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View Full Version : Why was Borg's comeback such a disaster?


sandy mayer
04-12-2007, 08:40 AM
When he came back in 91-93 he was still very fit and fast, more so than most ATP pros so we can't say he was too old and finished physically.
After 10 years out you could never expect him to get anywhere near the top ten, but you would have thought he could win a match. But he lost 13 matches and won none. Most of thetime he got beaten badly. I never saw any of these comeback matches but if anyone has, what went wrong?

BounceHitBounceHit
04-12-2007, 08:54 AM
I think he was back for all the wrong reasons, and was probably clinically depressed. Plus his insistence on using a wood frame didn't help his cause either. ;) CC

rasajadad
04-12-2007, 08:55 AM
Too much "rock-star" partying?

haerdalis
04-12-2007, 10:14 AM
His technique was outdated, his racquet was outdated and even though he was fast and fit he was no longer faster and fitter than everyone else.

Trinity TC
04-12-2007, 11:45 AM
Borg had been to the top of the mountain and didn't have the drive to get back there. Also, tennis players have long memories and remembered what it was like to get crushed by him. They weren't about to take it easy on him while he was working out the kinks in his game.

Mick
04-12-2007, 12:12 PM
When he came back in 91-93 he was still very fit and fast, more so than most ATP pros so we can't say he was too old and finished physically.
After 10 years out you could never expect him to get anywhere near the top ten, but you would have thought he could win a match. But he lost 13 matches and won none. Most of thetime he got beaten badly. I never saw any of these comeback matches but if anyone has, what went wrong?

Even though you dismissed that idea, i think he was too old. He was 35 when he made his come back and with his kind of game it's difficult to compete with the younger players. Jimmy Connors competed well at that age because he had a more aggressive game and he did not take ten years off from competitive tennis.

Moose Malloy
04-12-2007, 01:15 PM
^Yeah, that is the main reason, you can't take 10 years off in tennis(or any sport really) & just pick off where you left off.

The reason Connors, Agasssi, Rosewall were able to play such a high level in their 30s is that they never left the game.

Borg didn't just retire he wasn't playing at all for many years. The fact that he came back with a wood racquet showed that he wasn't really trying to stay sharp, even in retirement. Plus the fact that he came back only as a way to make money(he was bankrupt) not that he had a love for the game(ala Connors) probably was partly responsible for his poor results, since his heart wasn't really in it, it was a comeback for the wrong reasons.

Also, by all accounts, including Becker & Goran, Borg at 36 in 1991 was still among the fastest, fittest guys on tour. But athleticism alone isn't enough to make you a great tennis player, you have to do it 24/7 year in year out to be competitive.

alwaysatnet
04-12-2007, 05:02 PM
Pros who hit with and played against Borg all commented that there was no "stick" on his shots. He couldn't re-groove his strokes, or didn't think he had to. Borg's strokes and mentality were stilled geared towards a traditional wood based game where the whole goal was to "out steady" the other guy and just keep the ball in play.

Mick
04-12-2007, 05:59 PM
This was how he played:

Borg vs Arrese (1991 Monte Carlo Open) (http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=303ip2r)

Kirko
04-12-2007, 06:58 PM
cocaine & high life. he left pro tennis because he didn't want to really travel anymore & play only ten tournaments. I'm not putting him down because he was GREAT! bit drugs have taken a lot of good guys right into the gutter.

mctennis
04-12-2007, 07:09 PM
This was how he played:

Borg vs Arrese (1991 Monte Carlo Open) (http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=303ip2r)

I would have liked to seen the whole match. I know he was blistered in it. Thanks for the 40 second blurp.
He came back with a wierd coach also. His coach was some oddball that watched him playing through the big end of binoculars. He used a wooden racquet when guys were using graphite and composites. away from tennis isn't a good thing when you want to be in the bigs. he looked like he was in a time capsule and was awakened to play tennis again, same clothes and racquet. When you're burnt out your done. when he walked off the court after losing to McEnroe and never came back that sould have been the end for him. When he came back he was laughed at. Go out a winner not a washed up has been. I still liked seeing him play but he still is burnt out by hearing stories of him playing now. Shame actually.

stormholloway
04-12-2007, 07:13 PM
Mac played Borg in an exo like 6 years before that and said he wasn't the same player. I can't imagine the 5 years more of time off helped.

You can't just go away and come back like that. Look at Ferrero. He only missed a year and when he came back, the game had passed him by. Now try taking TEN years off.

I think we all know if Borg hadn't retired, he would have had many more slams to win, but you can't just decide to come back with your old Donnay woodie and expect to win in a new era.

BTW, his technique was not outdated. You ever seen McEnroe play? He hits the ball like they did in the 1940s and still whips guys fresh off the tour.

Ted Ghost Shackley
04-12-2007, 10:49 PM
I was in Monte Carlo for Borg's comeback match. He looked very uncomfortable and had no pop on his serve and groundstrokes. His racquet hand was shacking during his warm-up serves.

A ten year absence and his old racquet (painted black) was too much for the ex-champion to overcome. Ten years of partying didn't help. Imagine Federer taking ten years off and going to clubs all the time. He probably couldn't come back either.

classic tennis
04-13-2007, 01:50 AM
I was in Monte Carlo for Borg's comeback match. He looked very uncomfortable and had no pop on his serve and groundstrokes. His racquet hand was shacking during his warm-up serves.

A ten year absence and his old racquet (painted black) was too much for the ex-champion to overcome. Ten years of partying didn't help. Imagine Federer taking ten years off and going to clubs all the time. He probably couldn't come back either.

Good point.....BTW the racquets were custom made by Gray's of Cambridge in the UK owing to a financial dispute with Donnay.

wyutani
04-13-2007, 04:56 AM
cocaine & high life. he left pro tennis because he didn't want to really travel anymore & play only ten tournaments. I'm not putting him down because he was GREAT! bit drugs have taken a lot of good guys right into the gutter.

drugs? serious eh? why is he on drug? is that he was soooo good last time eh?...so that he would calm down...

alfa164164
04-13-2007, 06:16 AM
The best description I heard of the match went like this - "Borg looked like a player who was working overtime to contain the firepower of a player who had none".
Obviously with Professor Hansai (sp?) in his corner, Borg didn't have the sense to surround himself with good counsel, not to mention the whole wood racket debacle. (Supposedly the ever faithful Lennart Bergelin was waiting in the wings, and was very hurt that Borg did not use him as his comeback coach.) Borg was incredibly stubborn, and that hurt him in his comeback.
It was interesting to hear Wilander say in his interview with Chris Myers that he would have had 100% no chance of beating Borg at the French Open in 1982. Undoubtedly Borg did leave some Slams on the table.
I remember Edberg commenting on how difficult it would be to return from a 6 MONTH layoff, so taking 6-10 years off is virtually impossible.

snapple
04-13-2007, 06:30 AM
It was interesting to hear Wilander say in his interview with Chris Myers that he would have had 100% no chance of beating Borg at the French Open in 1982.

Interesting comment, though I think Wilander is just being humble in deference to his idol and fellow Swede. I remember how Mats swept through Lendl, Clerc, Gerulitas, and Vilas to win the French that year. He was so unbelievably consistent it is hard for me to imagine anyone, including a rapidly burning out Borg, beating him. Granted Borg's probably the GOAT on clay but at that time in their respective careers, I believe Wilander just had too much convinction to his game and that the torch would have been passed sooner than later even if Borg continued playing.

Rabbit
04-13-2007, 07:08 AM
No, in the interview, Wilander said that he practiced with Borg on clay the year he (Wilander) won the French. He said that he couldn't get a set off Borg unless he threw him one. The manner in which Wilander made the remark wasn't throwing a bone to his idol. Mainly because Borg wasn't Wilander's idol. In the interview, Wilander stated that his idol was none other than....Jimmy Connors. Yes, Wilander really wanted to be more like Connors than Borg. He said he even went so far as to emulate Connors' strokes, i.e. trying to hit flatter.

You have to remember that the year before, Borg beat Lendl 6-1 in the 5th on clay. It wasn't like Borg was slipping any. And, Wilander's game, by his own admission, was one of keeping the ball in play. This was analagous to what Vilas tried to do with Borg. Borg could keep the ball in play better than anyone on the planet on clay, but Borg also developed another facet to his game, he could knock the cover off the ball too. This was something that Wilander just didn't have at the age of 16, same as Borg at 16.

I agree that Borg probably left 2 - 3 Grand Slams on the table when he retired. I don't think it was out of the question for him to win another Wimbledon.

Moose Malloy
04-13-2007, 08:55 AM
Interesting comment, though I think Wilander is just being humble in deference to his idol and fellow Swede. I remember how Mats swept through Lendl, Clerc, Gerulitas, and Vilas to win the French that year. He was so unbelievably consistent it is hard for me to imagine anyone, including a rapidly burning out Borg, beating him. Granted Borg's probably the GOAT on clay but at that time in their respective careers, I believe Wilander just had too much convinction to his game and that the torch would have been passed sooner than later even if Borg continued playing

I don't think it was Mats being humble, its like if Fed skips Wimbledon this year & Murray wins it, then says he would have no chance had Fed played. The gap between Wilander & Borg was huge in '81/'82/'83. Borg would have been the 4 time defending champion had he played in '82! I don't see how an unseeded player who just played a defensive style could have troubled him.

