-19 if you include special exhibitions and special events. Have you confirmed that the list of those 42 matches includes each and every "special event"? For example, I saw them play a 3 set special event at River Oaks on slow clay, and Connors won in 3 sets. Does your list include that match? Anyway, for now, we'll go with Connors up 23-19 if you include official and unofficial matches.

Connors was a GREAT player. The fact that Borg competed with the likes of a player as great as he was, ALONG with McEnroe, and Vilas, and Gerulaitis, and then Lendl is why his accomplishments are jaw dropping and stunning. Especially considering that the man "hung up his cleats" at the age of 25. He no longer played on the Tour and pursued ranking points. The matches in 1982 and 1983 you mention were exhibition events, but they are significant.

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:y2WW4Wy6fppOpM:http://s2.hubimg.com/u/289345_f260.jpg

http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:eHpdBw2RsyuaxM:http://www.open-tennis.com/images/rivalries-overview/Borg-Connors.jpg

http://johankriektennis.com/images/connors-borg-mcenroe-kriek.jpg

Borg said this about facing Connors at the 1978 Wimbledon final:

"I think that was the first time we played at Wimbledon. He was a big fighter. They loved to see him, because he was fighting, every single point was like a match point for Jimmy. To beat Jimmy you had to play your best Game..

See him begin speaking with about 4:30 remaining on this video (THE WIMBLEDON DVD COLLECTION, "LEGENDS OF WIMBLEDON"- BJORN BORG):

http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1694791/5681794

That was concerning their first match there, on those hallowed grounds.

So, Jeffrey, I have them at 12-8, if you take out the Pepsi/Boca matches from the series, if those are so called "special events". Are there any other matches of those 20 total that you would not consider official?

While we should look at all matches played and consider each in its context, lets also emphasize the difference between official and unofficial matches.

When you play a "special event" it's not the same as a Wimbledon match, for example, but it is significant. It is also not the same as another match that has ranking points attached to it at a Tour Tournament.

Is a "practice match" the same in your mind as a Tournament match? No it is not, but both matches are significant and have importance. The degree is the key. In the same way, Grand Slam events mean a lot more than a regular tournament, matches with ranking points and prize money on the line are qualitatively different than a pure money event.

Pro players would agree with that assessment, and thus, they adjust their play accordingly. Often at exhibitions, they are "freewheeling", practicing, and most concerned with giving the crowd entertainment more than purely trying to win the match. They are also matches when players practice their weaknesses somewhat more so, with another great player across the net.

So, in reference to their list of official matches (reposted again here), would you take out any other matches that should not be considered "official" in that there were no ranking points on the line?

I've got them at 12-8 with just "official" matches if you take out the 3 Florida "special events" from their head to head, which look to have been "invitation only", "exhibition tournaments", which Borg won. There was prize money there, but no ranking points on the line, if I'm not mistaken.

Here's a link that describes the Pepsi Grand Slam:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepsi_Grand_Slam

See description of the event below:

The Pepsi Grand Slam was a men's tennis tournament played as part of the ATP Tour from 1976-1981. The tournament was played in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in 1976 and Boca Raton, Florida from 1977-1981. It was held on outdoor clay courts and featured a field of four players.

It was considered a part of the ATP Tour, so that's why the ATP has included those matches on their site, and not other matches. Borg won that event 4 of the 6 years it was held, all at the Boca site.

I'll repost that list of all the other matches here, with the winner in each match, tournament, and result. This list has the Pepsi matches removed, although those matches were held as part of the ATP Tour. If there were no ranking points attached, they should not be "official".

Björn Borg-Jimmy Connors Head to Head Series


(12-8 in favor of Borg, official matches, 5-3 in Grand Slam Matches)

1 1973 Stockholm Hard SF, Björn Borg 6-4, 3-6, 7-6

2 1974 Indianapolis Clay F, Jimmy Connors 5-7, 6-3, 6-4

3 1975 US Open Clay SF, Jimmy Connors 7-5, 7-5, 7-5

4 1975 Stockholm Hard SF, Jimmy Connors 6-2, 7-6

5 1976 Philadelphia Carpet F, Jimmy Connors 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-0

6 1976 Palm Springs Hard SF, Jimmy Connors 6-4, 6-1

7 1976 US Open Clay F, Jimmy Connors 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (11-9), 6-4

8 1977 Wimbledon Grass F, Björn Borg 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4

9 1977 New York City Carpet F, Jimmy Connors 6-4, 1-6, 6-4

10 1978 Wimbledon Grass F , Björn Borg 6-2, 6-2, 6-3

11 1978 US Open Hard F, Jimmy Connors 6-4, 6-2, 6-2

12 1979 Las Vegas Hard F, Björn Borg 6-3, 6-2

13 1979 Wimbledon Grass SF, Björn Borg 6-2, 6-3, 6-2

14 1979 Tokyo Carpet F, Björn Borg 6-2, 6-2

15 1979 WCT Challenge Cup Carpet F, Björn Borg 6-4, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4

16 1979 New York City Carpet RR, Björn Borg 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4)

17 1980 WCT Invitational Carpet RR, Björn Borg 6-3, 6-1

18 1980 New York City Carpet SF, Björn Borg 6-4, 6-7, 6-3

19 1981 Wimbledon Grass SF, Björn Borg 0-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0, 6-4

20 1981 US Open Hard SF, Björn Borg 6-2, 7-5, 6-4

pc1
01-23-2010, 09:51 AM
I have my doubts about Jeffrey's list and I have seen sites stating Borg is ahead 15-8.

BORG, Bjorn (SWE)

Versus Jimmy CONNORS (USA)
Year Tournament Round Surface Winner Score
1973 Stockholm SF () B.BORG 6-4 3-6 7-6
1974 USCC-Indianapolis FR () J.CONNORS 7-5 3-6 4-6
1975 U.S. Open SF Clay (O) J.CONNORS 5-7 5-7 5-7
1975 Stockholm SF () J.CONNORS 2-6 6-7
1976 WCT Philadelphia FR () J.CONNORS 6-7 4-6 0-6
1976 Palm Springs SF Hard (O) J.CONNORS 4-6 1-6
1976 U.S. Open FR Clay (O) J.CONNORS 4-6 6-3 6-7 4-6
1977 Pepsi Grand Slam FR Clay (O) B.BORG 6-4 5-7 6-3
1977 Wimbledon FR Grass (O) B.BORG 3-6 6-2 6-1 5-7 6-4
1978 Masters FR Carpet (I) J.CONNORS 4-6 6-1 4-6
1978 Pepsi Grand Slam FR Clay (O) B.BORG 7-6 3-6 6-1
1978 Wimbledon FR Grass (O) B.BORG 6-2 6-2 6-3
1978 U.S. Open FR Hard (O) J.CONNORS 4-6 2-6 2-6
1979 Pepsi Grand Slam FR Clay (O) B.BORG 6-2 6-3
1979 Las Vegas FR Hard (O) B.BORG 6-3 6-2
1979 Wimbledon SF Grass (O) B.BORG 6-2 6-3 6-2
1979 Tokyo Indoor FR Carpet (I) B.BORG 6-2 6-2
1979 WCT Challenge Cup FR Carpet (I) B.BORG 6-4 6-2 2-6 6-4
1980 Masters Carpet (I) B.BORG 3-6 6-3 7-6
1980 WCT Invitational Carpet (I) B.BORG 6-3 6-1
1981 Masters SF Carpet (I) B.BORG 6-4 6-7 6-3
1981 Wimbledon SF Grass (O) B.BORG 0-6 4-6 6-3 6-0 6-4
1981 U.S. Open SF Hard (O) B.BORG 6-2 7-5 6-4
Bjorn BORG (SWE) Leads Jimmy CONNORS (USA) : 15 to 8 *
* The Head to Head Win / Loss count does not include ATP Challengers, ITF Pro Circuit events and qualifying matches.

http://www.itftennis.com/mens/players/headtohead.asp?player=10002258&opponent=10000289

The Pepsi is a definite tournament and should be counted. It was a real competition and everyone was trying their hardest.

krosero
01-24-2010, 03:38 PM
the point is that 14-8 number you quote includes matches that did not carry atp points. The counting is inconsistent and wrong when you include a few exhibitions and exclude others As far as l'm concerned all matches count and so called official matches do not exist. connors leads the head to head 23-19 and that's important to remember and no so called phoney official definition can take that away from him. borg may have dominated connors in 1979 but connors dominated borg in 1982 and 1983 winning 11 of 13 matches. borg only really played the so called special events in 82 and 83 and those results should be remembered just as much as other years when he played atp ponts counting events.

jeffreyI have to agree that when the "official" count is using inconsistent standards (like counting matches that do not carry computer points), then that's a problem.

In fact I'm not sure anyone disagrees with the idea that there's more to a rivalry than whatever the "official" scorecard says. Whatever is pronounced official is just a result of human decisions made by some official body.

But then that's true of any count you get. All counts result from our personal decisions, to count this and not count that.

You're counting through 1983, for instance. I don't know the reason though I'm sure it's valid. At some point, anyone doing the counting just has to choose an end date. After all these guys could go on playing exos right through old age, and there's no way for the end date to pick itself out; we have to pick it out.

So the ATP count is a result of human decisions; so is any count we make. All counts have to stand up to scrutiny; and all can be useful.

