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David_86
06-18-2009, 03:42 PM
The playing activity for Borg on both the ITF and ATP websites state this record.

From the Rotterdam tournament in 1979 to the US Open SF in 1980 Borg had a win-loss record of 125-3

The 3 losses came against McEnroe in the WTA Finals, Tanner at the US Open, and Vilas in the WTT.

There were also 2 retirements by Borg, but he was leading both matches (I think it would be very unfair to count them as losses).

Borg's win-loss record from April 1979 to September 1980: 125-3

pc1
06-18-2009, 04:24 PM
Quick count and yes that seems right if you don't count the withdrawals when leading. Otherwise his record is just an awful 125-5. No wonder he retired early.:)

gpt
06-19-2009, 02:06 AM
Thanks David thats an incredible win loss record.

I think that win by Vilas prevented Borg from breaking his record of successive clay court wins. Subsequently broken by Nadal. Can anyone confirm this?

Borgforever
06-19-2009, 02:12 AM
This stretch of 125-3 -- that may be the strongest stretch by anybody in the Open Era right?

Anyone else close to only losing three matches in over 17 months winning 125 matches in the process...?

pc1
06-19-2009, 03:42 AM
This stretch of 125-3 -- that may be the strongest stretch by anybody in the Open Era right?

Anyone else close to only losing three matches in over 17 months winning 125 matches in the process...?

And remember the Borg was crushing everyone in game scores over that period also, winning 64.78% of his games in 1979 and 65.54% in 1980.

I would guess that the only candidates would be McEnroe in the period of 83-84 or 84-85 or Federer in the period of 2004 to 2006.

Of course Navratilova, Evert, Court or Graf would be great candidates for the females.

I just checked McEnroe from all of 1984 to May of 1985 and he was (quick and unchecked count) 126-7.

Federer for all of 2005 to May of 2006 was 127-8. The Nadal losses on clay tend to hurt him early in the year at least in 2006.

Borgforever
06-19-2009, 03:57 AM
Well -- there you go...

The funny thing is Björn is very reluctant to speak about his peak/prime career. He's more into talking about how great everyone else were. His cup is full when it comes to praise and becomes uncomfortable if someone start to praise him (unless it's an official occasion or someone who doesn't know him personally gives him accolades)...

But if you know him well -- and put forth sharp, unusual questions (and not any "how did it feel winning the fifth straight Wimby?" et al) he opens up. Attack him with "meatier" questions and he will answer well...

When asked about late 1980 he says about this time: "I felt like I ate birthday-cake after birthday-cake -- one better than the other -- and I started to turn green in the face -- and someone put another birthday-cake in front of me and I felt -- not now -- I have to wait -- I'm good thank you very much..."

Mafia13
06-19-2009, 02:32 PM
That's one hell of a record... Btw, how many of those wins were consecutive?

CyBorg
06-19-2009, 03:52 PM
That sound wrong to me. What about the loss to Lendl in Toronto in the summer of 1980?

Oh, never mind. I missed the part about this match and Hamburg... Borg was indeed leading both Lendl and Teltscher upon retiring. Still, these have to count, IMO.

pc1
06-19-2009, 04:11 PM
That sound wrong to me. What about the loss to Lendl in Toronto in the summer of 1980?

Oh, never mind. I missed the part about this match and Hamburg... Borg was indeed leading both Lendl and Teltscher upon retiring. Still, these have to count, IMO.

Those match did count but for the purposes of this thread they don't.

If you take into account how he destroyed the opposition in most of the matches, it is possibly the most awesome stretch of tennis of the Open Era.

Of course he had a lot of these stretches from 1977 to 1980.

krosero
06-21-2009, 08:16 PM
This is from the New York Times the day after Borg won his fifth Wimbledon:

Borg collected $50,000 and made his score 82 victories in his last 84 singles matches since last year's Wimbledon final. His only losses have been to Tanner at the United States Open, which McEnroe won last September, and to Guillermo Vilas in the recent Nations Cup.

tudwell
06-22-2009, 07:52 AM
This stretch of 125-3 -- that may be the strongest stretch by anybody in the Open Era right?