And Mats didn't win the French easily in '82, it was a battle the whole way(while Borg swept through most of his Frenches, completely destroying the same guys that gave Wilander so much trouble in '82)

Here was Mats' route to the title in '82:

R128 Cortes, Alejandro (COL) 6-4 6-3 6-4
R64 Motta, Cassio (BRA) 6-3 6-4 4-6 6-2
R32 Luna, Fernando (ESP) 6-3 6-1 6-0
R16 Lendl, Ivan (USA) 4-6 7-5 3-6 6-4 6-2(Borg won in 5 over Lendl the year before, but it was a lopsided 5 setter, the sets Borg won were 61,62,61)
Q Gerulaitis, Vitas (USA) 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-4(Borg always destroyed Vitas on clay, no way could he ever get that many games off him)
S Clerc, Jose-Luis (ARG) 7-5 6-2 1-6 7-5(Borg even beat Clerc easily in Monte Carlo in '83-with a wood racquet-while he trying to decide whether to comeback fulltime)
W Vilas, Guillermo (ARG) 1-6 7-6 6-0 6-4(this match was close to 5 hours. Every time Borg played Vilas at the French-or pretty much anywhere-he destroyed him, so if Mats had so much trouble with Vilas in '82, how could have possibly beaten Borg? And the fact that Vilas even made the final that year showed that Borg probably would have had no trouble winning it that year, Vilas was on the decline in '81, I think Borg's retirement inspired him to that resurgence in '82. Probably the same with Connors winning Wimbledon in '82. Shows just how good Borg was, his contempories immediately saw a boost in their results when he left the tour)

Also keep in mind, Wilander lost to Yannick Noah, arguably the weakest slam champion of the Open Era, in '83 as defending champion. Could you really imagine Borg losing to Noah at the French in his prime?

Wilander is a great player. But like Rabbit said, he played a lot like Vilas, & Borg had no problem with that style. Plus Wilander never really dominated the tour, even on clay, so not sure if the comparison to Borg is really valid.

Borg could have been a threat to win the French for a number of years had he not retired(and really the game didn't get that powerful when they first switched to graphite, I've seen those Wilander-Lendl matches on clay & Borg-Vilas were hitting harder with wood. Wilander & Lendl basically traded moonballs most of the time when they played each other on clay, while Borg was more aggressive. Had Borg stayed & used graphite, his topspin would have been even more dominant with graphite, since he was one of the few guys who could generate heavy topspin with wood, graphite would have helped his volleys as well. Borg had a lot of mishits with wood, graphite could have made him better, like it did Mac)

But Borg really didn't care about the French, he cared about Wimbledon, & he (incorrectly) assumed Mac would dominate there after '81. After Connors won Wimbledon in '82, I'm sure Borg kicked himself for his sabbatical.

need2paint
04-13-2007, 09:41 AM
i think you guys are wrong about him using a woodie in his comeback. i remember that at the time people were attributing his comeback woes to using a graphite racquet and not being used to it. they said the racquet was too powerful and he couldn't keep the ball in the court.

iamke55
04-13-2007, 09:51 AM
The game had passed him by. Despite what many Sampras fanboys think, the competition (of any sport, not just tennis) gets tougher every year and 10 years is way too much time off.

snapple
04-13-2007, 09:56 AM
Moose, you make a good case for the mighty Borg. A few points I do disagree with though (in no particular order).

1) I've watched tapes of those old Borg/Vilas matches at the French and it honestly looks like their playing in slow motion. The balls their hitting look like their floating through the air like a good year blimp. There's NO WAY that those guys were hitting harder than the ball was being struck by Lendl/Wilander in the mid 80s.

2) Regarding your claim that Borg would never have lost to Noah, I think Noah just happened to have caught lightning in a bottle and played such inspired tennis the likes of which he never demonstrated to Bjorn.

3) By the end of 1981 Borg was already starting to burn out, and thus in IMO if he kept on playing the '82 clay circuit, I believe he would have found it extremely difficult to maintain his edge, and that a player of Wilander's style would have at the very least given him a huge test. After all, if Lendl took him to 5 sets the year earlier, by the next year a somewhat diminished Borg would have had to overcome a Wilander who would have presented a much bigger challenge than Lendl posed the year before. I remember that Lendl looked like he was about to pass out from exhaustion in that 5th set while Mats could have stayed on the court forever if necessary without giving it a second thought (something that I'm not sure Borg was still willing to do to the same extent as in his heyday).

dirkgnuf
04-13-2007, 10:09 AM
Snapple, if you look at that Vilas-Borg match, observe how the ball "kicks" up after it bounces over the net, since they're playing on clay it would seem slow, but that Kick is testament to how hard they were hitting the ball

alfa164164
04-13-2007, 10:31 AM
snapple - if you listen to the Wilander interview, you can tell Mats had no belief that he could beat Borg AT that stage in their careers, as Rabbit said, Mats said in the interview "Borg occassionally threw me a bone", but you got the sense he was getting beaten pretty soundly otherwise

need2paint - Borg did use a wood racket in the first match of his comeback, as previously mentioned it was custom made by Gray's (Grey's?) of England specifically for Borg (a very few have cropped up on auction sites over the years), I forgot how many unsuccessful attempts he tried with the wood, but later on he did switch to some graphite midsize frames, most notably the Head Classic Mid at some point, but to no avail

Moose Malloy
04-13-2007, 11:15 AM
I've watched tapes of those old Borg/Vilas matches at the French and it honestly looks like their playing in slow motion. The balls their hitting look like their floating through the air like a good year blimp. There's NO WAY that those guys were hitting harder than the ball was being struck by Lendl/Wilander in the mid 80s.


Have you seen a Lendl-Wilander French Open match lately? The crowd was whistling & the commentators were laughing at how slowly they were hitting the ball in the '87 final, it was Andrea Jaegger like. Maybe you haven't seen a good quality feed(with good sound) of Vilas-Borg '78 final, I have one from a classic sports re-broadcast, & the pace is quite different from Lendl-Wilander. The sound of Borg hitting is unique, he is swinging very hard, much harder than I've ever seen Wilander swing(who really couldn't swing hard at all, he was more of a counterouncher than Borg ever was), & on par with Lendl. I saw Borg destroy Lendl in a Masters final in 1980, & Lendl was swinging as hard as ever(with a graphite racquet) & Borg had no trouble matching him shot for shot.

Racquets make a difference, but in the 80s, only Becker was something completely different from the Borg era, everyone else was similar, in terms of overall strength/height level. There wasn't a big difference in racquet head speed between the 2 eras, but a big difference in the amount of mishits & consistency. That's what made the game change, guys could hit hard without the errors, but with wood if you hit hard your errors would be high.

Borg was maybe the only guy who could swing hard & not make errors with wood. Considering his racquet tension, & overall strength/atheticism(let's be honest he is the best athlete ever in tennis) I don't think he would have had much trouble playing well with graphite in the mid 80s, certainly not on clay, it was still the same game, a grinding counterpunching game. Heck Mac played his best tennis ever with graphite in '84, and his strokes were not as modern(as in no topspin at all) as Borg's. And Borg served higher mph than Mac with wood racquets in 1981.

Tanner was the biggest server in 1980, yet in a senior event in 1990, he hit a serve harder than anyone on tour(including Sampras, Ivanisevic) did that year.

Borg was among the biggest servers with wood, had he stuck around, he would have been a server on par with Lendl(not Becker off course) in the mid 80s.

I believe he would have found it extremely difficult to maintain his edge, and that a player of Wilander's style would have at the very least given him a huge test. After all, if Lendl took him to 5 sets the year earlier, by the next year a somewhat diminished Borg would have had to overcome a Wilander who would have presented a much bigger challenge than Lendl posed the year before.

But what about how Wilander fared against Clerc, Gerualaitis, & Vilas at the '82 French? Borg completely destroyed those guys for years, did they also improve so much in one year, that new King of Clay couldn't do what Borg did to them? Plus keep in mind, had Borg played in '82, he would have likely played Wilander early, not in the final. Not liking Mats's chances in that scenario, a young unknown countryman playing Borg in his backyard.

Also, Borg was clearly #2 in '81, not much of a decline, reaching the finals in all 3 slams he played. And he did it playing a very limited schedule, I'm sure if he wanted to he would have been able to replicate those results in '82.

stormholloway
04-13-2007, 11:37 AM
I don't get the doubts about Borg. Mats Wilander won three slams in '88, yet Borg's strokes would have been outdated at that time? Yeah right. Borg was superior to Wilander.

And it's not like the game evolves without the players. Borg would have been hitting much harder in the 80s as the game became more powerful. McEnroe still gives guys fresh off the tour a run for their money, and beats them occasionally I presume. Have you seen Mac's strokes? They're far less modern than Borg's. Borg's strokes are more modern than Connors' and Connors made the USO semis at 39 years old.

Borg simply burnt out. He's not a totally sane person, and losing Wimbledon and the USO (for the fourth time in the final) probably just took him over the edge. He was never really in a position to have to fight back and regain a crown. He was always the man.

Zimbo
04-13-2007, 11:47 AM
Also keep in mind, Wilander lost to Yannick Noah, arguably the weakest slam champion of the Open Era, in '83 as defending champion. Could you really imagine Borg losing to Noah at the French in his prime?