Personally, I think though an official count may have problems, I wouldn't say there's no such thing as an official count. It's a result of human decisions and made be criticized for what it includes and excludes, but that's true of any count. It's still useful to know what the governing body/bodies of tennis regarded as official -- particularly if the players themselves, Borg and Connors, felt the pressure from the fact that the matches were regarded as especially important. If that was a real element in their rivalry then it can't just be set aside.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
01-24-2010, 11:57 PM
... Two very UNIQUE players, each truly one of a kind.
Here is a table of the head to head series between him and Connors off of Wikipedia for a reference.
Björn Borg 15-8 Jimmy Connors ...

Because
a) I have so much professional work
and b) I took (and will take again because I haven't finished, far from that) much time to tell some things to pc1, jeffreyneave, Borgforever, AndrewD and urban (the latter I will thank a lot for his nice post),
I just make a very short return to that forum (I will probably come back when I will have finished to prepare my aforementioned posts)
to list the most precise Borg-Connors head-to-head record I have (are missing 2 matches to fit jeffreyneave's stats):

Borg – Connors : 19-23
1973 : 1-0
1974 : 0-1
1975 : 0-2
1976 : 0-4
1977 : 2-1
1978 : 3-2
1979 : 7-0
1980 : 2-1
1981 : 2-1
1982 : 2-7 (Borg had a 3-1 edge on Lendl that year so Borg was still a top player)
1983 : 0-4.

1973 November 9 ?, Stockholm Sweden Indoor Hard S Borg 6-4 3-6 7-6

1974 August 11, Indianapolis IN, U.S.A. Clay F Connors 5-7 6-3 6-4

1975 September 6 ?, US Open NY, U.S.A. Clay S Connors 7-5 7-5 7-5
1975 November 8 ?, Stockholm Sweden Hard S Connors 6-2 7-6

1976 February 1, Philadelphia WCT PA, U.S.A. Indoor Carpet F Connors 7-6(5) 6-4 6-0
1976 March 27 ?, Palm Springs CA, U.S.A. Hard S Connors 6-4 6-1
1976 September 12, US Open NY, U.S.A. Clay F Connors 6-4 3-6 7-6 6-4
1976 between September 30 and October 2 (final October 3) Caracas Round Robin Invitation Venezuela Clay RR Connors 6-4 5-7 6-3

1977 January 23, Pepsi Grand Slam Boca Raton, FL, USA Clay F Borg 6-4 5-7 6-3
1977 July 2, Wimbledon England Grass F Borg 3-6 6-2 6-1 5-7 6-4
1977 (January 8, 1978 ) Masters NY, U.S.A. Indoor Carpet F Connors 6-4 1-6 6-4

1978 January 22, Pepsi Grand Slam FL, U.S.A. Clay F Borg 7-6 3-6 6-1
1978 April 23, Tokyo Suntory Cup, Japan, Indoor Carpet F Borg 6-1 6-2
1978 July 8, Wimbledon England Grass F Borg 6-2 6-2 6-3
1978 September 10, US Open NY, U.S.A. Hard F Connors 6-4 6-2 6-2
1978 September 24, Buenos Aires Argentina Clay F Connors 5-7 6-3 6-3

1979 February 11, Pepsi Grand Slam Boca Raton, FL, USA Clay F Borg 6-2 6-3
1979 April 29, Las Vegas NV, U.S.A. Hard F Borg 6-3 6-2
1979 July 5 ?, Wimbledon England Grass S Borg 6-2 6-3 6-2
1979 November 4, Tokyo Japan Indoor Carpet F Borg 6-2 6-2
1979 December 2, Frankfürt Cup Invitational Tennis Tournament Round Robin, Germany Indoor Carpet F Borg 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-4
1979 December 9, WCT Challenge Cup, Montréal Canada Indoor Carpet F Borg 6-4 6-2 2-6 6-4
1979 (January 9 ?, 1980) Masters NY, U.S.A. Indoor Carpet RR Borg 3-6 6-3 7-6

1980 between February 19 and 23 (final 24), Salisbury MD USA WCT Invitational Indoor Carpet RR Borg 6-3 6-1
1980 March 4 ? or April 3 ? Copenhagen Connors 6-4,6-2
1980 (January 17? , 1981) Masters NY, U.S.A. Indoor Carpet S Borg 6-4 6-7 6-3

1981 February between 4 and 8 ? Toronto CDA Molson Challenge F or SF ? Connors 75 63 (Vitas Gerulaitis (USA) - John McEnroe (USA) 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-3)
1981 July 2 ?, Wimbledon England Grass S Borg 0-6 4-6 6-3 6-0 6-4
1981 September 12 ?, US Open NY, U.S.A. Hard S Borg 6-2 7-5 6-4

1982 July 24, Industry Hills Michelob Light Cup Hard F Connors 5-7 6-2 6-2 6-7 6-2
1982 July 31 Richmond VA USA Outdoor Hard surface ? challenge match Connors 6-4 3-6 7-5 6-3
1982 September 29 Ottawa Canada surface ? challenge match Borg 1-6 6-3 6-3 2-6 6-2
1982 October 3, Montréal Molson Light Challenge Cup (Canada) Hard F Connors 6-4 6-3
1982 month ? day ? San Francisco CA USA Indoor surface ? challenge match, Connors 7-5 7-6
1982 November 14 Seattle Oregon USA Indoor surface ? challenge match, Connors 6-4 4-6 7-5
1982 November 15 Los Angeles challenge match surface ? Connors 63 26 62
1982 November 20 Vancouver challenge match surface ? Connors 62 57 64
1982 (between 4-9 January, 1983 : considered as a 1982 event because held to prepare the Masters 1982 played in the following days) Rosemont Lite Challenge of Champions Indoor surface ? Round Robin Borg 64 16 62

1983, February 5, Baton Rouge (USA, La) exhibition match, Jimmy Connors, 6-7 (7-4), 6-4, 6-3 http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/washingtonpost_historical/access/129776862.html?dids=129776862:129776862&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=FEB+06%2C+1983&author=&pub=The+Washington+Post&desc=Connors+Beats+Borg&pqatl=google : (BATON ROUGE, La., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Jimmy Connors, grasping control of a good-natured exhibition match, defeated five-time Wimbledon champion Bjorn Borg tonight 6-7 (7-4), 6-4, 6-3. It was the fourth match in a five-city warmup tour for Borg, who will retire in April after playing two tournaments.) Therefore 3 match results are unknown
1983 February 6 ? (or June 2 ?) Providence Civic Centre Connors 6-4,6-4
1983 April 6 Seoul South Korea challenge match, surface ? Connors 5-7 6-1 4-6 6-4 7-6
1983 April 11, Tokyo Suntory Cup, Japan, Indoor Carpet F Connors 6-3 6-4

It shows that
when Borg was at his prime he was clearly better than Connors
and when Borg was a little before or past his prime then Connors was the best of the two.
From 1977 to 1981 included Connors beat Borg "only" five times including when Borg was injured (USO 1978 ).
But until 1976 and since 1982 Connors had the edge.
I think that their Wimbledon matches give a good indication of their own respective best level :
when Connors wasn't at his very best he was crushed by the very best Borg in three sets (Wimby 78-79)
and when Connors was at his very best he was very close to prime Borg : Jimbo extended Björn to 5 sets in 1977 and 1981. The last match is considered by many as one of the very best Connors's performances and Borg stated at the end of 2009 that the first one was their best match against each other (http://www.atpchampionstour.com/qa_borg1.html).
Borg at his very best was more consistent than Connors so the latter had few chances to win when the Swede was at his extreme peak.

hoodjem
01-25-2010, 06:29 AM
Does anyone know where is that complete list of Borg (many against McEnroe) exhibition matches?

borg number one
01-25-2010, 06:51 AM
I do remember seeing that list of exhibition matches Hoodjem, and I'll look for it when I get a chance. I remember it being posted, perhaps 6 months or so ago. That was interesting, and I think we were discussing the sheer NUMBER of exhibitions played by Borg and Connors especially. Of course, they probably made quite a bit of money playing them and thrilled lots of fans that normally would not have a "official" tournament in their city.

jeffreyneave
01-25-2010, 07:06 AM
thank you carlo for listing 40 matches.

the other 2 matches are:
copenhagen 4/3 1980 connors won 6-4,6-2
providence civic centre 6/2 1983 connors won 6-4,6-4

connors therefore won 5 matches against borg during borg's peak years of 77-81. connors dominated up to 1976 and for 1982 and 1983. The matches I exclude are their over 35 matches where entry is limited to retired players. Whether matches carry atp points or not is irrelevant (remember their pepsi matches, wct special event matches and their masters matches did not carry atp points); all matches count as far as i'm concerned.

jeffrey

borg number one
01-25-2010, 07:13 AM
Carlo, the information above is excellent. Thank you. I agree with you that Connors was better than "pre-prime" Borg, as eveidenced by his early success head to head against Borg (say before that 1977 Wimbledon Final).

I would not say that "Connors was better than Borg post-peak" though. I don't think that Borg was "past his peak by 1982. He was only 26 at that time, and he did not have any major injuries to overcome. His speed, endurance, and shotmaking skills in 1981 for example had not declined in any way.

In 1982, he was already in the midst of leaving the Tour, due to in my opinion, a combination of some burnout, plus his continued struggle with Tour officials who insisted on a 10 tournament minimum for him and all players. His unwillingness to play that many tournaments in 1982 and beyond, as he wanted to focus on the majors primarily in the years to come, would have been that he would have to QUALIFY for Grand Slam tournaments. That was the "last straw" for Borg.