Anyone else close to only losing three matches in over 17 months winning 125 matches in the process...?

If you include Borg's retirements for a record of 125-5 - and like CyBorg I think they should be included, since fitness and avoiding injuries is a part of tennis - then Federer matched that streak. From the 2004 U.S. Open through the 2006 Miami Masters he won 125 matches and lost just 5.

Edit: Actually, Federer then made the final of Monte Carlo. So from the 2004 U.S. Open through the 2006 Monte Carlo SF he won 130 matches and lost five.

David_86
06-22-2009, 09:09 AM
I think if a player retires when leading, it should not be counted as a loss. After all, w/o aren't counted as losses.

CyBorg
06-22-2009, 09:44 AM
It counts as a loss, because an injury occurs as a result of the play. Meaning, something happened over the course of a match that caused the injury. It's hard to divorce the injury from the dynamics of the match - there's a causal link.

However I agree that in order to demonstrate Borg's dominance it helps to point out that these losses were not like the others.

David_86
06-22-2009, 09:48 AM
but do you think his opponent says to himself "yes, I've defeated Borg"

CyBorg
06-22-2009, 09:51 AM
but do you think his opponent says to himself "yes, I've defeated Borg"

True, but Borg also probably shouldn't get credit for slipping and hurting himself in Hamburg.

David_86
06-22-2009, 09:54 AM
I remember a best-of-3 set match in the 79 Masters between McEnroe and Connors.

McEnroe was a set and a break up and was probably thinking to himself "I've got this guy on the ropes". Then Connors retires. Now, that should be counted as a loss.

Borgforever
06-22-2009, 12:34 PM
If you include Borg's retirements for a record of 125-5 - and like CyBorg I think they should be included, since fitness and avoiding injuries is a part of tennis - then Federer matched that streak. From the 2004 U.S. Open through the 2006 Miami Masters he won 125 matches and lost just 5.

Edit: Actually, Federer then made the final of Monte Carlo. So from the 2004 U.S. Open through the 2006 Monte Carlo SF he won 130 matches and lost five.

Borg had 82 victories out of 84 matches according to NY TIMES (courtesy of krosero) so w/o are never really seriously counted. So 125-3 isn't a shaky statement according to the the classic way of judging a win/loss record throughout tennis history. There's never been an era were w/o were counted as serious losses and some era when they were not...

Also you have the context mentioned that Borg was leading those matches he retired from -- which further underlines and strengthens the argument that he wasn't close to a loss even in these match-ups (no fishy circumstances in other words -- no suspicions of a streak protection initiative).

That said -- I do think one must add -- for context and credibility -- that he also retired a further two matches when he was at a leading position for both these matches and that if one counts these its 125-5.

And Fedex 130-5 is sizzling and great stat -- but not as strong as 125-3 or 125-5 (including two w/o's when leading) since his five was true, shake-hands at the net losses. To truly top it Federer needs at least an identical stat. Simple maths and no bias. Be as truthful and complete as possible. Truth is essence. Why bother to count otherwise?

I suffer the same problem with the great Dohertys -- I don't count their w/o losses -- you need to beat them -- I won't go H. L. is 4-3 against Hillyard -- H. L.'s wins was real, full matches and Hillyard's victories were won without playing a point. Is that correct? I've not heard any authority backing that manner of relating to this ever. Never even heard of it. Report the entire circumstance as much as humanly possible.

Add to this that Björn Borg had in 1978 and 1980 a stronger game-winning percentage (and 1977 and 1979 wasn't that poor either if you catch my drift) than Fed with about similar match win-loss records as Fed and Björn's three furnace GS-wins without set-loss plus a stronger head to head against the top 100 from late July 1976 to july 1980 and its in my book the fiercest four year span in the Open Era -- with margin.

