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View Full Version : Did Mcenroe drive Borg from tennis?


Azzurri
05-25-2007, 06:05 AM
Over the years I have heard and read that Mac was the reason Borg retired. I don't believe he was the sole reason, but I do think after Mac took his #1 ranking Borg just stopped wanting to be #1. Maybe he felt it was too much work? I realize the guy was already a 10 year veteran on the circuit, but pro's back then seemed to have an "off season" of sorts. Many skipped the Aussie open.
Some think Mac had nothing to do with it.....

So what are your thoughts?

bluegrasser
05-25-2007, 06:13 AM
I saw a Bio on Borg and he said after that loss he didn't want to pay the price anymore, he was burnt out - wanted to party and enjoy the good life...which he did btw..

Azzurri
05-25-2007, 06:29 AM
do you think Mac had something to do with that? Its almost as if it was a relief for him to lose the #1 ranking. He put an enormous amount of pressure on himself and was probably the fittest player of any era before and since. I read he was literalry a machine and for him to just quit was shocking to many, many people. Hence the blame was Mac....but was it??:)

bluegrasser
05-25-2007, 06:39 AM
do you think Mac had something to do with that? Its almost as if it was a relief for him to lose the #1 ranking. He put an enormous amount of pressure on himself and was probably the fittest player of any era before and since. I read he was literalry a machine and for him to just quit was shocking to many, many people. Hence the blame was Mac....but was it??:)

Yes, at least in part, but I think he was just tired of the grind and wanted to do other things with his life. It would of been nice to go out like Sampras, and Brog could of easily won another FO.

Moose Malloy
05-25-2007, 08:55 AM
Mac being the reason Borg retired only became a popular theory years later, not at the actual time it happened.

I have many magazines, books, matches on dvd/tape from that era that shed light on this(and I won't take what Mac's thoughts on this very seriously, consider the source)

many forget borg didn't retire after the losing the '81 us open final to mac, he only retired in early 1983!(commentators/writers today love saying nonsense, like "borg left the game after the '81 us open that year, never to return again...")

did mac win any slams in 1982? no, jimmy connors won Wimbledon & the US Open in '82 & borg owned him, so does it make sense that borg would retire when his supposed superior rival Mac wasn't playing well, but a guy he owned was winning wimbledon & the us open?

the retirement announcement was shocking, since borg was still playing some atp events in '82 & many exhibitions. he wasn't sitting around doing nothing, he was still training hard, etc. in interviews throughout '82 he made it clear that he was planning on coming back in 1983.

but another setback occurred, the atp said if borg didn't commit to a certain amount of events in '83, he would be forced to play the qualifying at the french & wimbledon! can you imagine them treating one of the biggest stars in the game like that? borg told them to shove it & retired.

The tour was not very player friendly in those days. Vilas was banned for 6 months(or longer?) in '83 for accepting appearance fees, something every top player today does with no problem), which effectively ended his career

Borg had started playing a limited schedule in '79/'80 & was getting a lot of pressure from the ATP to play more(check out his player activity in 1981, the 1981 US Open was only his 7th event of the year! I doubt any top player in the history of the game has ever played that little that late in the year, unless injured, which Borg was not. its pretty appparent that borg was not interested in being a fulltime player anymore, even before he started losing to mac. and that was simply unacceptable to the atp. its pretty amazing that borg could reach 3 slam finals in '81, playing so infrequently)

His retirement was due to many factors(keep in mind the guy was a pro at 15, he had no life outside tennis his entire life, he wanted to relax a little) but the #1 reason is that the atp would not let him play when he wanted, they should be ashamed for driving away one of its brightest stars.

Also, players taking breaks & coming back was common in the 70s(Laver, Newcombe did this) so there was no reason to think his hiatus in '82 was permanent. Remember Mac took a sabbatical from the tour in '86 as well.

AAAA
05-25-2007, 08:58 AM
To Borg's mind only ultimate victory made all the training and sacrifices justifiable [/i] to his mind[/i]. When he lost he felt it was time to wind down and retire, it was the lose itself that made him ultimately retire early, Mac per chance just happened to be the guy that Borg lost to.

Moose Malloy
05-25-2007, 09:03 AM
I realize the guy was already a 10 year veteran on the circuit, but pro's back then seemed to have an "off season" of sorts. Many skipped the Aussie open.


actually skipping the australian wasn't entirely due to players needing a break. The Year End Masters(which offered the most prize money on tour, & money was a big deal in those days, since it was exploding overnight) was in January, so it was extremely hard to play a slam in December followed by one of the most important events on tour in January (which offered a lot more prize money than the australian open at the time)

players had it so much harder back then(like I mentioned in my earlier post) they were forced to play more than players today(just look at player activity on borg, connors, mac in the 70s, it was an environment that wasn't ideal for peaking at the big events. i'm surprised they didn't suffer more shock losses at the majors, they must have been so tired during them)

in a way, borg's limited schedule in '80/'81 helped pave the way for Federer being allowed to pick & choose his events today.

CyBorg
05-25-2007, 12:23 PM
Marianna, Gerulaitis, the overall mileage of being a teenage sensation all played a role. There are many threads on this topic.

McEnroe to Borg was like Nadal to Federer - a real thorn in his side. But Borg still beat him most of the time until he decided it would be a good idea to take his good buddy Vitas on the town(s) from time to time. And who knows what else.

If McEnroe had mustered more than one slam in the years following Borg's semi-retirement the whole topic of Mac driving Borg out of the game would have been at least somewhat legit.

CyBorg
05-25-2007, 12:27 PM
To Borg's mind only ultimate victory made all the training and sacrifices justifiable [/i] to his mind[/i]. When he lost he felt it was time to wind down and retire, it was the lose itself that made him ultimately retire early, Mac per chance just happened to be the guy that Borg lost to.

Few realize what Borg put himself through in preparation for the Slams and the work he did during the slams. The discipline is unheart of - precise times for sleeping, waking up, going to bed, strict diet and practice and no sex. By '81 he began to slip a bit more and more in terms of his discipline and the bubble finally burst.

Today far less extreme schedule would have done wonders to keep someone like Borg in the game longer.