Wilander is a great player. But like Rabbit said, he played a lot like Vilas, & Borg had no problem with that style. Plus Wilander never really dominated the tour, even on clay, so not sure if the comparison to Borg is really valid.

Borg could have been a threat to win the French for a number of years had he not retired(and really the game didn't get that powerful when they first switched to graphite, I've seen those Wilander-Lendl matches on clay & Borg-Vilas were hitting harder with wood. Wilander & Lendl basically traded moonballs most of the time when they played each other on clay, while Borg was more aggressive. Had Borg stayed & used graphite, his topspin would have been even more dominant with graphite, since he was one of the few guys who could generate heavy topspin with wood, graphite would have helped his volleys as well. Borg had a lot of mishits with wood, graphite could have made him better, like it did Mac)



Moose and Rabbit I would agree with you guys IF Borg continued. But he might not have been the same player. Here are my points.

1. By the time of the '82 French Borg was already burnt out. If he played he might not have won. He was done mentally. Look at it this way. If Wilander (who himself was burnt out after the '88 US open) did not play in the '89 French, after the Chang victory we could all being saying Chang only won because Mats did not play. Was Wilander a better clay courter. Yes. Would a prime '88 Wilander lose a five setter at the French to Chang. Hell no. Would a prime Wilander choke like Lendl did? Hell no. All this is moot, because a burnt/bored/mentally weak Wilander did play and lost in the quarters. Would a prime Borg have won the '82? Most likely. Would a burnt out Borg won? A Big maybe not.

2. 1982 Monte Carlo: Noah beat Borg 6-1 6-2.
That goes to show you anything can happened. You are right about Noah being one of the weakest 1 slam winner, but give Wilander some credit. He did make it back to the finals as a 18 year old defending champ and had to play in a very hostile, Davis Cup like, environment.

3. Everyone knows practice is practice. Wilander was never a good practice player. Example: Mats never lost in tournamnet play against Connors, however Mats never beat Connors in practice or in exo matches. It just goes to show you the mental side of the game.

Rabbit and Moose, you guys have way more insight then me because I was never (unlucky) able to see Borg play. However, to assume Borg would have just continue to dominate is a little too much. Yes, given that Borg was the King of Clay, if he was not burnt out he would probably have left a few more slams on the table. I totally agree with that, but the whole point was I think he wouldn't have been the same player. He was done mentally. So A mentally burnt Borg wining the '82 is questionable.

Thoughts?

Ripper
04-13-2007, 11:57 AM
On that video, someone posted the link to, I noticed that he 2-handed the backhand until the mid-point of the swing only and then finished the swing with 1 hand. Is that how the 2hbh was done in his days?

Moose Malloy
04-13-2007, 01:05 PM
On that video, someone posted the link to, I noticed that he 2-handed the backhand until the mid-point of the swing only and then finished the swing with 1 hand. Is that how the 2hbh was done in his days?

No, that's just how Borg hit his 2 hander. He grew up playing hockey & that was sort of the genesis of his stroke.

By the time of the '82 French Borg was already burnt out. If he played he might not have won. He was done mentally. Look at it this way. If Wilander (who himself was burnt out after the '88 US open) did not play in the '89 French, after the Chang victory we could all being saying Chang only won because Mats did not play. Was Wilander a better clay courter. Yes. Would a prime '88 Wilander lose a five setter at the French to Chang. Hell no. Would a prime Wilander choke like Lendl did? Hell no. All this is moot, because a burnt/bored/mentally weak Wilander did play and lost in the quarters. Would a prime Borg have won the '82? Most likely. Would a burnt out Borg won? A Big maybe not.


I guess a major point, would be that Wilander was never a dominant player like Borg, even on clay. Yes he won 7 majors, but I don't think he was favored to win any of them(but he was favored against Noah in '83;)
He always struggled to win his slams, lots of 4 & 5 setters throughout. When he won 3 out of 4 majors in '88, he wasn't considered way above the rest of the tour, like Borg & Federer were, just that he squeaked ahead of them briefly(how long was he #1? he never even got to #1 until after the 1988 US Open, pretty amazing it took that long considering he already had 2 majors by June. That shows he wasn't dominant) He never defended the French Open, even once, while Borg won 4 in a row. He wasn't basically destroying everyone on clay, like Borg was. Comparing Federer at Wimbledon or Nadal at the French right now would be a more fair comparison of Borg in '82, that's the kind of domination we are talking about, & if Federer & Nadal just retire tomorrow you can darn well imagine what we'll be saying about whoever wins the French or Wimbledon this year. Wilander was always a favorite at the French, not the "favorite" so I doubt we'd say that Chang's victory was tainted had Wilander not been there. Lendl was favored to win the French most of the 80s(didn't always happen though) When Gomez won it in 1990, he thanked Lendl for not playing since he lost so many times to Lendl at the French.
About the burnout issue, if Borg played the French in '82 that would be a sign that he wasn't burned out, so...

To me arguing that Borg wouldn't have won more slams post '81 if he was motivated is arguing that Seles wouldn't have won more slams post stabbing, both were at their peaks, there was no decline to speak of at all when they stopped. I mean look at Borg's lifetime slam record, it is an absurd winning %, how could it fall apart so suddenly had he continued playing? Would he suddenly have trouble beating Jose Higueras or something?

Connors won Wimbledon in '82 & Wilander won the French. No way could either beat the Borg of '81 those years at those events. He retired for a variety of reasons, mainly that the tour wasn't willing to let him play without commiting to a certain number of events per year in advance(he already was on their s list for the limited amount of events he played in '80 & '81, so they made a rule to force him to play more. Too bad they didn't realize that tennis is better off with him than without, I can't imagine any top player of today getting treeated like that, Agassi was able to pull out out of so many events last year, that would not have been allowed in 1982.

Zimbo
04-13-2007, 01:59 PM
Wilander was always a favorite at the French, not the "favorite" so I doubt we'd say that Chang's victory was tainted had Wilander not been there. Lendl was favored to win the French most of the 80s(didn't always happen though) When Gomez won it in 1990, he thanked Lendl for not playing since he lost so many times to Lendl at the French.
About the burnout issue, if Borg played the French in '82 that would be a sign that he wasn't burned out, so...

To me arguing that Borg wouldn't have won more slams post '81 if he was motivated is arguing that Seles wouldn't have won more slams post stabbing, both were at their peaks, there was no decline to speak of at all when they stopped. I mean look at Borg's lifetime slam record, it is an absurd winning %, how could it fall apart so suddenly had he continued playing? Would he suddenly have trouble beating Jose Higueras or something?


I'm not arguing with you. I'm agreeing with you here. But the key is IF he was MOTIVATED and not Burnt out. Your commit saying if Borg showed up at the French in '82 would mean he wasn't burnt out, what's that about? Wilander continued to show up when he himself admitted he didn't bring his A game He went through the whole of '89 looking like a zombie going through the motions. If Borg was still motivated why did he lose to Noah on clay in '82? Using your logic, because he showed up at the Monta Carlo open he must have not been burnt out? If that is the case why did he lose? Is Noah the better player? Of course not. Did Noah play the best he ever played? I don't know I didn't see the match, but I doubt it. Could it be that the King of Clay just wasn't into it? That sounds more reasonable don't you think? Thus my argument about if Borg showed up to the '82 French unmotivated and burnt out would have been a diffierent Borg who dominated everyone else years before.

I totally agree with you about Borg's domination. I didn't see for myself but his stats speaks for themselves. Borg was the man. Wilander on the other hand was never a dominate player. That said, when he was determined he competed with the best of them. I disagree with you about Wilander never being the favorite however. '87 French he was the favourite to win, '88 US open he was the favourite to win, along with the '83 French final. There was a pretty good reason why Wilander did not really dominate the French, and his name is Lendl. I can say the same thing backwards. You couldn't say Lendl dominated the French because a guy named Wilander. The funny thing is guys like Edberg, Becker, and Wilander never really dominated the sport like a Connors, Pete, Fed, or Borg did.

Yes, I agree that Chang's victory wasn't tainted because prime Wilander wasn't playing well, but I don't think it's very fair to say Wilander's '83 victory was tainted also. If so, was Noah's '83 or Lendl's '84 FO victories tainted also because Borg left the game? I wouldn't say so. Wilander is one of the greats. He's not mention as GOAT like Borg is and rightfully so, but I don't think his victories should be tainted. Borg vs Connor (13-8) compared to Wilander vs Connors (7-0), Borg vs Mac (7-7) compared to Wilander vs Mac (6-7). I know different primes and ages etc....but you know what I mean.

CyBorg
04-13-2007, 05:25 PM
After Connors won Wimbledon in '82, I'm sure Borg kicked himself for his sabbatical.

This is not true. Borg didn't retire until '83. He continued playing exos between 82-83 and some tourneys like Monte Carlo.

He had absolutely no interest in playing Grand Slams.

CyBorg
04-13-2007, 05:26 PM
i think you guys are wrong about him using a woodie in his comeback. i remember that at the time people were attributing his comeback woes to using a graphite racquet and not being used to it. they said the racquet was too powerful and he couldn't keep the ball in the court.

He used wood in his Monte Carlo comeback in '91. He was using graphite by '93.

