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View Full Version : How fast was Borg?


LttlElvis
02-21-2008, 10:06 AM
Was just messing around on YouTube and came across this vid. I had almost forgotten how fast he was.

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

Check out the foot speed. Incredible.

CEvertFan
02-21-2008, 11:32 AM
He was fast enough to have been a track and field 100 meter sprinter if he so desired.

CyBorg
02-21-2008, 11:52 AM
Everyone talks about speed, but Borg's movement was more than speed. What impresses me the most was his balance, the way he's always in control of his body, arms never flailing, efficient footwork.

Watch these clips and marvel at the ways that he makes every get seem easy. I think the ease and grace with which he moved gives some people the wrong idea. This is the way that tennis is somewhat similar to baseball, I think. You have great movers who play tennis and great movers who play the infield. Great shortstops, for example, make the tough play seem routine. Bad shortstops make an easy play seem tough. Sometimes we give more credit to the latter than the former because our eyes are deceived. It takes a trained eye to notice a good mover. A truly good mover.

Moz
02-21-2008, 11:53 AM
He was fast enough to have been a track and field 100 meter sprinter if he so desired.

Of what level?

Jonnyf
02-21-2008, 11:55 AM
Faster than a cheetah on speed


Wow...How pathetic was that!:shock:

Moz
02-21-2008, 11:57 AM
Faster than a cheetah on speed


Wow...How pathetic was that!:shock:

I suspect you could do a little better! :)

CEvertFan
02-21-2008, 12:09 PM
Everyone talks about speed, but Borg's movement was more than speed. What impresses me the most was his balance, the way he's always in control of his body, arms never flailing, efficient footwork.

Watch these clips and marvel at the ways that he makes every get seem easy. I think the ease and grace with which he moved gives some people the wrong idea. This is the way that tennis is somewhat similar to baseball, I think. You have great movers who play tennis and great movers who play the infield. Great shortstops, for example, make the tough play seem routine. Bad shortstops make an easy play seem tough. Sometimes we give more credit to the latter than the former because our eyes are deceived. It takes a trained eye to notice a good mover. A truly good mover.

Purely for tennis purposes yes all those things you mentioned make up a great mover and it isn't just footspeed that does, but I remember hearing something about Borg running a 100 yd dash in under 10 seconds although I don't remember the exact details of it.

CyBorg
02-21-2008, 01:31 PM
Purely for tennis purposes yes all those things you mentioned make up a great mover and it isn't just footspeed that does, but I remember hearing something about Borg running a 100 yd dash in under 10 seconds although I don't remember the exact details of it.

I don't think anyone knows the exact details. It's kind of an urban legend now.

hoodjem
02-21-2008, 01:50 PM
Of what level?

According to his wife at the time, Mariana Simionescu, (in her book titled Love match: My life with Bjorn), he once beat the European track and field hurdles champion in a foot race.

Leelord337
02-21-2008, 02:21 PM
Too bad Robin Borg, Bjorn's son isn't as fast as him.

jasoncho92
02-21-2008, 02:25 PM
He was probably extremely fast but there is no way that he ran the 100m in under 10 seconds. Probably 11 but definitely not under 10

aceroberts13
02-21-2008, 02:25 PM
Too bad Robin Borg, Bjorn's son isn't as fast as him.

Hahaaa..I don't see robing going 100 yards in ten minutes, let alone 10 seconds...

Moz
02-21-2008, 03:23 PM
According to his wife at the time, Mariana Simionescu, (in her book titled Love match: My life with Bjorn), he once beat the European track and field sprint champion in a foot race.

Thanks hoodjem.

Unfortunately what she wrote must be absolute, utter, unadulterated tosh. Or they were buggering around on the beach like Rocky and Apollo Creed.

LttlElvis
02-21-2008, 03:29 PM
Actually Borg beat an Olympic hurdler in the 100 m dash in a Superstars competition. Not sure the distance the hurdler normally ran, but no matter, just beating an Olympic track star in the 100m is impressive.

Moz
02-21-2008, 03:41 PM
..with Geoff Capes breathing down their necks in 3rd no doubt.