So, in 1982, this was not a "post-peak" Borg that was losing to Connors in exhibitions, in my opinion. It was not as if Borg could not have returned to top form if he chose to say train, play more tournaments, and play in the Grand Slams, deciding to play at least a minimum of 10 tournaments a year.

In 1982, it was Borg playing some matches, making some money, having decided to leave the Tour. It was basically a "swan song" as Borg had decided to check out. I firmly believe that if Tour officials had compromised some and allowed him to cut back on his schedule for a while, and say only play 7-8 tournaments a year (I believe that was about the number he wanted to play), then that may have changed the equation a bit. Plus, for him the thought of having to qualify for Wimbledon was just too much to bear.

So, in 1982-1983 against Connors, he was simply not competing the way he would have had he decided to REMAIN on the official Tour, fighting for more Grand Slam titles, hence he was losing to Connors most of the time in those exhibitions. If he had continued on the Tour, instead of only playing some exhibitions here and there, I think he would have been fully capable of doing quite well against McEnroe, Lendl, and Connors, being at least on even terms with all three. Remember, his sheer versatility in that he was great on indoor carpet, slow red clay, very fast grass, and even formidable on the fast hard courts at the US Open. His surface versatility even by 1981 would have translated in him continuing to battle for the top spot, with McEnroe and Lendl likely providing the most severe competition for him.

borg number one
01-25-2010, 07:17 AM
Here's the very recent interview from the link that Carlo posted.

http://www.atpchampionstour.com/qa_borg1.html

Bjorn Borg Q&A

Q: Would you like to see a wooden-racquet-only tournament on the ATP Champions Tour?

Bjorn: No, I don’t think so. It’s a great tour as it is. It’s great that we have so many new players joining the ATP Champions Tour. It’s tougher for us against them, but it’s fun to try against them. We had Goran Ivanisevic, Michael Chang and Yevgeny Kafelnikov against me and John in Chengdu, China this week, and it was a great challenge for us. We can still play pretty good tennis!

Q: Would you ever be interested in coaching the Swedish Davis Cup team?

Bjorn: No, they have just made a great choice in Thomas Enqvist to take over from Mats Wilander. If I was to get involved I would probably prefer to work with juniors.

Q: In your opinion, is tennis today as competitive as it was in your era?

Bjorn: Tennis today is very competitive. The difference is that you have many more good players today. Even in the first round these days you can get a difficult match, so it is tougher in that respect.

Q: Did you read John McEnroe’s autobiography? What did you think of it and would you write one yourself?

Bjorn: Yes I did read it. I enjoyed it. I actually knew most of the stories in there because John is a good friend of mine. I read the book though and it was nice. People have been talking to me about writing one for a long time now, but I’m going to wait - there’s no rush! There is still more for me to do first.

Q: What do you think of Juan Martin Del Potro?

Bjorn: He’s been playing well the whole year. I think most people thought Roger would win that final, but he (Del Potro) played really well the whole tournament and he deserved to win it. To play that well in your first Grand Slam final is a really great effort.

Q: If you could play anyone in history when you were at your peak level, who would you like to play?

Bjorn: I think it would be fun for me at my best to have played Rafael Nadal. Maybe on clay! We play a pretty similar game so it would have been nice. I would have liked to have played Roger as well. Who would have won? I have no idea!

Q: What was the best match you ever played against Jimmy Connors?

Bjorn: We had a lot of good matches. I think the 1977 Wimbledon final - I won in five sets, 6-4 in the fifth. He was a great competitor, we brought out the best in each other, and that was a great match.

pc1
01-25-2010, 08:19 AM
Just a few observations on the last few posts. I've seen the 1978 Wimbledon final numerous times and I'm of the opinion that Connors played about as well as he could and still was beaten badly. Many were also of the opinion that Connors couldn't play better in the 1979 Wimbledon semi that both played and Connors only won seven games in three sets. Of course all of this is opinion but many feel Borg's best was FAR BETTER than Connors' best.

The 1977 Wimbledon final was truly a great competitive match. Borg probably was a bit tired due to his match with Vitas Gerulaitis that he won in five sets but that's besides the point. I felt at that point in time that Borg was only a bit better than Connors on grass and that Connors' best would be very competitive against Borg. In 1978 you could see that Borg made a quantum leap in strength to where not just me, but many others felt Borg was far superior to Connors on any surface.

Second, it's really hard to figure out what is truly an exhibition and what is not. The Pepsi Grand Slam was a true competition and should be treated that way, as far as some other competitions, well it's debatable whether they were exhibitions or not. I'm not sure the matches Connors played with Borg in 1982 and 1983 were just competitions or just a way for Borg to get back in shape for a potential return.

My point is this, head to head is interesting but we must know what is a legit head to head and if it is meaningful.

For example I have competed in some competitions against a friend and he has never beaten me when I try. However when we play casually he beats me quite often because I really don't care. He could never beat me if I'm trying somewhat hard in this sport and by the way, it's not tennis.

Was this the case with Borg and Connors? Who knows? Was Borg using it as a practice session, who knows?

Justdoit10
01-25-2010, 02:55 PM
Borg was amazing. He was about as cool as a Tennis player can get. I never watched him play but I always enjoy tennis channels replays of his matches from the late 70s and early 80s.

krosero
01-25-2010, 05:51 PM
The matches I exclude are their over 35 matches where entry is limited to retired players. Certainly there's no need to include those matches, but just to talk about methodology a little more: this separation of the 35-and-over tour is just as much a human decision as anything else. It has problems (or limits) too.

Firstly, the rule comes from a governing body, who chose the age of 35 and the requirement of being retired from "official" matches. So even here we come back to the concept of official ATP matches; and you're using that concept here, to mark a dividing line between matches that should and should not be counted.

Secondly, the age of 35 is just a number chosen by someone. It's not unreasonable, but look at what happens in the particular cases of Borg and Connors. Long before Borg reached 35, he had left his best tennis behind. Connors, for some years after he reached 35, continued to play top-quality professional tennis (reaching as far as the semis of Slams). What if Borg had continued playing Connors in exos through the late 80s (did they do that?), before either one of them turned 35. Should those count? With every passing year Borg became more a shadow of himself and any tennis confrontations after he left behind the official tour increasingly lose meaning. So should they be counted?

And what about exos that the two might play today, not on any senior tour, but simply arranged for entertainment and profit like any typical exo? No one thinks they should be counted, but the reason is obviously not due to the senior tour rules -- it's just because we make our own decisions about when Borg and Connors have meaningfully left behind their best tennis and have really started playing, I guess you could say, just for fun and dollars.

I'm not objecting to your list as it stands, by the way. 1983 strikes me as a reasonably good time to stop counting the H2H. I'm just pointing out that the dividing line doesn't pick itself out; we have to pick it out, and it is no more "objective" (no more real) than the human decisions made at the ATP about what "official" matches are.

Whether matches carry atp points or not is irrelevant (remember their pepsi matches, wct special event matches and their masters matches did not carry atp points); all matches count as far as i'm concerned.I can't call the atp points irrelevant simply because they're in the record book now, and they formed much of Connors' most striking records: all those consecutive weeks at #1. That counts for something, both today and, I guess, for Connors back then, when he made his choices about what to play, and how much effort to put into the events (though I can't speak to that directly). In some way I'm sure the atp points counted for Borg too.

Of course, there were no atp points at the Masters, but that tournament was so important that no one needed computer points to feel motivated for it (or to feel the pressure). None of this means that the computer points are meaningless -- only that the ATP did not consistently hand out computer points in matches that they sanctioned.

Finally, I think the particular case of Borg makes this whole issue really interesting, because he retired so young. When he retired and merely played exhibitions, he was basically considered gone from the game. Finished. Absent. Retired. The continuing exos were not considered by anyone important enough to be able to say, meaningfully, that he was still in the game. He was gone.

I think that just shows the great contrast between sanctioned and unsanctioned matches. Sanctioned matches -- even if there's inconsistency in how they're sanctioned -- are just a whole different animal from exos standing alone.

And exos seem to be most important while a player is active on the "official" tour, because the exos are seen as giving some "preview" to the real matches. In other words -- exos have some meaning and should be counted, but even so they derive most of their meaning from what we call official confrontations.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
01-25-2010, 11:37 PM
Does anyone know where is that complete list of Borg (many against McEnroe) exhibition matches?

Hello hoodjem : See what I listed in http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=3967793&postcount=477

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
01-25-2010, 11:52 PM
Just a few observations on the last few posts. I've seen the 1978 Wimbledon final numerous times and I'm of the opinion that Connors played about as well as he could and still was beaten badly. Many were also of the opinion that Connors couldn't play better in the 1979 Wimbledon semi that both played and Connors only won seven games in three sets. Of course all of this is opinion but many feel Borg's best was FAR BETTER than Connors' best.

The 1977 Wimbledon final was truly a great competitive match. Borg probably was a bit tired due to his match with Vitas Gerulaitis that he won in five sets but that's besides the point. I felt at that point in time that Borg was only a bit better than Connors on grass and that Connors' best would be very competitive against Borg. In 1978 you could see that Borg made a quantum leap in strength to where not just me, but many others felt Borg was far superior to Connors on any surface.