CyBorg
04-13-2007, 05:32 PM
Borg stopped practicing to the same extent as in his prime years. He liked practice and exhibitions, but gradually he lost interest in putting in all of the hours and getting up early in the morning.

In his comeback in '91 and onwards Borg's practices were almost laughable by pro standards. He did it at a comfort level of the average amateur - he wasn't willing to put in 4-5 hours a day. Conversely Connors is a guy who worked his butt off into his 40s - more than ever.

But Connors didn't have a life. Borg wanted one.

mentalcase
04-13-2007, 10:38 PM
Borg simply burnt out. He's not a totally sane person, and losing Wimbledon and the USO (for the fourth time in the final) probably just took him over the edge. He was never really in a position to have to fight back and regain a crown. He was always the man.

What do you mean by that?:confused:

stormholloway
04-14-2007, 01:01 AM
This is not true. Borg didn't retire until '83. He continued playing exos between 82-83 and some tourneys like Monte Carlo.

He had absolutely no interest in playing Grand Slams.

Huh? I guess your Borg pic qualifies you.. umm.

Everyone knows he quit after '81 dude. Exos? Give us a break.

stormholloway
04-14-2007, 01:04 AM
What do you mean by that?:confused:

I think the statement was pretty clear. I don't stutter in type. Did you think Borg was just a simple minded tennis machine as he was portrayed?

You see what a player is really made of when they lose.. not when they win. The Tennis Channel docu shows a lot of this.

I love Borg. He's probably my favorite player ever. That said.. he's a strange mind.

stormholloway
04-14-2007, 01:05 AM
Borg stopped practicing to the same extent as in his prime years. He liked practice and exhibitions, but gradually he lost interest in putting in all of the hours and getting up early in the morning.

In his comeback in '91 and onwards Borg's practices were almost laughable by pro standards. He did it at a comfort level of the average amateur - he wasn't willing to put in 4-5 hours a day. Conversely Connors is a guy who worked his butt off into his 40s - more than ever.

But Connors didn't have a life. Borg wanted one.

Connors didn't have a life? Explain.

sandy mayer
04-14-2007, 05:35 AM
But Borg really didn't care about the French, he cared about Wimbledon, & he (incorrectly) assumed Mac would dominate there after '81. After Connors won Wimbledon in '82, I'm sure Borg kicked himself for his sabbatical.

Connors beat Borg every time in exhibitions in 82. Connors improved his serve in 82 and was more formidable opponent than the year before, when he nearly beat Borg at Wimbledon but lost 6-4 in the fith. I doubt very much a peak Connors would have lost to a burnt out Borg in 1982. I say Borg would have had a one in ten chance of winning Wimbledon in 82. He would have had to beat Mac and probably Connors too.

Rabbit
04-14-2007, 06:47 AM
I agree that Borg's mental state was probably the only thing that would have kept him from winning more Slams.

Borg owned Connors. Borg destroyed Connors every time he played him at Wimbledon. Players like Victor Amaya and Roscoe Tanner gave Borg better matches at Wimbledon than Connors. Borg was 4 - 0 against Connors at Wimbledon. Their first and last meetings were 5 setters and the middle two were routines for Borg.

Borg lived for the Grand Slams. He could have cared less about exhibitions. Borg knew where his history would be written and it was at Grand Slams.

I think Wilander's statement stands on its own. He wasn't being generous to Borg and he wasn't being humble. He was stating fact. Borg on clay was an immovable object and an irresistable force. He was simply the best clay court player to ever step onto a court since tennis was played on clay.

For those who think Borg was hitting the ball in slow motion, please watch his two US Open finals against McEnroe and come back. Borg hit a different kind of ball at the French. Lendl said it best when he said the difference between players of his era and today is like marathoners and sprinters. Today's players are more like sprinters while in his day you had to be ready to go the distance.

In the 70s and early 80s, clay court tennis was slower than today. Two things attributed to that, one was the court. There was more clay on the court back then. Rafael Nadal complained at last year's RG that there was not enough top dressing on the court. Hence, it played more like a hardcourt since they were basically playing on the base. The second thing was the balls. Back in Borg's era, they played clay court tennis with pressureless balls. If you've ever played with these, you know they play like rocks and very very slow.

Mick
04-14-2007, 06:56 AM
But Connors didn't have a life. Borg wanted one.
That's the problem (for Borg), Tennis was Connors' life but Borg wanted to get away from the sport. As with everything else in life, you will be more successful if you are passionate about the things that you do.

sandy mayer
04-14-2007, 10:09 AM
Borg owned Connors. Borg destroyed Connors every time he played him at Wimbledon. Players like Victor Amaya and Roscoe Tanner gave Borg better matches at Wimbledon than Connors. Borg was 4 - 0 against Connors at Wimbledon. Their first and last meetings were 5 setters and the middle two were routines for Borg.

I have to disagree with you on this. Tanner played Borg twice at Wimbledon and lost twice, once in straight sets and the other time in 5. Amaya played Borg only once at Wimbledon and lost 6-3 in the fifth. I don't think 1 match can be used as evidence for him being a more dangerous opponent than Connors.

Connors is the only player to push Borg to 5 sets twice. Tanner did it once so I don't see how he was more trouble than Connors. In 77 and 81 Borg edged it 6-4 in the fifth against Connors and both matches could very well have gone the other way. Borg knew that Connors was always a serious threat, and his most dangerous opponent at Wimbledon other than McEnroe.

CEvertFan
04-14-2007, 10:36 AM
I believe Borg's comeback failed because he came back for the wrong reasons and his heart wasn't into it and he also came back thinking he could use wood and get away with it and when he was rudely dismissed he then decided that maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all. The game had passed him by.

federerfanatic
04-14-2007, 10:53 AM
Connors won Wimbledon in '82 & Wilander won the French. No way could either beat the Borg of '81 those years at those events.

What is most interesting to wonder about 1982 though is it had seemed Borg had surpassed Connors for good, but had perhaps been usurped by McEnroe at the top for good. Yet Connors usurped McEnroe in 1982 beating him in the Wimbledon final, and winning the U.S Open(where McEnroe lost in the semis). So when you think of what exactly may have happened at Wimbledon and the U.S Open had Borg played that year, and where the balance of power at the very top of mens tennis would have resided, it really brings a big ?????? Don't you think? That is one of those years I wish there could be a crystal ball to find out what would have happened at those 2 particular events anyway had Borg played.

I agree with you on the French Open though. Wilander would have had a slim hope of beating of beating Borg at the 1982 French Open.

sandy mayer
04-14-2007, 12:45 PM
I don't think Connors' victories in 82 are in any way tarnished by Borg's absence. I really don't think Borg would have won Wimbledon or US in 82 and I think Connors would have turned their rivalry round.

noeledmonds
04-14-2007, 02:40 PM
I have to agree with those that say Borg have won the FO and possibly SW19 too in 1982 had Borg decided to play. Surely the Borg would have been the massive favourite at the FO, 4 time defending champion and a similar selection of competitors to previous years. Willander would have not troubled Borg on the red dirt of Rolland Garros. No one really troubled Borg at the French and Wilander's retrieving style was nothing new. Borg could out rally everyone if that’s the game he wanted to play against Wilander, but Borg could also be more aggressive if he wanted to; an aspect that Wilander's game lacked. I don't really see why people refer to Borg being taken to 5 sets by Lendl the previous year as any evidence for Borg struggling. Borg won the final set very comfortably 6-1. We must also remember that Borg has one of the best 5 set records of all time (I think it is 26-4). Borg also won 14 consecutive 5 setters (not consecutive matches, but consecutive 5 sets matches played), an open-era record. Taking Borg to 5 sets was still a long way from beating him.

CEvertFan
04-14-2007, 02:45 PM
Taking Borg to 5 sets was still a long way from beating him.


This is very true.

stormholloway
04-14-2007, 05:08 PM
I don't think Connors' victories in 82 are in any way tarnished by Borg's absence. I really don't think Borg would have won Wimbledon or US in 82 and I think Connors would have turned their rivalry round.

Borg's match against Mac in '81 at Wimbledon was closer than people give credit. Assuming Borg had recovered from his '81 losses, there's no reason he wouldn't be considered a potential champion.

I see absolutely no evidence to support a potential turnaround for Connors in that rivalry other than Borg's mental state. Like someone else said, Borg owned Connors.

sandy mayer
04-16-2007, 12:43 AM
Connors was the most determined competitor in the history of tennis. Yes Borg had won several matches in a row, but increasingly their matches were becoming closer. The tide was turning. And it's very very important to remember that Connors improved his serve in 82. With Connors improving and Borg declining, Borg was heading for the no.3 or even no.4 position.

Sometimes rivalries abruptly change. Look at Lendl Mac, multiple consecutive wins for 1 player were followed by multiple consecutive wins for another.

You can't simply say Borg owned Connors and that was going to heppen forever. Connors beat Borg in all exos in 82. He'd overtaken him. In Senior tennis Connors dominated Borg. It simply doesn't follow that because Borg beat Connors 8 times in a row he was going to do it forever.