However, going back to Fed, Roger's rising in my view (even with Nadal injured). He's edging closer and closer to the summit. I especially like his perfs in five-setters over the last twelve months.

I also think when stating Borg's streak that its sound and adds necessary context to at least add five other examples of players with similar streaks (and their context) since its never truthful to see anything just from one angle.

tudwell
06-22-2009, 01:06 PM
Borgforever,

Once again I must agree with CyBorg. Technically, Borg's retirements count as losses, but it also must be pointed out the manner in which he lost - by retirement due to injury. Although Federer was not free from injury either in his run. Throughout the 2005 TMC Federer wore an ankle brace and was not moving the way he normally did - if we mention Borg's retirements, I think we should mention that as well. Federer didn't retire but he was injured when he lost to Nalbandian in the final.

I certainly agree with you that Borg's streak is better than Federer's. I just thought it was interesting to provide similar stats for comparison (I'm continually amazed at how similar so many of the statistics and records that Borg and Federer produce(d) are to one another).

Borgforever
06-22-2009, 01:26 PM
I agree with you Tudwell. And they are similar in many, many ways.

And yes, mention it all, ankle-braces, the lot...

The more we know and why -- the more we eliminate ignorence. If I live in thirty years time and the new GOAT-contender Biggus Diccus rules I will insist on mentioning the achievements made by Fedex in this era -- in case they're dissed or overlooked...

CyBorg
06-22-2009, 03:45 PM
One thing Borg's streak has over Federer is that while on that run he owned absolutely everyone in the tennis world.

Not so with Federer.

thalivest
06-22-2009, 04:24 PM
One thing Borg's streak has over Federer is that while on that run he owned absolutely everyone in the tennis world.

Not so with Federer.

well except Connors at the U.S Open until by which time he finally overcame that it became McEnroe at the U.S Open.

Borgforever
06-22-2009, 04:29 PM
Incorrect thalivest...

Borg was 6-4 at the end of 1980 against Mac only on fast surfaces. That is owning.

That's like Fed having 6-4 aganst Rafa only on clay. Chew on that...

So what if he lost the 1980 USO earning the worst line-call in GS-history in the fifth no less...

I never saw Fed going into the fifth at RG against Rafa -- did you?

Please post footage on YT -- if so smartazz...

krosero
06-22-2009, 05:55 PM
Incorrect thalivest...

Borg was 6-4 at the end of 1980 against Mac only on fast surfaces. That is owning.

That's like Fed having 6-4 aganst Rafa only on clay. Chew on that...

So what if he lost the 1980 USO earning the worst line-call in GS-history in the fifth no less...

I never saw Fed going into the fifth at RG against Rafa -- did you?

Please post footage on YT -- if so smartazz...Only on this board can you be 6-4 against someone and "own" them. That word has lost all meaning on this board.

And what's with this business about the "worst line-call in GS-history"? Every time I see that I cringe. It's a bad call, that's all anyone can say. And so what if Borg got a bad call, even a very bad one? That's not the reason McEnroe won that match.

CyBorg
06-22-2009, 06:37 PM
Only on this board can you be 6-4 against someone and "own" them. That word has lost all meaning on this board.

And what's with this business about the "worst line-call in GS-history"? Every time I see that I cringe. It's a bad call, that's all anyone can say. And so what if Borg got a bad call, even a very bad one? That's not the reason McEnroe won that match.

Let's just say that Borg was successful against everyone in the world.

Borgforever
06-23-2009, 12:16 AM
Only on this board can you be 6-4 against someone and "own" them. That word has lost all meaning on this board.

And what's with this business about the "worst line-call in GS-history"? Every time I see that I cringe. It's a bad call, that's all anyone can say. And so what if Borg got a bad call, even a very bad one? That's not the reason McEnroe won that match.