Second, it's really hard to figure out what is truly an exhibition and what is not. The Pepsi Grand Slam was a true competition and should be treated that way, as far as some other competitions, well it's debatable whether they were exhibitions or not. I'm not sure the matches Connors played with Borg in 1982 and 1983 were just competitions or just a way for Borg to get back in shape for a potential return.

My point is this, head to head is interesting but we must know what is a legit head to head and if it is meaningful.

For example I have competed in some competitions against a friend and he has never beaten me when I try. However when we play casually he beats me quite often because I really don't care. He could never beat me if I'm trying somewhat hard in this sport and by the way, it's not tennis.

Was this the case with Borg and Connors? Who knows? Was Borg using it as a practice session, who knows?

Yes Borg's retirement was a sad affair because one will never know what he could have really done in the years following 1981.
About the exhibition matches it is clear that Borg never gave them as much importance as a Wimby match but I remember one exxo against Vilas (circa 1980) where he "let" the Argentinian even the score but when they reached 4-all in the deciding set then Borg made all his possible to win the match (and did it). As many he hated to lose even though it didn't matter much but of course he didn't put as much energy, far from that, to win an exhibition or invitational match than a Slam match.
And in 1982 it seems that he was pretty burn-out : remember his match against Noah in Monte Carlo (though an official match), pretty demonstrative. However when the Swede met again Jimbo at the Industry Hills Michelob Light Cup in July 1982 Connors was pretty amazed by Borg's level and told Björn that he likely had been training hard to play as well so Borg could still play well in 1982 with the AKAI performance being possibly his best that year.
About his 1978 and 1979 Wimby matches it is true that Borg played pretty well but it is also the opinion of many that Connors played awfully well in the first two sets of their 1981 match and I'm not sure at all that the very best Borg would have lost only 3 or 2 games a set on that occasion. As you say it's an opinion but I think that Connors played much better in these two sets in 1981 than he did in 1978 and 1979 in any set. His tie-breaker in the 4th set and the following games in the 5th set in the 1982 Wimby final (against Mac) were impressive too.

urban
01-26-2010, 12:44 AM
Agree with Carlo. Especially, Connors tightened his serve in 1982. He served very well at Queens and Wimbledon that year, maybe his best serving of his career. I think, in this discussion nobody would rank Connors above Borg. I never thought about those 82/83 matches, because they were outside of the majot tour. On the other side, the factor that Borg won some of these exxos over Mac or Connors, doesn't indicate, that he would still be a dominant player on the tour. The sporadic regular tour matches showed, that he had a case of burn-out, and also in those years the equipment change to graphite would make it even more difficult for Borg on the main tour, because later in his comeback he seemd quite stubborn to stick with wood or slow to adapt.

borg number one
01-26-2010, 03:57 AM
Urban, yes, Borg was definitely STUBBORN in the early 1990's when he was playing with a Donnay Borg Pro, but he was in such a strange period back then. I actually have a picture of him hitting with a red graphite frame, taken at River Oaks in Houston at about the same period, so perhaps he was experimenting with one AFTER his bad showing at Monte Carlo back then. I think that was a little after he flamed out in Monte Carlo. When he was hitting here at River Oaks, he wore ALL WHITE clothes, with absolutely no logos, and I think it was perhaps a Donnay Graphite Frame he was trying out (similar to the Agassi Donnay frame that he used for a while). He realized that even though he had been stubborn in Monte Carlo, he HAD to go to graphite.

We are purely speculating here, but do you actually think that IF Borg had stayed on the Tour past 1982 or so, that he would have stuck with his Borg Pro without modifications, while the rest of the Tour moved to graphite, say by 1983-1984 at least? I don't think you could use the Monte Carlo tourney or the other matches (about 13 I believe) in the early 1990's as an indication that ONLY he would have stuck with a wood racquet in the period when all players were switching to graphite frames. That's possible, but it may not be a good assumption.

If he had decided to dedicate himself to the Tour from 1982 onwards, I would think that he would have been at least as likely to consult with racquet makers at Donnay or another company, if he desired so that they could tailor a graphite frame for him. Why would he have been one of the last players with a wood racquet? He would look for any possible edge. If his Game would have benefiited, he was one to "shift racquets" to make changes in his game. For example, he switched to the Borg Pro, and of course, he used a Bancroft in the U.S., that was a pretty stiff wood frame, during the late 1970's only. So, he could make adaptations, in terms of his racquet. All the players from the "wood era" had to make the transition AND DID. Why would Borg be the 1 guy that bucked that trend and simply sat back as the racquets passed him by?

I know Connors hung on to his T-2000 till what about 1983-1984 or so? McEnroe also loved his wood racquets, but switched to his Dunlop Max 200G graphite frame by late 1983-early 1984 after he hit with his brother's frame. Lendl also switched to graphite by the same time. If I'm not mistaken, his Adidas frame in the 1981 French Open Final was a graphite composite frame (more graphite than wood or almost pure graphite) vs. Borg's Donnay Pro (with some graphite inlays, but it was not "primarily" a graphite frame).

So, IF he had remained on the Tour "full bore" in 1982 and beyond, he could have also switched frames to "keep up" with technology. Everyone else did it, why not him? His "stubborness" in the early 1990's, I would argue, is not very conclusive when it comes to that question. I don't see him BOTH remaining on Tour AND suffering losses due to an unwillingness to try graphite and make the switch. That would not make much sense at all, and as competitive as Borg was, I don't think he would have just sit back and fallen way behind in terms of racquet technology.

I do agree that in 1982, he was suffering from burnout. No doubt about that. He speaks to that in interviews. That's why he was lobbying for playing less than 10 tournaments a year, but he did not win that argument with Tour Organizers, which forced him into the decision he ultimately made. A pared down schedule, with the realization that he did not HAVE TO play at least 10 tournaments a year, may have changed his mind. That was a big issue for him, so a leave, with some down time, and training, plus a shift in racquets would have likely been necessary for him to continue winning Grand Slams say in the period from 1982-1985.

That's another 4 years of competition, with a full switch to graphite by about 1984. If he played through 1985, he would have still been under 30. In my estimation, that's a plausible "what if" scenario. He did not HAVE TO leave the game fully and necessarily stick with a wood racquet, but he chose his path. Of course, a more accomodating Tour may have changed the path he chose, but they certainly didn't make staying on the Tour a easy path to take, because he obviously wanted to just focus primarily on the Slams by then. Think of it this way, Federer is sort of like that NOW. I believe he played about 8 tournaments last year, and of course focused on the Slams. Borg's meteoric rise meant that he like Federer, had been at the top of the game, winning Slams for several years, even though he was only 25. After being a grand slam champion/top player for several years (1976-1981), it really became all about the Grand Slams for Borg. I don't think he relished having to play at least 10 tournaments a year, without much real down time.

pc1
01-26-2010, 04:24 AM
Yes Borg's retirement was a sad affair because one will never know what he could have really done in the years following 1981.
About the exhibition matches it is clear that Borg never gave them as much importance as a Wimby match but I remember one exxo against Vilas (circa 1980) where he "let" the Argentinian even the score but when they reached 4-all in the deciding set then Borg made all his possible to win the match (and did it). As many he hated to lose even though it didn't matter much but of course he didn't put as much energy, far from that, to win an exhibition or invitational match than a Slam match.
And in 1982 it seems that he was pretty burn-out : remember his match against Noah in Monte Carlo (though an official match), pretty demonstrative. However when the Swede met again Jimbo at the Industry Hills Michelob Light Cup in July 1982 Connors was pretty amazed by Borg's level and told Björn that he likely had been training hard to play as well so Borg could still play well in 1982 with the AKAI performance being possibly his best that year.
About his 1978 and 1979 Wimby matches it is true that Borg played pretty well but it is also the opinion of many that Connors played awfully well in the first two sets of their 1981 match and I'm not sure at all that the very best Borg would have lost only 3 or 2 games a set on that occasion. As you say it's an opinion but I think that Connors played much better in these two sets in 1981 than he did in 1978 and 1979 in any set. His tie-breaker in the 4th set and the following games in the 5th set in the 1982 Wimby final (against Mac) were impressive too.

I'm glad you pointed out the 1981 Wimbledon match. I actually feel that the level of play overall in that match probably was superior to their 1977 Wimbledon final. It may have been the best match Borg and Connors played against each other. Borg as we all know accelerated and won the last three sets with the loss of only seven games.

jeffreyneave
01-26-2010, 06:40 AM
i saw all of their wimbledon matches. Connors played his best tennis in the 1981 match and his worst in the 1979 match. The only problem connors had in 1981 was his service which had no penetration on it; connors only served one ace and that was a second serve. In contrast borg's first serve produced 16 aces and lots of penetration when he got it in. In 1982 connors improved his serve tossing the ball more forward. In both queens and wimbledon finals against Mcenroe his serve won lots of cheap points. I think one of the reasons connors did better in 1982 against borg would be his improved service.

jeffrey

paolo2143
01-26-2010, 06:50 AM
to be honest i question using exhibition matches of any kind in h2h as we know from the likes of mcenroe that players sometimes openly discussed how they would split first 2 sets on ocassions and just play out 3rd or sometimes not even try that hard.However one thing is for certain there is no way the matches between them in 82/83 should be counted as obviously borg was at severe disadvantage as even though he was still playing some tennis he had not played regular competive matches on any consistent basis from about sept 1981 wheras connors was still playing full out on the tour.