When Borg was always beating Connors it wasn't like Federer Hewitt, a foregone conclusion. In 79 Connors couldn't compete with Borg, but in 80-81 Connors was a very tough opponent for him with lots of close matches. That wasn't going to go on forever, especially with Connors' improved serve.

vive le beau jeu !
04-16-2007, 08:12 AM
^^ interesting debate...
1. By the time of the '82 French Borg was already burnt out. If he played he might not have won. He was done mentally. Look at it this way. If Wilander (who himself was burnt out after the '88 US open) did not play in the '89 French, after the Chang victory we could all being saying Chang only won because Mats did not play. Was Wilander a better clay courter. Yes. Would a prime '88 Wilander lose a five setter at the French to Chang. Hell no. Would a prime Wilander choke like Lendl did? Hell no. All this is moot, because a burnt/bored/mentally weak Wilander did play and lost in the quarters. Would a prime Borg have won the '82? Most likely. Would a burnt out Borg won? A Big maybe not.
good point... even if it isn't easy to accept that "being burnt out" (mentally or physically) is part of the game.

but "coming back to his 90's comeback", he had match point against volkov, #17 at that time... so he was not that far.
if only there was some youtube clip of that match...
but we still have the stats : 12 aces... the serve was still working, for instance ! ;)
i wish he tried a bit more, he would probably have won some matches. but this weird coach was certainly not a good choice...

Rabbit
04-16-2007, 09:13 AM
Connors was the most determined competitor in the history of tennis. Yes Borg had won several matches in a row, but increasingly their matches were becoming closer. The tide was turning. And it's very very important to remember that Connors improved his serve in 82. With Connors improving and Borg declining, Borg was heading for the no.3 or even no.4 position.

You made some good points, however, you cannot include exhibitions in the argument. Borg didn't care about exhibitions. They didn't count toward rankings. Borg was guaranteed his share of the money from them. However, when it counted, Borg won. His head to head with Connors was 13 - 8. He won the last 8 meetings. How can you justify a statement like "Connors was improving" when he was still getting routined by Borg when Borg was in decline?

Yep, Connors went 5 sets with Borg at Wimbledon in 1981. Two months later, Borg routined him in straight sets on a hard court in the semis of the US Open. These are the same hardcourts that Connors loved and Borg hated.

Prior to 1977, Connors record against Borg was 6 - 1.

From 1977 on, Borg was 12 - 2 with Connors. One of those wins was the 1978 US Open final when Borg had hurt his hand during the tournament.

Seems to me that Borg was the one who turned a corner.

Also, Connors "improved" serve was a myth. Connors worked on his serve for a Wimbledon. He didn't win the title that year. If you go back and look at his last run at the US Open, and even years before that, he's back to spinning it in and getting good placement. Connors' service strength was in getting a guy to lean to one side and then hit one away from him. Connors never had a serving metamorphisis ala Borg. Borg's serve did actually become a real weapon starting in about 1977.

Now I enjoyed watching Connors play as much as anyone, but saying that he was closing the gap on Borg is just not true. From the record, Borg had Connors under his thumb when it counted. Connors never said he'd follow any other player "to the ends of the earth". Borg dominated Connors until he retired.

Zimbo
04-16-2007, 05:27 PM
Connors was the most determined competitor in the history of tennis. Yes Borg had won several matches in a row, but increasingly their matches were becoming closer. The tide was turning. And it's very very important to remember that Connors improved his serve in 82. With Connors improving and Borg declining, Borg was heading for the no.3 or even no.4 position.

Sometimes rivalries abruptly change. Look at Lendl Mac, multiple consecutive wins for 1 player were followed by multiple consecutive wins for another.

You can't simply say Borg owned Connors and that was going to heppen forever. Connors beat Borg in all exos in 82. He'd overtaken him. In Senior tennis Connors dominated Borg. It simply doesn't follow that because Borg beat Connors 8 times in a row he was going to do it forever.

When Borg was always beating Connors it wasn't like Federer Hewitt, a foregone conclusion. In 79 Connors couldn't compete with Borg, but in 80-81 Connors was a very tough opponent for him with lots of close matches. That wasn't going to go on forever, especially with Connors' improved serve.

Good points. I agree with you that we can't make ssumptions that if Borg continued to play he would still have dominated Connors just because he WAS dominating him before. But, hear me out, here's my logical on it. It seems like everyone here on the forum would say Borg is a superior Wilander, right? Now look at Wilander's head to head with Connors. He never lost to him. So, logically we could make a pretty good assumption that Borg would still dominate Connors if he continued to play and wasn't Burnt out. If you don't agree then you would have to admit that Wilander would beat Borg cause he was beating Connors. Almost no one believes this notion. I know different match ups may favour different players but Wilander's style is very similars to Borg's minus Borg's ground stroke power and serve so you can draw you own conclusions.

I can use the same example above to logically deduce that Borg would still have done well against Mac if he continued to play.

stormholloway
04-16-2007, 06:08 PM
The tide was turning.

Sometimes rivalries abruptly change. Look at Lendl Mac, multiple consecutive wins for 1 player were followed by multiple consecutive wins for another.

You can't simply say Borg owned Connors and that was going to heppen forever. Connors beat Borg in all exos in 82. He'd overtaken him. In Senior tennis Connors dominated Borg. It simply doesn't follow that because Borg beat Connors 8 times in a row he was going to do it forever.

When Borg was always beating Connors it wasn't like Federer Hewitt, a foregone conclusion. In 79 Connors couldn't compete with Borg, but in 80-81 Connors was a very tough opponent for him with lots of close matches. That wasn't going to go on forever, especially with Connors' improved serve.

The Mac/Lendl rivalry can't be used. Lendl was a choker who found his form after Mac's layoff. Borg was not a choker.

Exos? What? Didn't Roddick beat Federer at an exo this year? So what?

Connors was playing a lot more tennis than Borg in 82. 1982 doesn't count at all.

You say that we can't say that Borg's domination of Connors wasn't going to last forever then say that Connors was going to turn it around. So you're saying your prediction of the future is better than ours?

You're basically saying we can't do what you just did.

krosero
04-16-2007, 06:37 PM
Connors was the most determined competitor in the history of tennis. Yes Borg had won several matches in a row, but increasingly their matches were becoming closer. The tide was turning. And it's very very important to remember that Connors improved his serve in 82. With Connors improving and Borg declining, Borg was heading for the no.3 or even no.4 position.

Sometimes rivalries abruptly change. Look at Lendl Mac, multiple consecutive wins for 1 player were followed by multiple consecutive wins for another.

You can't simply say Borg owned Connors and that was going to heppen forever. Connors beat Borg in all exos in 82. He'd overtaken him. In Senior tennis Connors dominated Borg. It simply doesn't follow that because Borg beat Connors 8 times in a row he was going to do it forever.

When Borg was always beating Connors it wasn't like Federer Hewitt, a foregone conclusion. In 79 Connors couldn't compete with Borg, but in 80-81 Connors was a very tough opponent for him with lots of close matches. That wasn't going to go on forever, especially with Connors' improved serve.I agree with everyone else that exhibitions shouldn't count, but I think you've got a valid argument here. Connors came very close to beating Borg in 1980-81. The argument that Borg "owned" him is exaggerated, IMO. Navratilova certainly "owned" Evert as of June 1984, if "owning" has any meaning; but even that lopsided domination certainly doesn't mean that Evert had no chance of winning again. If Navratilova had disappeared in June 1984, there would be arguments about whether Evert could have closed the gap or was closing it at all, but it would not be valid to say from the scores alone that Navratilova owned her.

Comparing against other rivalries is trickly. Evert changed her game more than Connors did. The Lendl-McEnroe rivalry might apply, but McEnroe turned it around in 1983 by starting to come into the net a lot more on Lendl's serves; Connors did not have as many options.

That said, Connors did come very close to beating Borg in 1980-81. These are all their sanctioned matches after the 1976 US Open:

1981, US Open, NY, U.S.A., Hard, S, Borg, 6-2 7-5 6-4

1981, Wimbledon, England, Grass, S, Borg, 0-6 4-6 6-3 6-0 6-4

1980, Masters, NY, U.S.A., Carpet, S, Borg, 6-4 6-7 6-3

1979, Masters, NY, U.S.A., Carpet, RR, Borg, 3-6 6-3 7-6

1979, Tokyo Indoor, Japan, Carpet, F, Borg, 6-2 6-2

1979, Wimbledon, England, Grass, S, Borg, 6-2 6-3 6-2

1979, Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A., Hard, F, Borg, 6-3 6-2

1979, Pepsi Grand Slam, Boca Raton, FL, USA, Hard, F, Borg, 6-2 6-3

1978, US Open, NY, U.S.A., Hard, F, Connors, 6-4 6-2 6-2

1978, Wimbledon, England, Grass, F, Borg, 6-2 6-2 6-3

1978, Pepsi Grand Slam, FL, U.S.A., Clay, F, Borg, 7-6 3-6 6-1

1977, Masters, NY, U.S.A., Carpet, F, Connors, 6-4 1-6 6-4

1977, Pepsi Grand Slam, Boca Raton, FL, USA, Clay, F, Borg, 6-4 5-7 6-3

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

1976, US Open, NY, U.S.A., Clay, F, Connors, 6-4 3-6 7-6 6-4

Through the 1977 season they had close matches. In the 1978-79 seasons, Borg took almost all the matches in straight sets, other than the '78 Open final in which he was injured, and the Masters match in January 1980 (listed above as the 1979 Masters). That one went to 7-6 in the deciding set.