I agree for the most part korsero here. But most people are mentioning Borg's lack of a USO-victory like he was miles and miles away from success there. Pat Summerall, Tony Trabert, John Newcombe and many others couldn't stop talking about the obviousness of Björn's visibly hampered play during the 1978 USO-final. Truth was more nuanced than just an awesome Jimbo that day.

And I ask you kros -- do you know any other instance that measures up to that line-call in a fifth set, at the climactic end of that decider no less -- in such a high-stakes final were a probable Grand Slam was at stake?

And did I say that Borg lost just because of that line call? No, I didn't. Borg struck two double-faults right after that line-call and you see it in his face how stunning that was for him. When did Björn ever strike two doubles at such a stage in his career before?

Completely out of character and I've never heard anybody disagree with this.

That ball wasn't just "maybe out" -- it was clearly out with at least an inch, probably more.

Krosero -- Mac never suffered such a blatant mistake at such a stage against Borg in the Wimby-final fifth set. I never saw Mac suffer any such mistakes at clutch ever in his career -- many awful line-calls yes -- but never in such an important moment.

Let's say it was Mac serving at 3-all in the fifth and he got that line call. Do you think he would've been silent after that? Seriously? Honestly? Likely?

I would've reacted the same way if it was him who got the short end of the stick at the climax of such a hyped match-up with so much at stake.

And you know what? I still fully credit Mac with a superior perf in that match and a deserving winner of that title, including the bad line-call, I don't want to rob him of what I consider to be one of his greatest achievements (beating Jimbo and Borg in back-to-back classics at such huge tourney). John McEnroe was, no holds barred, great at the USO 1980. No discussion.

Its just that many people state that Borg never won the Open without mentioning how close he really were and that it wasn't such a cut and dry-issue. Borg went down with 6-4 in the fifth having won every other match they played in 1980. If he hadn't lost that extremely close fight Borg would've been 4-0 against Mac in 1980 -- only playing on really fast surfaces. Personally I don't like the expression "owning" but 3-1 and close to 4-0 against such a great and brave player that Johnny Mac was in 1980 is very close to what "owning" means -- am I wrong?

As I said -- I would like to see Federer beat Rafa 3-1 and close to 4-0 only playing on clay in one season when Rafa is unforgettably great -- as Mac, very arguably, was that year. If you can take out your main rival with such a margin playing only on his strongest surfaces -- I don't know what else to call it. Add the January 1981 match-up and the other tourney victories Björn had against Mac up until that point (late 1980) and Björn is up something like 8 or 9-4 -- in total -- still only playing on Mac's fave surfaces. That doesn't in any way say that Mac was controlling Borg or having a clear edge over him.

If one speaks of Borg's losses, yes by all means, praise the ones who beat him, they've earned it, but Borg wasn't toyed around with and completely dominated, which some people make it out to be.

Krosero -- I am wrong about these points?

Borgforever
06-23-2009, 12:23 AM
And if one wants to counter Borg's records and point out an instance were Roger Federer clearly is superior to Björn, by miles, one should mention that Roger had not only six straight Wimby-finals (and five great victories in a row -- exactly like Borg) he has five straight, blistering victories at the USO -- and still counting...

That's stunning and leaves Borg in the dust...

But don't just dismiss Borg's fine record at the Open as a complete failure because that's not the complete truth.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
06-23-2009, 03:08 AM
I disagree with most of the win-loss used conventions :

A walk-out due to injury or any other physical problem, be in the course of a match or before that match, should always be counted in every stat.

Physical fitness is the first quality of a sportsman. Every activity with physical efforts to the fore is what is called a sport (for me chess isn't a sport but an intellectual activity though now the very top chess players need some physical training to support the intense mental pressure).

When a player retired before a match that means he isn't strong enough to beat his "healthy" opponent and therefore the opponent deserves all the credit as the best on that particular moment.
Same reasoning in the course of a match.