As an example my friend and i used to play snooker and he had clear advantage in h2h matches then he decided to stop playing for almost year and then he started playing but nowwhere near as regular again for short spell where i racked him a lot of wins against him but did i count them in my h2h against him the answer is no because we were not playing anywhere near on equal footing and in my heart of hearts i knew his level had dropped noticeably due to practice and lack of match toughness.

I would say if we look at 1974-1981 intiially connors had clear edge over borg but as soon as borg started reaching near his peak in 76 borg took over and pretty much totally dominated connors in the matches that really mattered.

in my all time ranking list i have borg ahead of connors but certainly not by much as connors was a great great player

pc1
01-26-2010, 07:34 AM
i saw all of their wimbledon matches. Connors played his best tennis in the 1981 match and his worst in the 1979 match. The only problem connors had in 1981 was his service which had no penetration on it; connors only served one ace and that was a second serve. In contrast borg's first serve produced 16 aces and lots of penetration when he got it in. In 1982 connors improved his serve tossing the ball more forward. In both queens and wimbledon finals against Mcenroe his serve won lots of cheap points. I think one of the reasons connors did better in 1982 against borg would be his improved service.

jeffrey

Only one problem, I think Connors was a superior player in 78 and 79 to 81. I saw the 78 Wimbledon and 81 Wimbledon matches. While I think Connors played extremely well in both matches, I am not sure if he played any better in 81 than in 78. Jimmy's serve was a bit better but it was never really good and easily returnable by a top pro. For example in the 1984 US Open semi, McEnroe was constantly taking Connors' first serve and approaching the net. If you check the won-lost records, clearly Connors had better records in 78 for example than 1981. As far as Jimmy's play in the 1979 Wimbledon as Borg, a number of people who witnessed that match commented that Connors could not play any better and was crushed. It wasn't just one person but a number of tennis writers.

I think the major difference in Connors defeating McEnroe in the 1982 matches was that he approached the net more often and therefore didn't allow McEnroe to take the net at will. This would be much harder to do against Borg's superior return and passing shots.

I saw the US Open final that year and the next year. Frankly Connors' serve wasn't really that noticeably better. I was at courtside in the 1983 US Open final and the Connors serve wasn't great. Although he did serve a few aces in that match. I'm not sure if that was because they were good serves or because Lendl had almost given up because of the crowd and the extreme heat.

pc1
01-26-2010, 07:43 AM
One thing about Connors that you have to respect is his virtually perfect groundstrokes and his great groundstroking form. He hit sure penetrating shots and had so much accuracy, especially on his backhand. He never had the greatest serve, it was always below average but he moved it around and it wasn't easily attackable. On a hard court, I would favor Connors in his prime over many players today. Would anyone bet their life savings that Nadal would defeat a young Connors at the US Open? Off the ground I think Connors can match anyone playing today.

krosero
01-26-2010, 03:37 PM
i saw all of their wimbledon matches. Connors played his best tennis in the 1981 match and his worst in the 1979 match. The only problem connors had in 1981 was his service which had no penetration on it; connors only served one ace and that was a second serve. In contrast borg's first serve produced 16 aces and lots of penetration when he got it in. In 1982 connors improved his serve tossing the ball more forward. In both queens and wimbledon finals against Mcenroe his serve won lots of cheap points. I think one of the reasons connors did better in 1982 against borg would be his improved service.

jeffreyI've had the same impression watching those matches: Connors played his best in '81 and his worst in '79. Not that he played BADLY of course. But in '79, compared to '78, he looks off, like he can't sustain his level of play.

In '78 he played pretty decently, although he wasn't happy with his service. He was asked about it after the match and he said, "It took a day off" (per NY Times).

But then he didn't serve especially well in the '81 match, either. He was spinning the ball in very softly.

I don't disagree with the general opinion that Connors improved his serve in '82. However it did cost him a lot of double-faults.

These are his numbers for his W losses to Borg and his win over Mac in '82:

1978: 0 aces, 4 doubles
1979: 3 aces, 2 doubles
1981: 1 ace, 2 doubles
1982: 0 aces, 13 doubles

borg number one
01-26-2010, 03:46 PM
See some tough to find video of the 1981 Wimbledon semifinal match between Connors and Borg (not much). It was definitely a "slugfest"! Borg wins the match 0-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0, 6-4 as a prelude to his loss to McEnroe in the 1981 final, which brought his amazing run there to an end after 5 titles, as he went for 6 straight. The win over Connors brought his five set record to 22-4!!!!

http://video.search.yahoo.com/video/play?p=borg+connors&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-701&tnr=21&vid=0001548679652

pc1
01-26-2010, 04:34 PM
I've had the same impression watching those matches: Connors played his best in '81 and his worst in '79. Not that he played BADLY of course. But in '79, compared to '78, he looks off, like he can't sustain his level of play.

In '78 he played pretty decently, although he wasn't happy with his service. He was asked about it after the match and he said, "It took a day off" (per NY Times).

But then he didn't serve especially well in the '81 match, either. He was spinning the ball in very softly.

I don't disagree with the general opinion that Connors improved his serve in '82. However it did cost him a lot of double-faults.

These are his numbers for his W losses to Borg and his win over Mac in '82:

1978: 0 aces, 4 doubles
1979: 3 aces, 2 doubles
1981: 1 ace, 2 doubles
1982: 0 aces, 13 doubles

If you say Connors was off in 1979 I will take it as fact.

jrepac
01-26-2010, 05:42 PM
Fascinating thread here w/great match score info...pro and exos...while I tend to put Bjorn ahead of Jimmy on any GOAT list, it's not like Bjorn is miles and miles ahead...to refer to Connors as a "lesser" player is a bit troubling, I think.

Bjorn was really dominant from '79-81, a fairly limited window when he really hit his peak. Prior to then, Jimmy won his "fair share" of matches. We should not discount or diminish Connors' vastly improved play in '82 and into '83. He was remarkable in '82 as he improved his serve and started to really mix up his game quite a bit more. I saw many of the exos between Bjorn and Jimmy and thought they were pretty competitive...Jimmy was the better player in '82, no doubt, and maybe in part because Bjorn was not tour sharp, possible burnout, etc. Still, pride and money were at stake. But, beating Mac at Queens and Wimby at that stage of his career was quite amazing...he was an "old man" by most accounts...who knew he'd be out there for another 10 years plus?

When Bjorn joined the Seniors Tour, I was pleased and amazed. Amazed by the fact that it really took him some time to get up to par against Jimmy in their matches...he was really that good at 40yrs old and Bjorn had not kept up over the years. Once Bjorn took it seriously and got into fighting shape, they played some good ones that were simply a pleasure to watch.

It really was a great rivalry and a fascinating match up.

And, if I had to bet my life on a younger Connors vs. Nadal, I'd put my money on Jimmy, no doubt. Would be a doozy of a match on a medium speed surface (clay would tip it to Nadal, grass would tip it to Jimmy, I tend to think).

:)

pc1
01-26-2010, 05:59 PM
Fascinating thread here w/great match score info...pro and exos...while I tend to put Bjorn ahead of Jimmy on any GOAT list, it's not like Bjorn is miles and miles ahead...to refer to Connors as a "lesser" player is a bit troubling, I think.

Bjorn was really dominant from '79-81, a fairly limited window when he really hit his peak. Prior to then, Jimmy won his "fair share" of matches. We should not discount or diminish Connors' vastly improved play in '82 and into '83. He was remarkable in '82 as he improved his serve and started to really mix up his game quite a bit more. I saw many of the exos between Bjorn and Jimmy and thought they were pretty competitive...Jimmy was the better player in '82, no doubt, and maybe in part because Bjorn was not tour sharp, possible burnout, etc. Still, pride and money were at stake. But, beating Mac at Queens and Wimby at that stage of his career was quite amazing...he was an "old man" by most accounts...who knew he'd be out there for another 10 years plus?

When Bjorn joined the Seniors Tour, I was pleased and amazed. Amazed by the fact that it really took him some time to get up to par against Jimmy in their matches...he was really that good at 40yrs old and Bjorn had not kept up over the years. Once Bjorn took it seriously and got into fighting shape, they played some good ones that were simply a pleasure to watch.

It really was a great rivalry and a fascinating match up.

And, if I had to bet my life on a younger Connors vs. Nadal, I'd put my money on Jimmy, no doubt. Would be a doozy of a match on a medium speed surface (clay would tip it to Nadal, grass would tip it to Jimmy, I tend to think).

:)

jrepac my friend,

Borg was pretty dominant from 77 to 80 as far as winning percentage was concerned with I believe an over 90% winning percentage in each year. He was also very strong in 74, 75, 76 and 81 winning a major each year. Essentially Borg was a very dominant or excellent player every year of his career. In 1978 he won over 66% of his games played which is by far the highest of the Open Era. From 78 to 80 he averaged winning over 65% of his games played. To put this in perspective, Federer best year as far as Games Won Percentage is 61% which is a few miles behind Borg. Borg wasn't just dominant in his best years, he had perhaps the greatest dominance of the Open Era. Only Tony Trabert in I believe 1955 and Frank Sedgman in 1952 had a higher Games Won Percentage than Borg in 1978 and that was in the Amateur ranks.

Borg won the French and Wimbledon three years in a row from 1978 to 1980 and in 1978 he also won the Italian Open. During this time he didn't play the Australian and yet he still won 11 majors and the current count is 106 tournaments won according to Andrew Tas.