What next - I can beat Linford Christie in the 800m so I could have gone to the Olympics.

scotus
02-21-2008, 11:07 PM
To my knowledge, Borg and Graf are the only tennis players who were widely considered fast enough to compete in track and field in the Olympics.

grizzly4life
02-22-2008, 05:03 PM
my recollection from his ex-wife's book, and i read it quite recently, is that he beat the european 110 metres hurdles champion in the 400 metres. and it was in the superstars competition.... i love borg books. although i notice the book about his downfall is priced like a rare book on alibris.com. oh well, maybe just as well not to read it.

do people think he would have changed his 2hb alot if he played today? that set-up seems huge and the stroke looks strange....... the key to borg's greatness apparently was his early set-up and that comes from speed/fitness.

Enlightened Coelacanth
02-22-2008, 06:27 PM
He was very fast. Enough said. Olympic quality fast.

Moz
02-23-2008, 03:01 AM
Thanks for the details.

Let's get one thing out of the way - beating a 110m hurdler over 400m says nothing about olympic aspirations as they are completely two disciplines even without the obstacles.

Saying he is Olympic fast is just nonsense. Everyone here woud be insulted if I were to suggest Bernard Hopkins could be a top 100 tennis pro because he's fit, has fast hands and good hand eye coordination. It's just as hard to reach the top in all the other sports.

The suggestions on this thread are an insult to sprinters and the 110m hurdler is a good example of how rumours can stem from little more than a half-truth.

grizzly4life
02-23-2008, 06:59 AM
Thanks for the details.

Let's get one thing out of the way - beating a 110m hurdler over 400m says nothing about olympic aspirations as they are completely two disciplines even without the obstacles.

Saying he is Olympic fast is just nonsense. Everyone here woud be insulted if I were to suggest Bernard Hopkins could be a top 100 tennis pro because he's fit, has fast hands and good hand eye coordination. It's just as hard to reach the top in all the other sports.

The suggestions on this thread are an insult to sprinters and the 110m hurdler is a good example of how rumours can stem from little more than a half-truth.

good post. and i mostly agree.... although are 400 metres vs. 100 metres really that different skill sets. i see huge overlap on 200 meters and 100 metres participants.... of course, i'd question the superstars format. whether the guy he beat cared or was in top physical/mental shape??

and yes, people on here do get offended when you suggest someone like chris paul (elite NBA PG) would one of the best tennis players in the world if he'd played from a young age.

Moz
02-23-2008, 08:32 AM
Yes, there is a massive physiological difference in what it takes to be good sprinter and a good 400m. To use the example of a hurdles sprinter (who as a group have never been known to have the pure speed to be flat sprinters) being beaten over 400m in a television game show to prove that a tennis player could be an Olympic athlete at a much shorter distance is too ludicrous for words.

grizzly4life
02-23-2008, 08:41 AM
Yes, there is a massive physiological difference in what it takes to be good sprinter and a good 400m. To use the example of a hurdles sprinter (who as a group have never been known to have the pure speed to be flat sprinters) being beaten over 400m in a television game show to prove that a tennis player could be an Olympic athlete at a much shorter distance is too ludicrous for words.

thanks, i wasn't suggesting that he was olympic-calibre, whatever that means??j.... but i did think it was impressive....

superstars was a good show, although brian budd, the no-name canadian soccer player was always winning until they DQ'd him permanently......... BTW, someone mentioned sergio garcia beating michael jordan in a sprint. where was that??

bigmatt
02-23-2008, 09:03 AM
I saw Borg play on a couple of occasions during his peak years, and I still feel I've never seen anyone faster in the confines of a tennis court.
Saw him play an exo vs Rod Laver in 76 (after he won Wimbledon), and a couple of mtches in a WCT event in 78, and was just flat amazed at his speed, agility and balance. Plus, he never seemed to miss.
He beat Vitas Geruliatis in the semis: it was obviuos they both knew who was going to win.

Moz
02-23-2008, 09:35 AM
thanks, i wasn't suggesting that he was olympic-calibre, whatever that means??j.... but i did think it was impressive....

superstars was a good show, although brian budd, the no-name canadian soccer player was always winning until they DQ'd him permanently......... BTW, someone mentioned sergio garcia beating michael jordan in a sprint. where was that??