Many players train too hard physically in order to get better results and so it is fair when they retire each time they have previously pushed beyond their true limits. Nowadays this is the case of Nadal : he had beaten many players thanks to his physical condition which was (is) on the court superior to its true level. And this is the case for everyone else : Borg in our thread discussion and other players in other circumstances.

In a fantasy world some other walk-outs shouldn't be counted because they are not the player's decision. For instance Toomas Lejus had to retire in 1965 at Roland Garros amateur because his country, the USSR, didn't allow him to face a South African player (Eric Clifford Drysdale) because of South Africa apartheid politics. In fact as soon as the previous match, opposing Lejus to William H. Hoogs, the USSR officials didn't know if they could let Lejus win. Lejus was far way better than Hoogs and led 2 sets to love, 63 63 but he was ordered by the USSR officials, to lose the 2 following sets and only change their mind when both players had reached 7-all in the 5th set. Then Lejus won very easily the last 2 games. However he wasn't allowed to play Drysdale in the next match.

But I agree that the w/o losses have to be specified because they are not usual losses.

But I repeat, though almost no one considers those losses as true losses, in my opinion, they are losses that should be counted, in particular the physical ones (but not the political ones, as explained in my Lejus's example, which are, I admit, not always easy to define).

P.S. :
Borgforever would you be a Borg's fan :) :) :) :) ?

It is sure that Borg was very close to win the US Open crown at last once and 1980 was his closest ever approach.

I haven't already read your Doherty's thread but when I have time I will savour it.

If you have contacted Elegos7 by e-mail you can eventually ask him my e-mail address if you are interested of course.

Borgforever
06-23-2009, 04:02 AM
I agree with principally everything you express here Carlo. Great to see you take some time. The intellectual force of your thoughts on tennis is always inspiring for me. Sad to see so few posts from someone like you. But you probably have very good reasons.

I state again my position on the win-loss-issue (contrary to the historical consensus) that one should state the entire circumstance and that its false to just say that Borg was 125-3 during that streak of matches. That's misrepresenting the situation and what actually occurred and IMO demonstrates an unfair bias in favor of Björn.

Yes, I'm a Borg-fan. But I'm also a big fan of many other players -- clearly having a personal bias for Gonzalez, Laver, Rosewall, Tilden, Laurie Doherty and to a certain extent Sampras, Federer, Nadal, Lendl, Jimbo, Cochet, Lacoste, McEnroe, Nastase, Becker, Edberg, Perry, Vines, Wilding, Brookes and Pim and several others that I'm genuinly impressed by in many ways.

I'm clearly on the fence as regards to Budge -- but my ears are always open -- although it would demand something truly spectacular in terms of arguments speaking for Budge being placed above Vines and Perry as the Supreme King between 1930 to 1945 to make me change opinion on his claim as a summit-man among the other tennis-peaks.

But if I entered this forum and saw that it was overflowing with gushing Borg-fans I would've chosen another nickname -- you can count on it. Tennis has never been one player. Ever. Never will be. Tennis is gold-mine -- not just one bona-fide nugget amongst tons of fool's gold.

I would still defend Borg when it was called for -- as I do now from "one-liner-drive-by-shootings" which litter these forums sometimes -- but I jump in and defend the points I find wise and true regardless of player. I wish I could comment on everything I would like to comment on -- but my days are only 24 hours long as everybody else's.

And even though some may be a little too biased in favor of (not that many and its a excellent candidate to biased in favor of), for example, Laver I do think he's underrated still in that sea of fans of more contemporary players.

Gonzalez is also shamefully underrated. We need some strong Pancho-fans here posting a lot...

I will e-mail you Carlo and elegos7 -- as soon as my time opens up a little. Thanks for your comments.

I also would like see some additions and comments on the Dohertys in that thread from the bona-fide tennis-authorities here like you, elegos7 and others. Mainly because I'm thirsty for info about these guys and I've only been researching "The Doozys" for a few months and cannot say that I know even a tenth of the things I wish I would know. I would need a few more years behind me of good work in the subject to earn an acceptable level of confidence there.