So I wouldn't call eight years of some of the best tennis played a short window.

Yes a Connors-Nadal match would to quote Charlie Brown "stagger the imagination." I think the most even surface for both would be on the current Australian Open surface. On red clay Nadal would be the clear favorite and on decoturf at the US Open I would favor Connors. On grass it would depend on which grass surface but it would be fun either way.

borg number one
01-27-2010, 07:11 AM
^^^^Excellent posts Jrepac and PC1.

Jrepac, I think PC1's point regarding Borg's "window" actually being all the way from 1976-1981 is accurate. PC1, your point about % games won by Borg is very interesting, and something many do not factor in when assessing true "dominance". I know Borg retired early, but he also has the highest overall match winning percentage of any player in the open era (around 80%-81%, I'll look for the exact figure), and of course he won about 40% of the GS tournaments he ever played in, and about 90% of the GS matches he ever played! The guy had VERY FEW bad losses at Grand Slams and avoided a bunch of losses as he was "climbing the ladder" in his early years.

Basically, the guy went from being the top junior in the world (winning Junior Wimbledon) and then went on the Tour and quickly became a force to be reckoned with, and then he went to the very top in a meteoric rise. All the guy knew was winning, from the get go! Amazingly, if you look at those figures, I would argue that if Borg had continued playing from age 25 to even 28-30, while making the need racquet switch, and taking some time off to avoid burnout, he may very well have maintained those percentages above, or had them drop, but not by much. Since he had already amassed so many matches (700+ by 25), if he had played a cut back schedule, those percentages would not have changed too much. Try out the math for yourself. Nastase famously said, "The rest of us, we play Tennis. Borg plays something else..".

Yet, Jrepac, your point as to Connors not being too far behind Borg as a player, I think, is a very good assessment. The guy was no slouch. At his best, I think he would have given fits to even the top players of today, as would Borg and McEnroe. He was that good and that competitive. Borg had the utmost respect for "Jimmy" and he would often repeat how much of a fighter he was. So, actually, in my opinion, Connors should be comfortably included among the top 10-15 players on a hypothetical greatest players of all time list.

See, that's what I see missing from so many of the very top players (in recent years), besides Federer and then Nadal. They tend to fold/wilt/give when it comes to crunch time at the Grand Slams. With Borg, McEnroe, Connors, and then Lendl (even in 1980-1981) you NEVER saw that. You would have to just physically grab the match to expect to win. They would GIVE YOU ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!! Plus, they each had unbelievable talent/skill.

With Connors for example, you had to try and kill the guy on the court to expect to put him away. He'd fight Borg and McEnroe every point, every step of the way. His trademark strategy was to always look for angles/placement (often with bruising force) that would make his opponent run the farthest possible distances. For example, he would hit it short to someone's backhand, and then deep to the forehand, followed by a short angled shot to the forehand, and then AGAIN, way deep to the backhand, and it would go on and on, point after point, with absolutely no give from Connors. He really did treat every match like a street fight. Connors, Borg, and McEnroe especially, through years of competition with each other, and such tough match ups, were so "grizzled" , and intelligent about their play. We may not have a group of players like that at the top for a very long time.

Federer, Nadal, and perhaps Murray now have the potential to become a fascinating trio at the top, but we'll see if Murray blossoms into a great player at the slams, whether Nadal can avoid bad injury problems, and whether Federer can maintain his level of play for at least a couple of more years. We can only hope that transpires, as it would be great for the Game.

jrepac
01-27-2010, 11:05 AM
jrepac my friend,

Borg was pretty dominant from 77 to 80 as far as winning percentage was concerned with I believe an over 90% winning percentage in each year. He was also very strong in 74, 75, 76 and 81 winning a major each year. Essentially Borg was a very dominant or excellent player every year of his career. In 1978 he won over 66% of his games played which is by far the highest of the Open Era. From 78 to 80 he averaged winning over 65% of his games played. To put this in perspective, Federer best year as far as Games Won Percentage is 61% which is a few miles behind Borg. Borg wasn't just dominant in his best years, he had perhaps the greatest dominance of the Open Era. Only Tony Trabert in I believe 1955 and Frank Sedgman in 1952 had a higher Games Won Percentage than Borg in 1978 and that was in the Amateur ranks.

Borg won the French and Wimbledon three years in a row from 1978 to 1980 and in 1978 he also won the Italian Open. During this time he didn't play the Australian and yet he still won 11 majors and the current count is 106 tournaments won according to Andrew Tas.

So I wouldn't call eight years of some of the best tennis played a short window.

Yes a Connors-Nadal match would to quote Charlie Brown "stagger the imagination." I think the most even surface for both would be on the current Australian Open surface. On red clay Nadal would be the clear favorite and on decoturf at the US Open I would favor Connors. On grass it would depend on which grass surface but it would be fun either way.

Oh, I'm not questioning the excellence of Borg...I was thinking more about the head to head w/Connors...from '79 to '81, I don't think Jimmy won a single tour match against him, no? Earlier in Borg's career, Jimmy could still tag him now and again, despite the fact that he was an RG and Wimby winner...75/76/77/78, Connors was still winning some against him. So, the "window" I refer to is really when he was clearly one step above Jimbo who could not touch him at that point [which was kind of scary, actually]. Was not suggesting that prior to then he was anything less than a superb player.

But, once he left the game in '82, it seems he never regained that form (or maybe did not try to?). And, seemed like his departure just totally re-ignited Connors "comeback". Lots of psychology at work there, U betcha.

pc1
01-27-2010, 11:11 AM
^^^^Excellent posts Jrepac and PC1.

Jrepac, I think PC1's point regarding Borg's "window" actually being all the way from 1976-1981 is accurate. PC1, your point about % games won by Borg is very interesting, and something many do not factor in when assessing true "dominance". I know Borg retired early, but he also has the highest overall match winning percentage of any player in the open era (around 80%-81%, I'll look for the exact figure), and of course he won about 40% of the GS tournaments he ever played in, and about 90% of the GS matches he ever played! The guy had VERY FEW bad losses at Grand Slams and avoided a bunch of losses as he was "climbing the ladder" in his early years.

Basically, the guy went from being the top junior in the world (winning Junior Wimbledon) and then went on the Tour and quickly became a force to be reckoned with, and then he went to the very top in a meteoric rise. All the guy knew was winning, from the get go! Amazingly, if you look at those figures, I would argue that if Borg had continued playing from age 25 to even 28-30, while making the need racquet switch, and taking some time off to avoid burnout, he may very well have maintained those percentages above, or had them drop, but not by much. Since he had already amassed so many matches (700+ by 25), if he had played a cut back schedule, those percentages would not have changed too much. Try out the math for yourself. Nastase famously said, "The rest of us, we play Tennis. Borg plays something else..".

Yet, Jrepac, your point as to Connors not being too far behind Borg as a player, I think, is a very good assessment. The guy was no slouch. At his best, I think he would have given fits to even the top players of today, as would Borg and McEnroe. He was that good and that competitive. Borg had the utmost respect for "Jimmy" and he would often repeat how much of a fighter he was. So, actually, in my opinion, Connors should be comfortably included among the top 10-15 players on a hypothetical greatest players of all time list.

See, that's what I see missing from so many of the very top players (in recent years), besides Federer and then Nadal. They tend to fold/wilt/give when it comes to crunch time at the Grand Slams. With Borg, McEnroe, Connors, and then Lendl (even in 1980-1981) you NEVER saw that. You would have to just physically grab the match to expect to win. They would GIVE YOU ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!! Plus, they each had unbelievable talent/skill.

With Connors for example, you had to try and kill the guy on the court to expect to put him away. He'd fight Borg and McEnroe every point, every step of the way. His trademark strategy was to always look for angles/placement (often with bruising force) that would make his opponent run the farthest possible distances. For example, he would hit it short to someone's backhand, and then deep to the forehand, followed by a short angled shot to the forehand, and then AGAIN, way deep to the backhand, and it would go on and on, point after point, with absolutely no give from Connors. He really did treat every match like a street fight. Connors, Borg, and McEnroe especially, through years of competition with each other, and such tough match ups, were so "grizzled" , and intelligent about their play. We may not have a group of players like that at the top for a very long time.

Federer, Nadal, and perhaps Murray now have the potential to become a fascinating trio at the top, but we'll see if Murray blossoms into a great player at the slams, whether Nadal can avoid bad injury problems, and whether Federer can maintain his level of play for at least a couple of more years. We can only hope that transpires, as it would be great for the Game.

Borg Number One, to be honest when Borg and Connors were at their best I really thought Borg was clearly the better player as far as top level is concerned and overall average level of play. I don't think it was that close.

During those years it was quite common for Borg to defeat Connors with scores of 6-2 6-3 and yet Connors would be playing at top or near top level. Connors to his credit almost never lost to anyone else but Borg. Borg was beyond Connors. Connors' Games Won Percentages in those days were several percentage points behind Borg and that's a gap as wide as the ocean. No, I don't think there were close. Connors' best in GW percentage I believe was around 63%. Borg averaged over 65% for years with a high of over 66%. It's like a guy in baseball who hits .320 and another guy who hits .400. It's not close.

The best example of Borg's dominance over Connors in that era were Krosero's great video of the Pepsi in 1979.