That was during what was Borg's best period ever, the 12 months between his fourth and fifth Wimbledon titles. On that evidence alone, I'd say that Connors still had a chance of beating Borg, so long as he stuck around long enough for Borg to have an off-day or off-season, and at least tried to come into the net more.

CyBorg
04-17-2007, 08:26 AM
Huh? I guess your Borg pic qualifies you.. umm.

Everyone knows he quit after '81 dude. Exos? Give us a break.

He didn't quit after '81.

www.atptennis.com

CyBorg
04-17-2007, 08:35 AM
Connors didn't have a life? Explain.

Connors is an introvert and chronic tennis addict. He never had much of a life outside of tennis, nor much of a social life.

He's the opposite of Safin.

CyBorg
04-17-2007, 08:40 AM
That's the problem (for Borg), Tennis was Connors' life but Borg wanted to get away from the sport. As with everything else in life, you will be more successful if you are passionate about the things that you do.

Ultimately it hurts Connors more than it hurts Borg.

Bjorn has his own fashion company while Jimmy doesn't know what to do with himself. We all know that Jimmy was dying the past several years, which is why he took on the Roddick job. He craves the attention - he wants to play but he can't.

This is pretty terrible. Many athletes just waste away after retirement because of this. They spend their youth getting used to a lifestyle and then they must abandon it.

Borg is lucky to be the way he is.

CyBorg
04-17-2007, 08:41 AM
Connors is the only player to push Borg to 5 sets twice. Tanner did it once so I don't see how he was more trouble than Connors. In 77 and 81 Borg edged it 6-4 in the fifth against Connors and both matches could very well have gone the other way. Borg knew that Connors was always a serious threat, and his most dangerous opponent at Wimbledon other than McEnroe.

Nah. Tanner was much tougher. I believe Borg beat Connors something like 12 times in a row.

He couldn't do that to Tanner.

CyBorg
04-17-2007, 08:44 AM
Connors was playing a lot more tennis than Borg in 82. 1982 doesn't count at all.

Exactly. Borg played for fun after '81. Other guys played for a paycheck.

dommod
04-19-2007, 08:12 PM
He didn't quit after '81.

www.atptennis.com

I look up his name. The information was confusing. He only play Monte Carlo and not many other tournament after 1981?

stormholloway
04-19-2007, 08:22 PM
He didn't quit after '81.

www.atptennis.com

If you don't play a slam, you've quit in my book.

Moose Malloy
04-26-2007, 08:23 AM
It was interesting to hear Wilander say in his interview with Chris Myers that he would have had 100% no chance of beating Borg at the French Open in 1982.

This is what he said this week about the '82 French:

"On Thursday, I’m going to play John McEnroe. I can’t believe it’s been 25 years since we played our crazy Davis Cup match in St. Louis,"

"John just lost to Jimmy Connors in a five-set final at Wimbledon and we played the following week. The match for me was kind of my introduction to the men’s game. Even though I won the French Open, I was still very young and frankly, at the French, a lot of the guys who I played choked a little bit."

http://www.sportsmediainc.com/tennisweek/index.cfm?func=showarticle&newsid=16874&bannerregion=

I don't think Borg would have choked had he played Wilander in '82. And Wilander knows it.

CyBorg
04-26-2007, 08:40 AM
If you don't play a slam, you've quit in my book.

Who exactly cares about your 'book'?

CyBorg
04-26-2007, 08:46 AM
I look up his name. The information was confusing. He only play Monte Carlo and not many other tournament after 1981?

The ATP site provides the tourney info for those events that they recognize. There's a few (like the Suntori open) that are not in there.

Most people know that Borg played much less in 82 and 83, but he didn't retire until 83. I think that what Borg foresaw for himself was to end his career like his idol Rod Laver, by concentrating on events outside of the grand slams. But I think he got restless and frustrated by the fact that his game was degenerating due to his, by that time, lax workout schedules.

There is another factor - I believe Borg was trying to play at Stuttgart (correct me if I'm wrong here) in 83 and was denied on account that his rating had plummeted (he played very little). The tourney refused to grant him a wildcard and that ****ed him off. He hung them up very soon thereafter. Tennis didn't treat past champions as well as it does now.

TheNatural
04-26-2007, 09:42 AM
mabe due to his crap forehand technique.

noeledmonds
04-26-2007, 11:35 AM
The only time Borg and Wilander did meet in ATP competition Borg won 6-1, 6-1 (in 1982 at Geneva on clay). This combined with Wilander's clear lack of belief in his ability to beat Borg would surely have allowed Borg to ease to victory.

federerfanatic
04-26-2007, 11:47 AM
Maybe I am misinterpreting what some of you are trying to say but while on one hand I totally agree that Borg would have beaten Wilander at the 82 French Open, how does that diminish from Wilander's title there, or any of Wilander's future titles that might be in question?

Borg chose to retire, that is his own choice, he should not be given any benefit of doubt credit to what he should have or would have won. It is not like he was stabbed or crippled as a teenager like some other noteable players. Should the players that profited from McEnroe letting his lifestyle lead him to take a detour from tennis as his #1 priority, after 1984, be considered to have wins of lesser value? It was Borg's choice to retire, whatever he might have won it is his loss, others that profited from it their wins are worth 100% value as I see it, since they were willing to put in the effort to play at that level, and Borg no longer was. The only thing is in evaluating their competition, however strong their competition may or may not have been in Borg's absence, other then that no consideration for me.

Now speculating what he would have gone on to win, and who would have been impacted had he continued I can see. Tainting the wins of anyone else because Borg chose to take early retirement I dont see at all though.

noeledmonds
04-26-2007, 11:54 AM
Here is Borg's record against other great clay courters on red clay:

Borg 7 Vilas 2*
Borg 2 Connors 0
Borg 3 Lendl 0
Borg 1 Wilander 0
Borg 2 Kodes 1
Borg 2 Nastase 3
Borg 6 Panatta 5
Borg 9 Orantes 3

*Includes match in Buenos Aires where Borg retired

Incredible, particularly when you consider that Borg was playing many of these players from the age of 16 and 17 (e.g. Borg's first 2 loses to Nastase were before his 18th birthday)

federerfanatic
04-26-2007, 11:55 AM
Here is Borg's record against other great clay courters on red clay:

Borg 7 Vilas 2*
Borg 2 Connors 0
Borg 3 Lendl 0
Borg 1 Wilander 0
Borg 2 Kodes 1
Borg 1 Nastase 3
Borg 5 Panatta 5
Borg 7 Orantes 2

*Includes match in Buenos Aires where Borg retired

Incredible, particularly when you consider that Borg was playing many of these players from the age of 16 and 17 (e.g. Borg's first 2 loses to Nastase were before his 18th birthday)

I laugh a bit at how you emphasize "red clay" in such a pronounced way. :p

Since Roddick even wins tournaments on green clay though, I can understand though.

noeledmonds
04-27-2007, 10:03 AM
Here is Borg's record against other great clay courters on red clay:

Borg 7 Vilas 2*
Borg 2 Connors 0
Borg 3 Lendl 0
Borg 1 Wilander 0
Borg 2 Kodes 1
Borg 2 Nastase 3
Borg 6 Panatta 5
Borg 9 Orantes 3

*Includes match in Buenos Aires where Borg retired

Incredible, particularly when you consider that Borg was playing many of these players from the age of 16 and 17 (e.g. Borg's first 2 loses to Nastase were before his 18th birthday)

Results corrected to incorpertate Davis Cup results. Borg actually beat Nastase 6-3 6-0 6-0 that time. (Of course Nastase was older, and Borg was near prime but still impressive result.)

B.B.
04-30-2007, 12:16 PM
1. Borg played against the best in the world when he was ranked number 1 in the world, you can´t blame him for living during this time .
2. He is a coolcat that loves life and don´t bother about thinking more than 1 minute forward.
3. His comeback(s) was not a comeback, it was just a worried mind at a worring time.
4. If I had to compere him to any atelet in the world it would be Ben Hogan in golf and Valentiono Rossi in Moto GP.

And for all you suckers out there that don´t appriciate hard work and devotion, I have seen the place where he used to train alone grewing up, and it isn´t a pretty sight. It has 2 sevear damage holes. One on the right side about 1" from McEnroe´s reach on his backhand volley. The other one is on the asphalt about 15 yards out.

CEvertFan
04-30-2007, 11:14 PM
Borg's match against Mac in '81 at Wimbledon was closer than people give credit. Assuming Borg had recovered from his '81 losses, there's no reason he wouldn't be considered a potential champion.

I see absolutely no evidence to support a potential turnaround for Connors in that rivalry other than Borg's mental state. Like someone else said, Borg owned Connors.



The Borg vs Connors head to head stands at 13-8 in Borg's favor. I don't consider that owning a player.

Some of Borg's other major rivals:

McEnroe vs Borg - tied at 7-7
Lendl vs Borg - 2-5 in Borg's favor


This is what I consider the proper usage of the term "owned":

Borg vs Vitas Gerulaitis 16-0 in Borg's favor. ;)

keithchircop
04-30-2007, 11:31 PM
Borg stopped practicing to the same extent as in his prime years. He liked practice and exhibitions, but gradually he lost interest in putting in all of the hours and getting up early in the morning.