I only own one book (their own about lawn tennis) about them -- I bought an nice glossy magazine today (THE BYSTANDER, issue July 11th 1906) that has a great article about the greats of the era -- but my info on these guys are still very unsatisfying...

krosero
06-23-2009, 08:45 AM
I agree for the most part korsero here. But most people are mentioning Borg's lack of a USO-victory like he was miles and miles away from success there. Pat Summerall, Tony Trabert, John Newcombe and many others couldn't stop talking about the obviousness of Björn's visibly hampered play during the 1978 USO-final. Truth was more nuanced than just an awesome Jimbo that day.I agree, the truth here is more nuanced. That's what I like so often about your writing and CyBorg's; you can both use language precisely, and I enjoy reading your posts. But when CyBorg said that Borg "owned absolutely everyone in the tennis world", of course someone is going to point out the things that Borg did not own, did not have in his pocket.

On this board, "owned" just means "he had a better record." I've seen the word thrown around when the margin was very small, like 6-4, which is why when you started using language in that absolute, imprecise manner, I said something. With other posters I don't expect more and I don't say anything.

If you have a series of 10 matches with someone and you lose 4, you haven't "owned." You won, you bested your opponent, you beat him, but you don't own him; you don't have him in your pocket. If those 4 matches were important to you, and you would have taken them if you could, obviously you didn't own your opponent.

If you're going to use the word "own" the way it's commonly misused, I'm pretty sure there will be a whole line of people waiting to point out what was not captured, what was not owned.

I think Borg lost nothing, or very little, to Vilas that was important to him; and nothing to Gerulaitis. That's ownage.

And I ask you kros -- do you know any other instance that measures up to that line-call in a fifth set, at the climactic end of that decider no less -- in such a high-stakes final were a probable Grand Slam was at stake? I can't think of many off the top of my head, but my opinion here is meaningless because I have not studied all of Grand Slam history. How could I say it was the worst call in Grand Slam history? And why would I? I'm sure many other players have suffered excruciating experiences with dubious line calls. Laver gives space in this book to a dubious line call near the end of his marathon five-setter against Roche at the 1969 AO. No doubt it must have killed Tony. But you move on, in the way that both Laver and Roche knew how to do (and so did Borg).

And if I dared to say that one call was the worst among all of them, I would just sound like McEnroe, who in that very match we're talking about (the 1980 USO final) complained to the umpire about a call that seemed to him the "worst call in the biggest match of all time" (difficult to hear it, but that's how Pat Summerall quoted it).

And did I say that Borg lost just because of that line call? No, I didn't. Borg struck two double-faults right after that line-call and you see it in his face how stunning that was for him. When did Björn ever strike two doubles at such a stage in his career before?

Completely out of character and I've never heard anybody disagree with this.

That ball wasn't just "maybe out" -- it was clearly out with at least an inch, probably more.

And you know what? I still fully credit Mac with a superior perf in that match and a deserving winner of that title, including the bad line-call, I don't want to rob him of what I consider to be one of his greatest achievements (beating Jimbo and Borg in back-to-back classics at such huge tourney). John McEnroe was, no holds barred, great at the USO 1980. No discussion.

I'm glad you don't think that McEnroe won merely because of that line call. I don't want to put an asterisk on his victory. There are many signs that Borg was going to have an extremely difficult time pulling out that win regardless of the line calls (I talked about all of them in my stats thread for that match).

But when you say that McEnroe got the biggest line call in GS history in his favor, and you don't give him credit otherwise, I'm sure you know how that sounds like someone stamping a big, fat asterisk on the victory.