Notice how pure and solid Connors hits the ball yet he can do nothing to Borg. Yes it is on Har Tru but it would be the same on grass in those days also.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTMx--E0OhY

jrepac
01-27-2010, 11:16 AM
^^^^E

[B]See, that's what I see missing from so many of the very top players (in recent years), besides Federer and then Nadal. They tend to fold/wilt/give when it comes to crunch time at the Grand Slams. With Borg, McEnroe, Connors, and then Lendl (even in 1980-1981) you NEVER saw that. You would have to just physically grab the match to expect to win. They would GIVE YOU ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!! Plus, they each had unbelievable talent/skill.

With Connors for example, you had to try and kill the guy on the court to expect to put him away. He'd fight Borg and McEnroe every point, every step of the way. His trademark strategy was to always look for angles/placement (often with bruising force) that would make his opponent run the farthest possible distances. For example, he would hit it short to someone's backhand, and then deep to the forehand, followed by a short angled shot to the forehand, and then AGAIN, way deep to the backhand, and it would go on and on, point after point, with absolutely no give from Connors. He really did treat every match like a street fight. Connors, Borg, and McEnroe especially, through years of competition with each other, and such tough match ups, were so "grizzled" , and intelligent about their play. We may not have a group of players like that at the top for a very long time.

Federer, Nadal, and perhaps Murray now have the potential to become a fascinating trio at the top, but we'll see if Murray blossoms into a great player at the slams, whether Nadal can avoid bad injury problems, and whether Federer can maintain his level of play for at least a couple of more years. We can only hope that transpires, as it would be great for the Game.

And, this is why I maintain that the best, most exciting era of tennis was late 70's into mid-80's...you had a group of GOAT contenders consistently battling for the slams and you never quite knew who would be coming out on top. I always felt the "distance" between Borg, Mac and Connors as all time greats was really not that much...when they played each other, they knew they had to bring it. And, I'd even give Lendl credit here...these 3 guys pushed him to become a much better player in the late 80's. He always gets dinged for his GS losses, losses at Wimby, etc., but LOOK at WHO he lost to!

The current group of fellows are a bit too fragile, I think. In the case of Rafa, it is looking like his body is fragile. I give Fed tons of credit for his consistency...23 semis in a row tells you that his heart is in it, even if his game is not always 100%. But the other guys? Not so sure. Murray is a real big wild card and will take some time to see if DelPo is not a flash in the pan (I don't think so, but who knows?)

pc1
01-27-2010, 03:24 PM
And, this is why I maintain that the best, most exciting era of tennis was late 70's into mid-80's...you had a group of GOAT contenders consistently battling for the slams and you never quite knew who would be coming out on top. I always felt the "distance" between Borg, Mac and Connors as all time greats was really not that much...when they played each other, they knew they had to bring it. And, I'd even give Lendl credit here...these 3 guys pushed him to become a much better player in the late 80's. He always gets dinged for his GS losses, losses at Wimby, etc., but LOOK at WHO he lost to!

The current group of fellows are a bit too fragile, I think. In the case of Rafa, it is looking like his body is fragile. I give Fed tons of credit for his consistency...23 semis in a row tells you that his heart is in it, even if his game is not always 100%. But the other guys? Not so sure. Murray is a real big wild card and will take some time to see if DelPo is not a flash in the pan (I don't think so, but who knows?)

Great points. I hope Rafa can recover from his constant injuries but right now it seems to me that Murray is the leading challenger to Federer.

krosero
01-27-2010, 04:27 PM
It seems that Connors had his best success against peak Borg on carpet. At the two Masters that Borg won, he was pushed by Connors to 7-6 in the third and 6-3 in the third.

And the Masters was the site of Jimmy's last (sanctioned) win over a non-injured Borg, in January '78.

hoodjem
01-27-2010, 07:41 PM
We are purely speculating here, but do you actually think that IF Borg had stayed on the Tour past 1982 or so, that he would have stuck with his Borg Pro without modifications, while the rest of the Tour moved to graphite, say by 1983-1984 at least? I don't think you could use the Monte Carlo tourney or the other matches (about 13 I believe) in the early 1990's as an indication that ONLY he would have stuck with a wood racquet in the period when all players were switching to graphite frames. That's possible, but it may not be a good assumption.

If he had decided to dedicate himself to the Tour from 1982 onwards, I would think that he would have been at least as likely to consult with racquet makers at Donnay or another company, if he desired so that they could tailor a graphite frame for him. Why would he have been one of the last players with a wood racquet? He would look for any possible edge.
I believe that if Borg had hung around on the tour till 1984, and seen the success of Mac with a graphite racquet that year (ignoring Borg's absence being a factor in that success), he would have realized that he MUST change . . . or forget it, he would have been a dinosaur.

pc1
01-27-2010, 07:43 PM
I believe that if Borg had hung around on the tour till 1984, and seen the success of Mac with a graphite racquet that year (ignoring Borg's absence being a factor in that success), he would have realized that he MUST change . . . or forget it, he would have been a dinosaur.

They had done some video analysis comparing Borg's forehand stroke with Federer's and they found a lot of similarities. Maybe that may be a clue on what Borg would have done with modern rackets.

borg number one
01-27-2010, 08:11 PM
^^Agreed Hoodjem. Yet, with Borg I don't think he would have waited all the way until 1984 and stumbled on graphite racquets sort of by accident, and gone to them only after seeing McEnroe's success, not that you are suggesting that.

I agree with you that if he saw McEnroe's play well in 1984, he would have been forced him to change racquets by 1984 if he wanted to stay at or near the very top. You can see how different McEnroe's game become with the switch and he speaks to that in his book.

Those racquets did start changing the game, adding power to shots, especially from the baseline and for the return game, etc., and what are Borg's big strengths? The graphite racquets that phased out wood would have done certain wonders for his game in my opinion. Just look at the men's game today. What type of player is dominating the top 100 ranks?

Answer: a lot of players that are baseliners, who can run forever, hit lots of topspin, return hard serves with returns almost nearly as hard, and hit passing shots from way behind the baseline. They are also VERY DIFFICULT to attack from the net.

You can easily go from defense to offense with graphite frames and the racquets that came later, relative to wood racquets and that would have meant that Borg could have benefited tremendously by making the switch. He would have likely committed more errors hitting the ball long, etc..but his power, passing shots, etc. would have made him quite scary to face, as if he wasn't good enough already. How could you "overpower" the guy? How could you make less errors????

He was a "racquet spec" freak who was so particular as to the tension/weight of his racquets and he was always looking for any way to maximize his Game. If he had played from 1982-1985 or so, I would have been shocked if he didn't got to graphite even before 1984, because he would have likely looked for ways to combat both hard serving John McEnroe (who loved to swing that serve out wide, especially in the Ad Court) and Lendl, who was already using graphite by 1981-1982.

Borg went from a Slazenger Wood Frame, to a Donnay All Wood, to a stiff Bancroft wood frame (in the U.S. ONLY), to the Borg Donnay Borg Pro (some graphite inlays, but primarily wood, extremely heavy, strung at 80 lbs.). What would have been next for him because obviously he made some racquet changes during his career, as did most any player besides Connors who was so wedded to the T-2000!

Borg would have almost certainly used more graphite in his frame, or gone to a pure graphite Donnay perhaps. A host of other companies would have been falling all over themselves to sponsor him as well. The fight at the very top with him, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander, Vilas, and Connors would have been so interesting to watch. He would have STILL been a huge threat on clay, along with Lendl and Wilander. Then on all other surfaces, the power boost would have helped him hit more winners on grass, indoor courts, and hard courts, while also having some of the defensive advantages I noted above. This is all hypothetical, but it's grounded on much we know to be true already. Even by 1982, so many in the top 100 were going to graphite frames. I'd be curious to know what % of the top 100 even then had made the switch. By 1983, for example, look at Noah using a graphite composite, like Lendl as well. You also had McEnroe making the switch about then, while Connors clung to the T-2000 a little longer, but his power game also "went up a notch" with the Pro Staff in my opinion.

See Noah in 1983:

http://cache3.asset-cache.net/xc/91522845.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=77BFBA49EF878921CC759DF4EBAC47D09DBD549CFEC1C90C 105AE2C1F784A2FD0A69811BF5649DAD

Lendl:

http://www.sporting-heroes.net/files_tennis/LENDL_Ivan_1981_GH_L.jpg

McEnroe with the Dunlop Max 200G:

http://i.cnn.net/si/si_online/covers/images/1983/0711_large.jpg

Connors with the Pro Staff:

http://www.80s-tennis.com/images/wilson/prostaffcon86s.jpg

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
01-28-2010, 01:55 AM
Only one problem, I think Connors was a superior player in 78 and 79 to 81. I saw the 78 Wimbledon and 81 Wimbledon matches. While I think Connors played extremely well in both matches, I am not sure if he played any better in 81 than in 78. Jimmy's serve was a bit better but it was never really good and easily returnable by a top pro. For example in the 1984 US Open semi, McEnroe was constantly taking Connors' first serve and approaching the net. If you check the won-lost records, clearly Connors had better records in 78 for example than 1981. As far as Jimmy's play in the 1979 Wimbledon as Borg, a number of people who witnessed that match commented that Connors could not play any better and was crushed. It wasn't just one person but a number of tennis writers.

I think the major difference in Connors defeating McEnroe in the 1982 matches was that he approached the net more often and therefore didn't allow McEnroe to take the net at will. This would be much harder to do against Borg's superior return and passing shots.