In his comeback in '91 and onwards Borg's practices were almost laughable by pro standards. He did it at a comfort level of the average amateur - he wasn't willing to put in 4-5 hours a day. Conversely Connors is a guy who worked his butt off into his 40s - more than ever.

But Connors didn't have a life. Borg wanted one.

are you implying that everyone who works at least 4 hours a day doesn't have a life? LOL

TheNatural
05-03-2007, 06:45 AM
But Lendl beat borg twice when he was only 20 and borg 25 and at his peak. Lendl was just a baby and became much better after that. Mcenroe also beat Borg the last 3 times in 1981, at only 22, when mcenroe was getting better, so it was a timely retirement for Borg. And Wilander was only 17 when Borg beat. him.


Here is Borg's record against other great clay courters on red clay:

Borg 7 Vilas 2*
Borg 2 Connors 0
Borg 3 Lendl 0
Borg 1 Wilander 0
Borg 2 Kodes 1
Borg 2 Nastase 3
Borg 6 Panatta 5
Borg 9 Orantes 3

*Includes match in Buenos Aires where Borg retired

Incredible, particularly when you consider that Borg was playing many of these players from the age of 16 and 17 (e.g. Borg's first 2 loses to Nastase were before his 18th birthday)

TheNatural
05-03-2007, 06:47 AM
John Newcombe v Borg 3-0

obanaghan
05-03-2007, 04:58 PM
A lot of tennis is mental intimidation. I saw Martina play and come to net on crappy approaches and beat a gal easy. The gal would have blown those balls down my throat but because it was MN she shanked the passing shots and lost.

If the men were no longer afraid of Borg or better yet if his motivation and confidence were down he was toast. Speaking of Wilander this is what happened after his awesome 1988 efforts winning 3/4 Slams. After that he was routed often and I think made a QF in Melbourne and that was about it.

CyBorg
05-03-2007, 06:29 PM
The Borg vs Connors head to head stands at 13-8 in Borg's favor. I don't consider that owning a player.

Look at the results in their head-to-head from 1977 onwards.

CyBorg
05-03-2007, 06:29 PM
are you implying that everyone who works at least 4 hours a day doesn't have a life? LOL

No. Think it over - I bet you're smart enough to figure it out.

CyBorg
05-03-2007, 06:30 PM
John Newcombe v Borg 3-0

Let's just make this clear: you're a troll.

noeledmonds
05-04-2007, 05:28 AM
But Lendl beat borg twice when he was only 20 and borg 25 and at his peak. Lendl was just a baby and became much better after that. Mcenroe also beat Borg the last 3 times in 1981, at only 22, when mcenroe was getting better, so it was a timely retirement for Borg. And Wilander was only 17 when Borg beat. him.

It is good to see you have done some research on the players but you twist and minipulate numbers out of context. You make 20 to 25 sound like a massive age gap. This is not the case, Federer and Nadal are more different in age than Borg and Lendl. Borg still has a convincing head to head lead over Lendl of 5 wins to 2 losses. Borg won their most important encouter at the FO final. McEnroe and Borg were fairly well matched on grass and this is reflected with 1 Wimbledon final won each. Borg was at his weakest in the USA so it is not a suprise that McEnroe got the better of Borg there with his home crowd. Borg was good enough to reach finals in the USA and play McEnroe. McEnroe on the other hand was not good enough to reach finals against Borg on the red clay. McEnroe and Borg never even played on Borg's strongest surface and McEnroe's weakest surface. Borg would have been unlikely to lose a set to McEnroe on clay in ten encounters, such was Borg's dominance on the dirt. Borg and Wilander were actually practise partners for a while and Wilander admitted that he would have NO chance of beating Borg when he won his first FO in 1982. Borg was in a different class to Wilander and Wilander was not afraid to admit it.

John Newcombe v Borg 3-0

Interesting Head to Head but actually wrong I belive. Borg BEAT Newcombe at Hilton Head WITC in 1978 in the semi-final 6-4 6-2. You can buy the DVD here if you want:

http://www.geocities.com/ricksasha27560/1970-1980.html

You can't belive everything that ATP website says. It is not up to date and accurate. Talking of beating younger players like Wilander, remember that Borg was just 18 when he lost his first two matches to Newcombe. Borg acutally retired from the other match he lost to Newcombe.

It may interest you that Newcombe is the ONLY player to have a leading head to head against Borg where three or more matches have been played. Effectivly no one holds a greater head to head lead than two match wins against Borg. Borg holds convincing head to head leads against so many great players.

Rabbit
05-04-2007, 07:04 AM
The Natural is just another incarnation of a troll who likes to start a thread about how good Borg wasn't. Give him some time and he'll bring up an article by Gianna Clarici about how Borg wasn't that good.

Yeah, Borg beat Wilander at 17 like a drum. That was the same 17-year old Wilander who went on to win the French Open still at 17.

Espen
05-08-2007, 03:25 AM
Bjørn Borg was basically motivated for an economic comeback - not a tennis one. The creditors was on his back all the time.
Back in Sweden he had lost most of his friends, among other things through bad business proposals. He had also divorced Jannike, his wife. The only “friends” he still had, was his party friends and people hanging around him because of his legendary name and fame.
Living in Monte Carlo, he did cocaine and heavy partying - and tried to stay in high society – but personally he was a sad, depressed and lonesome person.
Tennis had improved enormously since he finished his career – so Borg had to be better than ever to succeed. It ended like it was doomed to – when you are motived by all the wrong reasons …

It is written a book on Bjørn Borg’s life: http://www.amazon.com/Bjorn-Borg-Lars-Skarke/dp/1857820339 It is written by a former close friend; who got badly burned by Borg’s businesses. I have read it.

TheNatural
05-08-2007, 08:57 AM
Just going by what I saw in his game. I was impressed by his fitness, and his backhand was ok by the standards of those days(in the early days not in his comeback days), but his game didnt really amaze me in any way.

By the way John Newcombe beat Borg like a drum 3 times. SO How good was Newcombe?

The Natural is just another incarnation of a troll who likes to start a thread about how good Borg wasn't. Give him some time and he'll bring up an article by Gianna Clarici about how Borg wasn't that good.

Yeah, Borg beat Wilander at 17 like a drum. That was the same 17-year old Wilander who went on to win the French Open still at 17.

TheNatural
05-08-2007, 09:20 AM
My point is some players improve a lot after 20 years of age, so it's not too relevant to take their head to head record agaisnt people at that age in order to prove anything. If you took Federers early head to head record versus hewitt, Rafter etc , he wouldnt look that great. OBviously Lendl improved greatly after 20,just like Federer did, but he still beat borg twice at 20.

Borgs achievements speak for themselves. But I think he retired at a time JUST before mcenroe and lendl and mabe others could start dominating him.



It is good to see you have done some research on the players but you twist and minipulate numbers out of context. You make 20 to 25 sound like a massive age gap. This is not the case, Federer and Nadal are more different in age than Borg and Lendl. Borg still has a convincing head to head lead over Lendl of 5 wins to 2 losses. Borg won their most important encouter at the FO final. McEnroe and Borg were fairly well matched on grass and this is reflected with 1 Wimbledon final won each. Borg was at his weakest in the USA so it is not a suprise that McEnroe got the better of Borg there with his home crowd. Borg was good enough to reach finals in the USA and play McEnroe. McEnroe on the other hand was not good enough to reach finals against Borg on the red clay. McEnroe and Borg never even played on Borg's strongest surface and McEnroe's weakest surface. Borg would have been unlikely to lose a set to McEnroe on clay in ten encounters, such was Borg's dominance on the dirt. Borg and Wilander were actually practise partners for a while and Wilander admitted that he would have NO chance of beating Borg when he won his first FO in 1982. Borg was in a different class to Wilander and Wilander was not afraid to admit it.



Interesting Head to Head but actually wrong I belive. Borg BEAT Newcombe at Hilton Head WITC in 1978 in the semi-final 6-4 6-2. You can buy the DVD here if you want:

http://www.geocities.com/ricksasha27560/1970-1980.html

You can't belive everything that ATP website says. It is not up to date and accurate. Talking of beating younger players like Wilander, remember that Borg was just 18 when he lost his first two matches to Newcombe. Borg acutally retired from the other match he lost to Newcombe.

It may interest you that Newcombe is the ONLY player to have a leading head to head against Borg where three or more matches have been played. Effectivly no one holds a greater head to head lead than two match wins against Borg. Borg holds convincing head to head leads against so many great players.

Rabbit
05-08-2007, 10:26 AM
Just going by what I saw in his game. I was impressed by his fitness, and his backhand was ok by the standards of those days(in the early days not in his comeback days), but his game didnt really amaze me in any way.

By the way John Newcombe beat Borg like a drum 3 times. SO How good was Newcombe?

Well first and foremost, your view of "like a drum" is quite different than the norm. I don't want to confuse you with facts, but here is their record:

1978
Richmond WCT
VA, U.S.A.
Carpet
Q
Newcombe
6-0 1-0 RET

1974
Masters
Australia
Grass
RR
Newcombe
7-6 7-6
1974

Dallas WCT
TX, U.S.A.
Carpet
F
Newcombe
4-6 6-3 6-3 6-2

http://www.atptennis.com/5/graphics/space.gifIn 1978, Borg retired from the match. It appears to me that Borg was injured as he didn't win a game.