Its just that many people state that Borg never won the Open without mentioning how close he really were and that it wasn't such a cut and dry-issue. Borg went down with 6-4 in the fifth having won every other match they played in 1980. If he hadn't lost that extremely close fight Borg would've been 4-0 against Mac in 1980 -- only playing on really fast surfaces. Personally I don't like the expression "owning" but 3-1 and close to 4-0 against such a great and brave player that Johnny Mac was in 1980 is very close to what "owning" means -- am I wrong?
Well, 4-0 did not happen, and if we're giving McEnroe full credit for his one victory, then 3-1 is all we have. And that one loss was hugely important. Right there, no ownage.

I know, you're saying it was close and it could have been 4-0. But if it was close all the way -- if someone has to fight for his victories and some of them are in doubt right to the end -- that's the whole point, isn't it? Ownage is when things are not in doubt. With Borg and McEnroe things were always in doubt, and even though Borg pulled out a lot of those early victories, all credit to his physical and mental strength, McEnroe was VERY CLOSE. Just like Borg was very close to winning the USO. Lots of nuance to go around.

Borgforever
06-23-2009, 09:32 AM
Okey -- I let you off the hook -- :-)

And I like that you stress nuance.

As I said several times before I rate Mac's victory over Borg at USO as a great win and one of the finest finals there was in the Open Era and a true credit to Mac's quality as a competitor and player.

But to state that Borg -- as a competitor and player -- did not dominate Mac in 1980 with a H2H of 3-1 only fighting it out on Mac's fave turfs and doing it at such crucial stages as YEC Masters and Wimby (and Stockholm Open) is wrong IMO.

At YEC Masters Borg pulls off a brilliant, close but above all clear victory against a brilliant opponent without any extenuating circumstance. Borg's percentages and stats in this match are off the chart (and remember this is probably Mac's favorite surface -- his RG for Rafa).

Then at Wimby Borg is the first of the two who earns match-points (even though Mac starts great -- like many others against Björn) -- seven of them to be precise -- McEnroe finally levels, 2-all in sets, after some of the most brave defensive plays ever. That's what it took to level the match, only make it level, on a surface that Mac was born for and Borg just adapted to.

In the fifth -- no controversies, no extenuating circumstance -- Mac doesn't earn a match-point ever. Mac's playing great though -- serving like close to 70% (!) but Borg serves like Gonzalez on Popeye's spinach going 19 straight points on serve -- in character since he did it again at the USO QF against Tanner two months later -- losing a measly three points in his service game in the entire set, hammering about 76% (!!!) at clutch. Clearly the strongest perf deserving the ultimate victory. Unquestionable that Borg dominated even this meeting, played better with a margin against an opponent that was great according to each and all.

Then we arrive at the USO. As for the questionable calls I disagree with Mac's complaints when (I guess) Borg breaks the first time. That ball wasn't out. But Mac was raging. Mac plays great and breaks back -- no extenuating circumstance. Borg breaks again and the promptly loses his serve again -- this time playing mediocre but there's no extenuating circumstance.

Then comes the first set breaker. Borg leads and Mac hits a second serve deemed an ace that was clearly out. In the climax of the breaker.

Borg can't believe it. Stares skyward thinking about that he would've been up 3-2 or 4-2 by that double and gets immense praise from Trabert and Summerall for keeping his mouth shut. Borg loses his momentum here and all goes to pieces.

Two minutes later Borg is down 0-2 in sets. Then Borg rises and accelerates until the situation occurs at clutch again. Borg was never a complainer but he always in interviews took the side of the player who got the short end of the stick -- even if it was his opponent.

In the USO 1981 SF against Jimbo Björn Hellberg interviews Borg and the first thing Bear talks about is how "robbed" Jimbo was by the first set line-calls -- he knows how much momentum Jimbo lost in that first set when he was on a roll. No sportsman wants to win by crappy line-calls. He said that "Jimbo wasn't really himself after this" and I think Björn knew a little about Connors and his temper during this stage of his career.