I saw the US Open final that year and the next year. Frankly Connors' serve wasn't really that noticeably better. I was at courtside in the 1983 US Open final and the Connors serve wasn't great. Although he did serve a few aces in that match. I'm not sure if that was because they were good serves or because Lendl had almost given up because of the crowd and the extreme heat.

I do not agree and I think that at Wimby Connors was better in 81 than in 78-79 though his service was more or less at the same (low) level. I think that in the first two sets of the 81 match, Connors's groundstrokes were deeper and more consistent than ever and in particular in the 78-79 meetings. This is probably one of the reasons (but of course not the only one) why Borg had a bad start in 1981.

If I understand well what you said about the witnesses' opinion of the 1979 match it was expressed at the time and not after the 1981 match so that number of writers has made that comment before seeing future Jimbo's matches. So these comments don't rightly judge Connors's best level of his whole career but only up to mid-1979.
As krosero pointed it out Connors played pretty well at the MSG and it is likely that his best ever match there was the one he played against Björn in January 1980 (and he possibly played much better than 6 months and half before on the Wimby grass) : this match is nowadays almost forgotten because a few days later in the semis McEnroe, though defeated by Borg 7-6 in the deciding set (as Connors), showed in that match to the entire world that he was the future #1. Many felt that Mac's potential that day was superior to Björn on fast surfaces (but I repeat Borg won that confrontation) so Connors's performance, a few days before, was already partly forgotten : however the Borg-Connors was considered as possibly the best match of the 1979 season : Judith Elian wrote at the time that this match had been so great and superb that it will be remembered for years in the future (but the Borg-McEnroe semifinal hadn't been yet played).
So it is very likely that Connors had played much better in the Garden than in Wimby.

About Jimbo's serve it is clear that it never had been a strong weapon. It seems that the only time that his serve has noticeably improved was in mid-1982 and even then it was sporadic. I haven't seen the Queen's final match but apparently many witnesses seemed to claim that Connors served better than ever that day. I have only seen "live" the tie-breaker of the 4th set and the 5th set of the 1982 Wimby final (I saw the rest of the match later) :
that day I was amazed by Connors's service because I have never seen him serve so well before (and since) than in that end of the 1982 Wimby final (and in the first part of the match that I watched later his serve wasn't impressive either).
It is the only time I was confident enough to think at the very start of the 5th set that Connors would be the likely winner in a very important match (Wimby or US Open), against his greatest rivals of the time, Borg and Mac. I never had that feeling before (as in the 1980 USO or the 1981 Wimby semifinals) or afterwards (as in the 1984 USO semifinal) :
in that 5th set Connors showed a confidence, a safety in his game and in particular in his serve, and a willpower that he probably never reached a second time in his whole career
(Mac in that deciding set didn't give up as Lendl did in the USO finals against Jimbo).

So I agree that Connors probably never served as well at the USO (as in your 1983-1984 examples) than at Wimby 1982.

Therefore I think that at Wimby Connors played
a) his best groundstrokes ever at the start of the 1981 Borg match
and b) his best serve ever at the end of the 1982 McEnroe match.

And to come back to the 1979 Wimby match I think that Connors was at his lowest in terms of confidence against Borg at that time due to his previous severe defeats by Björn at Boca Raton and Las Vegas and to his "time and spirit"-consuming matrimonial life (his marriage a few months before and his future paternity). Connors began to improve against the Swede in December 1979 when he took for the first time that year a set from Björn at Montréal and clearly confirmed at the Garden a month later.

pc1
01-28-2010, 05:32 AM
Carlo,

I'm going to let this one go since I can see this is going to be one of these endless disagreements again.

Suffice to say that we will disagree. I will say this, overall his game in 78 and 79 was better in 82 and 83.

jeffreyneave
01-28-2010, 06:19 AM
connors was at his worst in 1979. All the matches I saw him play were mediocre that year ; namely the pepsi, wct sf against mcenroe and wimbledon. connors played far better in 1981 against borg. carlo is correct that his ground strokes were at their best in the 81 wimbledon sf. He's also correct in praising the serving of connors in the last 2 sets of the 82 wimbledon final. I saw the queens match as well and he served well their too. by 1984 connors serve was back to being ordinary and mcenroe with his graphite racket could easily attack connors' serve . the best i have ever seen connors play was at queens 1983 when he beat lendl and connors both easily on successive days. he overpowered both of them with his groundstrokes and mcenroe had a graphite racket to help his return game; but connors was fantastic that day breaking mcenroe on grass 5 times in 2 sets. 1979 was a nadir for connors and borg beat him 7-0. but connors got his revenge in 1982-3 winning 11 out 13 matches against borg. connors was a better player in 1982-3 than his fallow years of 79-81.

jeffrey

jeffrey

pc1
01-28-2010, 06:42 AM
connors was at his worst in 1979. All the matches I saw him play were mediocre that year ; namely the pepsi, wct sf against mcenroe and wimbledon. connors played far better in 1981 against borg. carlo is correct that his ground strokes were at their best in the 81 wimbledon sf. He's also correct in praising the serving of connors in the last 2 sets of the 82 wimbledon final. I saw the queens match as well and he served well their too. by 1984 connors serve was back to being ordinary and mcenroe with his graphite racket could easily attack connors' serve . the best i have ever seen connors play was at queens 1983 when he beat lendl and connors both easily on successive days. he overpowered both of them with his groundstrokes and mcenroe had a graphite racket to help his return game; but connors was fantastic that day breaking mcenroe on grass 5 times in 2 sets. 1979 was a nadir for connors and borg beat him 7-0. but connors got his revenge in 1982-3 winning 11 out 13 matches against borg. connors was a better player in 1982-3 than his fallow years of 79-81.

jeffrey

jeffrey

Jeffrey,

Let it go. I don't want to get into a stat discussion which can easily happen. Whatever you say.

jrepac
01-28-2010, 01:53 PM
It seems that Connors had his best success against peak Borg on carpet. At the two Masters that Borg won, he was pushed by Connors to 7-6 in the third and 6-3 in the third.

And the Masters was the site of Jimmy's last (sanctioned) win over a non-injured Borg, in January '78.

Hhmm..that is interesting; I was looking over stats for connors, lendl and becker on carpet at one point and was shocked how well jimmy performed on that surface. The last time he beat Lendl on the tour was on carpet in '84, as I recall. Becker was the very best though on that surface, based on the stats.

hoodjem
01-28-2010, 02:04 PM
They had done some video analysis comparing Borg's forehand stroke with Federer's and they found a lot of similarities. Maybe that may be a clue on what Borg would have done with modern rackets.
Yes, I've seen those videos. It's also suggestive or maybe revealing that in present exho matches, Borg is playing with a Wilson.

borg number one
01-28-2010, 02:09 PM
That is interesting isn't it PC1 and Hoodgem? I like the fact that he's using that Wilson now. Makes sense to me, although I've made the switch to "now out of business" Fischer, Wilson does have a wonderful history.

Here's one video clip that compares those forehand swings of Borg and Federer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31IYa7VsZYg

jrepac
01-28-2010, 02:11 PM
connors was at his worst in 1979. All the matches I saw him play were mediocre that year ; namely the pepsi, wct sf against mcenroe and wimbledon. connors played far better in 1981 against borg. carlo is correct that his ground strokes were at their best in the 81 wimbledon sf. He's also correct in praising the serving of connors in the last 2 sets of the 82 wimbledon final. I saw the queens match as well and he served well their too. by 1984 connors serve was back to being ordinary and mcenroe with his graphite racket could easily attack connors' serve . the best i have ever seen connors play was at queens 1983 when he beat lendl and connors both easily on successive days. he overpowered both of them with his groundstrokes and mcenroe had a graphite racket to help his return game; but connors was fantastic that day breaking mcenroe on grass 5 times in 2 sets. 1979 was a nadir for connors and borg beat him 7-0. but connors got his revenge in 1982-3 winning 11 out 13 matches against borg. connors was a better player in 1982-3 than his fallow years of 79-81.

jeffrey

jeffrey

just looking at total wins in each year, isn't it a given that Connors performed better in '82 vs. '79 or '81? or would the only difference be the 2 GS wins? I know in '83 he only won something like 5 tourneys, but USO was the big one. I did not see the Queen's matches in 82 or 83, but had seen the scores and was rather surprised, frankly. Certainly by '83 results...clocking Lendl and Mac back to back on the grass was no mean feat.

I'm not a stats expert, but he seemed to play with incredible confidence and vigor in 1982. Again, maybe it was just renewed spirit given Borg's exodus. As others have noted, he played great against Bjorn in the exos that year as well...I don't discount psychology here, by any stretch.

I'm not sure his serve got "worse" in 1984...Mac was just playing on steroids (joke)...Jimmy got creamed by him at RG and Wimby and soon was picking up the new Pro-Staff. He went back to the t-2000 for a bit, but it was clear that he needed a graphite racket to have a chance against the younger "kids". He would never be a serving giant, just a guy who placed the ball well enough to start the point...every once in awhile he'd clock an ace and that was it.

I'd pay good money to put these guys in a time machine and make 'em young again....and toss 'em out there with the current batch and say "have atcha"..

borg number one
01-28-2010, 02:54 PM
I'd pay good money to put these guys in a time machine and make 'em young again....and toss 'em out there with the current batch and say "have atcha"..

Oh yes! That's a BRILLIANT THOUGHT jrepac. So would I, so would I. I'd camp out at the box office for that...