In the other two matches, one went to two tiebreaks and the other went 4 sets. One was on grass and one on carpet. In 1974, John Newcombe was ranked #1 in the world for at least part of the year. Borg was 17 - 18 during that year.

How good was John Newcombe? He won as many Grand Slam titles as John McEnroe and Mats Wilander. He won 3 Wimbledon titles, one of which was the last before Open tennis in 1967 and the other two were during the Open era. So, he was no pushover, but then again, he was no Borg either.

You really are like a terrier. When you get one factoid, you really hang on to it and push it as the only factor in the argument. John Newcombe was one of the best players to ever pick up a racket. He was a great grass court player. The fact that he is 3 - 0 against Borg really doesn't prove anything since Borg was 17 - 18 during the first two matches and retired in the third.

With regard to being impressive,

Borg was the first player to routinely hit winners from the baseline with his opponent on the other baseline. He did this with a wooden racket.
Borg's other semi-impressive feat might include winning the French Open 6 times
and winning the French Open and Wimbledon back to back more than once.
Borg also had one of the most impressive winning streaks on clay (they really didn't care about that kind of stuff back then, so it wasn't broadcast. Borg himself didn't care about any event save the Grand Slams.)
and owned the guy who had the best winning streak on clay for 30 something years.
Borg also continues to have one of if not the highest winning percentages in Grand Slam competition.
He also holds the record for most consecutive wins at Wimbledon, displacing the previous record holder one Rod Laver, no slouch himself.
Borg dominated his competiton like no one until one Roger Federer showed up.
In 1979, Sports Illustrated said the Borg was the most perfectly musculatered athlete in any sport at any timeYour obssesion with how good Borg wasn't only points to your lack of perspective and familiarity with that era of tennis. Borg was considered untouchable by the guys who played against him and pretty much revered by all as the ultimate competitor. Borg's demeanor on court and his reverence for Grand Slams really underscores his greatness.

Finally, pointing to a matchup against John Newcombe is just plain disingenuous and as valid as those who would point to Federer and Sampras' head to head. If Borg had a problem with Newcombe, fine, it may well have been a poor match up for him. However, never think that John Newcombe wasn't a great player. He was.

dirkgnuf
05-12-2007, 07:40 AM
Espen, Lars Skarke is the guy who tried to steal Borg's money, taking 25% claim in his company and then suing Borg to get even more money afterwards. His book is pretty much a blatant attack against Borg. I happen to have the SI 1991, "Borg Comeback" edition and a good bit of it is spent on Lars Skarke and how he was considered a con man in Europe etc.
If anything, Borg wasn't as poor as most people think, as according to the article, he still had millions in trust funds.
Rabbit, excellent points!

CyBorg
05-12-2007, 11:04 AM
Bjørn Borg was basically motivated for an economic comeback - not a tennis one. The creditors was on his back all the time.
Back in Sweden he had lost most of his friends, among other things through bad business proposals. He had also divorced Jannike, his wife. The only “friends” he still had, was his party friends and people hanging around him because of his legendary name and fame.
Living in Monte Carlo, he did cocaine and heavy partying - and tried to stay in high society – but personally he was a sad, depressed and lonesome person.
Tennis had improved enormously since he finished his career – so Borg had to be better than ever to succeed. It ended like it was doomed to – when you are motived by all the wrong reasons …

It is written a book on Bjørn Borg’s life: http://www.amazon.com/Bjorn-Borg-Lars-Skarke/dp/1857820339 It is written by a former close friend; who got badly burned by Borg’s businesses. I have read it.

Sounds trustworthy!

jelichek
05-12-2007, 12:58 PM
Can anyone provide a link or way to that Sports Illustrated article from '91. Had the magazine then and it was a fascinating article. Would love to read it again.

zapvor
05-12-2007, 04:16 PM
i only read half of the first page, but i read that when he lost at Roland Garros that time to someone who i forgot, he didnt even stay for the trophy presentation. he walked off court, got in a car, went to the airport, and left town. just like that. and within 3 months of that loss he retired. i find him very interesting though,because he was so great, and at the same time he was an idol, especially with the ladies. there are also accounts of him sleeping naked the night before the match, with the temperature kept at exactly some degree, and he would lay out all 50 of his rackets, and order them in tension ,etc etc

zapvor
05-12-2007, 04:26 PM
Well first and foremost, your view of "like a drum" is quite different than the norm. I don't want to confuse you with facts, but here is their record:

1978
Richmond WCT
VA, U.S.A.
Carpet
Q
Newcombe
6-0 1-0 RET

1974
Masters
Australia
Grass
RR
Newcombe
7-6 7-6
1974

Dallas WCT
TX, U.S.A.
Carpet
F
Newcombe
4-6 6-3 6-3 6-2

http://www.atptennis.com/5/graphics/space.gifIn 1978, Borg retired from the match. It appears to me that Borg was injured as he didn't win a game.

In the other two matches, one went to two tiebreaks and the other went 4 sets. One was on grass and one on carpet. In 1974, John Newcombe was ranked #1 in the world for at least part of the year. Borg was 17 - 18 during that year.

How good was John Newcombe? He won as many Grand Slam titles as John McEnroe and Mats Wilander. He won 3 Wimbledon titles, one of which was the last before Open tennis in 1967 and the other two were during the Open era. So, he was no pushover, but then again, he was no Borg either.

You really are like a terrier. When you get one factoid, you really hang on to it and push it as the only factor in the argument. John Newcombe was one of the best players to ever pick up a racket. He was a great grass court player. The fact that he is 3 - 0 against Borg really doesn't prove anything since Borg was 17 - 18 during the first two matches and retired in the third.

With regard to being impressive,

Borg was the first player to routinely hit winners from the baseline with his opponent on the other baseline. He did this with a wooden racket.
Borg's other semi-impressive feat might include winning the French Open 6 times
and winning the French Open and Wimbledon back to back more than once.
Borg also had one of the most impressive winning streaks on clay (they really didn't care about that kind of stuff back then, so it wasn't broadcast. Borg himself didn't care about any event save the Grand Slams.)
and owned the guy who had the best winning streak on clay for 30 something years.
Borg also continues to have one of if not the highest winning percentages in Grand Slam competition.
He also holds the record for most consecutive wins at Wimbledon, displacing the previous record holder one Rod Laver, no slouch himself.
Borg dominated his competiton like no one until one Roger Federer showed up.
In 1979, Sports Illustrated said the Borg was the most perfectly musculatered athlete in any sport at any timeYour obssesion with how good Borg wasn't only points to your lack of perspective and familiarity with that era of tennis. Borg was considered untouchable by the guys who played against him and pretty much revered by all as the ultimate competitor. Borg's demeanor on court and his reverence for Grand Slams really underscores his greatness.

Finally, pointing to a matchup against John Newcombe is just plain disingenuous and as valid as those who would point to Federer and Sampras' head to head. If Borg had a problem with Newcombe, fine, it may well have been a poor match up for him. However, never think that John Newcombe wasn't a great player. He was.

OWNAGE. Borg is great. so, how do you hit winners from the baseline to the other baseline again :p

Mick
05-12-2007, 07:52 PM
Borg looked pretty good at 34 when he attempted to come back.

http://i9.tinypic.com/5x5g8d5.jpg

CyBorg
05-12-2007, 09:59 PM
i only read half of the first page, but i read that when he lost at Roland Garros that time to someone who i forgot, he didnt even stay for the trophy presentation. he walked off court, got in a car, went to the airport, and left town. just like that. and within 3 months of that loss he retired. i find him very interesting though,because he was so great, and at the same time he was an idol, especially with the ladies. there are also accounts of him sleeping naked the night before the match, with the temperature kept at exactly some degree, and he would lay out all 50 of his rackets, and order them in tension ,etc etc

You're thinking of the US Open, not Roland Garros. But, yes, interesting indeed.

CyBorg
05-12-2007, 10:02 PM
Borg looked pretty good at 34 when he attempted to come back.

Yes, although I read that his training wasn't nearly as extensive as back in the heyday.

It was funny when Borg was interviewed about his preparation for the recent matches with McEnroe and he said that he was practicing half an hour per day or something like that. The guy clearly stays in shape but tennis has been a recreational thing for quite some time.

Mick
05-12-2007, 10:03 PM
I recall that had something to do with a death threat.

Morpheus
05-13-2007, 04:10 AM
By the way John Newcombe beat Borg like a drum 3 times. SO How good was Newcombe?

How can you possibly have a point of view in this conversation if you do not know the answer to this question?

Rabbit
05-13-2007, 02:44 PM
How can you possibly have a point of view in this conversation if you do not know the answer to this question?

An excellent question. Direct and to the point although rhetorical.

Morpheus
05-13-2007, 03:03 PM
An excellent question. Direct and to the point although rhetorical.

Sometimes some things just need to be said. Too often I see you and others discussing players of the past (with great detail and perspective, by the way)with people who either don't know tennis, or didn't live during the era under debate.

I was one of those guys who wore the Fila red, played with the Donnay Borg, and got up early to watch Borg win Wimbly. That was a fun time to be playing tennis.

TheNatural
05-13-2007, 11:23 PM
Bit off topic, but here's a good read on Borg for you Borg fans.

http://www.timpears.com/default.asp?s=4&t=15