It was a great show.

I remember Kevin Keegan crashing his bike and cutting himself up. I believe he was an integral member of the England team at the time. It's unfortunate that you'd never attract athletes of that caliber these days.

There was a Judo guy who was really good - I remember him being unbeatable at the squat thrusts or something.

BeHappy
02-24-2008, 11:33 AM
What time did he run?

That's all that really matters.

BTW, Arthur Ashe, Rod Laver and others were also on SUPERSTARS

CyBorg
02-26-2008, 09:21 AM
Saw him play an exo vs Rod Laver in 76 (after he won Wimbledon)

Was it the Hilton Head exo?

bigmatt
02-26-2008, 10:02 AM
CyBorg:
No, it was an exo played at the University of Alabama. The WCT event was in Birmingham. They had one there for years. Borg only came the one time (78); Connors won the other years I was there (75, 76, 77, 79, if memory serves me correctly). Coincidentally, the only year Connors didn't come was the only year Borg did!

edmondsm
02-26-2008, 10:16 AM
He was very fast. Enough said. Olympic quality fast.

Is everybody being serious here? We're talking about around the same time that Carl Lewis was running track. Are we suggesting that Borg could hang with Carl Lewis in a foot race?

Ronaldo
02-26-2008, 10:24 AM
Hahaaa..I don't see robing going 100 yards in ten minutes, let alone 10 seconds...

Orenthal ran a 9.5 100 yard dash in the Superstars. In Converse All-Stars. With only one glove that didn't fit.

CyBorg
02-26-2008, 12:58 PM
CyBorg:
No, it was an exo played at the University of Alabama. The WCT event was in Birmingham. They had one there for years. Borg only came the one time (78); Connors won the other years I was there (75, 76, 77, 79, if memory serves me correctly). Coincidentally, the only year Connors didn't come was the only year Borg did!

Interesting. How did Laver look in that one? If your memory serves of course... Many of these exos were quite competitive from what I've been reading.

iamtennisking
02-26-2008, 01:21 PM
go becker go

bigmatt
02-26-2008, 04:25 PM
Even in 76, Laver was awesome. His movement was still excellent, and his shotmaking had to be seen to be believed. Wish I'd seen him live in his prime.

!Tym
02-26-2008, 05:32 PM
Thanks for the details.

Let's get one thing out of the way - beating a 110m hurdler over 400m says nothing about olympic aspirations as they are completely two disciplines even without the obstacles.

Saying he is Olympic fast is just nonsense. Everyone here woud be insulted if I were to suggest Bernard Hopkins could be a top 100 tennis pro because he's fit, has fast hands and good hand eye coordination. It's just as hard to reach the top in all the other sports.

The suggestions on this thread are an insult to sprinters and the 110m hurdler is a good example of how rumours can stem from little more than a half-truth.

I don't look at it that way, because if you think the hurdler was at a disadvantage you have to say Borg was at just as much if not more of a disadvantage. Sprinting daily and developing explosive hop in your step I would say is more conducive to the 400m than hitting tennis balls all day and living out of a suitcase...by a country mile.

Graf and Borg both have a legitimate case for being the best pure physical specimens tennis has ever had. Let's not take away from their athleticism, just because they weren't competing in the Olympics for sprinting. Personally, coming from a no-name, no nothing, fastest in my school only, type sprinter such as myself...I HATED sprinting and thought it was the stoopidist, doombist, waste of time in the whole wide world. I hardly consider spriting to even be a sport in my opinion. Is there training and technique involved? Sure. But I personally always could care less about track & field events, because they're so specialized. They make you feel like an insect...ooh, look at me, I can run, jump, etc. from point A to point B...BIG FREAKING DEAL...I always thought.

So what, you're good at one thing. How about MULTI-TASKING as athletes in baseball, tennis, basketball, soccer, hockey, etc. must do. To me a real sport is one in which you exist and INTERACT in three-dimensionally, and track to me was always just pure 2-D by comparison.

I mean look at Monofils, a great PURE athlete, but so what? On a tennis court, it's carried him only so far. In other sports, even football, it's not just running a straight line. There's more dynamic interaction invovled, and that to me is more impressive. I mean do we consider Kwame Brown a great athlete? Sure...but that's all he is. His hands are so leaden you'd think they were made out of graphite, and he were a pencil...that kind of just stood there and "pretended" to play.

I mean I don't consider that a SPORTS-man at all.

To me, track & field type athletes, the "pure contest" type athletes, are athletes, but Roger Federer is a SPORTSMAN, which is a a different thing entirely.

Ronaldo
02-26-2008, 06:52 PM
So a comparison between Renaldo Nehemiah and Jerry Rice is an incredible athlete vs. a true sportsman, perhaps the best receiver of all time?

JW10S
02-26-2008, 07:30 PM
Bjorn Borg won a European version of the 'Superstars' competition which pitted elite athletes from different sports in tests of speed, strength, endurance and agility. He also had an insanely low resting heart-rate. The guy was amazing.

BeHappy
02-26-2008, 07:41 PM
pretty damn fast:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=6_bg2wmUScE

Ronaldo
02-26-2008, 07:44 PM
pretty damn fast:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=6_bg2wmUScE

Faster, eh? http://youtube.com/watch?v=VRlBdPNaQ9A

CyBorg
02-27-2008, 10:52 AM
pretty damn fast:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=6_bg2wmUScE

Borg may have played his finest grass court tennis in 1981. I think better than the prior five years, but lost to a more experienced McEnroe. He had probably the smoothest run to the final.

Roger Federer 95
02-27-2008, 01:26 PM
Man, just like roger

NLBwell
03-03-2008, 04:13 PM
There is a physioligical ability to be a top sprinter that only a very few have - somewhat different between the different distances. Borg and Graf appeared to have this. That is not to say that they were as good as olympians, only that they might have had the capability to achieve that if they had given their lives over to it. Also, the skills to be a top tennis player and an NBA point guard overlap quite a bit. So if an NBA point guard had given his life over to tennis from an early age there is a decent chance he could have been a top tennis player.

Ronaldo
03-03-2008, 04:40 PM
How fast was Borg? Bjorn Borg was so fast that at night he turned off the light switch in his hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.

Tennis old man
03-05-2008, 04:45 PM
Mybe the question must be.. How good was Borg? HE WAS A_MA_ZING!

llgc8080
03-16-2008, 01:41 PM
The GOAT, not only fast!

borgnadal123
07-04-2010, 11:59 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLVnrUKL8yY

look at the speed at 1:51

Bjorn99
07-18-2010, 08:53 AM
Cy Borg. Lot more to his story than can be told in a book. Ask him why he defaulted the final of the Canadian Open. Didn't even show up. I take the blame for it. But he has never admitted what happened.

droliver
07-18-2010, 09:50 AM
While Borg was uber quick in a tennis sense, in NO WAY does he evidence world-class track speed. It's a completely different skill set that usually requires a very specific body type, stride length, and leg turn over. Borg's frame would be more stereotypically suited to middle distance 1500-5000m type races FWIW. Same with Graf. Good athlete but nothing to really suggest she's fast enough to compete at an elite level in track and field.

If there's any sport where you could project Borg & Graf being athletic enough to excel in (if they'd been steered that way as children) I'd say it would be soccer

Ultra2HolyGrail
07-20-2010, 08:35 PM
Fast but nowhere near as fast as Michael Chang.

borg number one
07-20-2010, 09:00 PM
This video of a Borg-Connors match on "rubico" or green clay is an excellent representation of his overall speed, quickness, or "tennis movement" overall. His footwork is stellar as well.

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


Also see a great point/winner in the '81 FO Final. Borg goes up 4-0 in the 5th set:

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

(Thanks to TW Poster Krosero for these YT videos.)


Also, see this excellent thread from TW Poster Hoodjem called "Best Tennis Movement of All Time":

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=306649&highlight=mover

Tina
07-20-2010, 09:44 PM
Was just messing around on YouTube and came across this vid. I had almost forgotten how fast he was.

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

Check out the foot speed. Incredible.

I heard he is a fast runner. :)