Then we arrive at YEC Masters at MSG in January 1981 and Borg leads by one set and in the second set breaker (in the match deciding moment in NYC again) Borg is robbed. You've posted what went down on YT. Borg isn't ugly but he's had it with these crappy calls at clutch. Who can blame him.

As he said when someone was fishing for a cheap point on Mac's expense in an interview during the USO 1980 regarding Mac's fiery protests against umpires going "ugly but the line-calls were uglier" clearly standing behind Mac against scandalous decisions in vital moments.

Borg loses the second set at their second meeting at MSG, earning many penalty points for his protests and when in the third, deciding set Borg gets robbed again in a bad line-call Mac's had enough and gifts the next point thumbing his nose at the umpire.

The poor line-calls was trademark of this era and not anything to take lightly or dismiss.

In the end -- defeating your greastest foe almost every single time (3-1) on his favorite surfaces that happen to be the worlds biggest stages at the time when that foe is on fire and only going down once is a domination that deserves to be recognized. As I said I don't really like the word "own" because it demeans your opponents and their skills IMO and nobody really owns anything...

krosero
06-23-2009, 10:02 AM
There's plenty I agree with in your last post. Yes, Borg's victories over McEnroe were impressive in the way that he pulled them out. And though it's not ownage when you lose any important matches, I think you can speak of "domination" if you take a good majority of the matches, like 3-1, and there's no misuse of the word.

And I agree that the quality of line calling in those years was not something to dismiss. At no point have I wished to give the impression that bad line calls, or these calls in particular, were unimportant. But I do question how much impact they had on the end result.

Then comes the first set breaker. Borg leads and Mac hits a second serve deemed an ace that was clearly out. In the climax of the breaker.

Borg can't believe it. Stares skyward thinking about that he would've been up 3-2 or 4-2 by that double and gets immense praise from Trabert and Summerall for keeping his mouth shut. Borg loses his momentum here and all goes to pieces.Borg did not lose his momentum. He fired a service winner immediately, perhaps because he was a little angry, or maybe because he tended to go for broke whenever he got down. That was his pattern in this match. Whenever he went up he got more conservative; and his serve was failing him throughout. So yes, if that call had gone his way, he would have been up 3-2 with two serves coming. But he had already failed twice to serve out the set. He was not doing well on his serve or when he got ahead, in this match. He was taking great risks and pulling off terrific comebacks otherwise, but his pattern on that day was difficulty in closing the deal. That's why McEnroe's victory there is close-but-decisive, the way Borg's was at Wimbledon (not to mention Borg's two victories at the Masters).

And the ball at 3-all in the fifth does look out. It's a bad call, and Borg double-faulted twice in that long game; apparently it did affect his concentration. But even here he continued hitting winners and did not go to pieces. He missed 6 of 8 first serves, but on my sheet I see him missing 6 of 8 even late in the fourth when his comeback was in full swing. And he had already double-faulted at 2-all in the fifth, in a short game. Again, his serve was failing all day. It's not out of the question that it would keep failing in the fifth with the pressure on, and both the New York conditions and McEnroe's playing style taking Borg out of his comfort zone. Could he have held at 3-all without the bad call? Sure. But was he going to pull that victory out, with all the pressure (of never having won the USO) increasing as the fifth set drew closer to a tiebreak? We'll never know, and he may have done it. I just don't see any signs, though, that his difficulties were limited to line calls (I think you agree on this), or any signs that his form was what he needed to close the deal, that day.

Borgforever
06-23-2009, 10:14 AM
Well argued points -- and I agree and I've never said Borg would've won the match had he not recieved a crappy call against him -- but I do think his chances would've improved. We'll never know. There is room for speculation though.

The good thing about this final is that Mac plays consistently great all through and for this he deserves the victory...

There are extenuating circumstances to be sure but in my book there's no asterisk behind Mac's engraving on the victor's trophy.

It bugs me though when people burp out that Borg could never win USO -- a tourney he consistently put among his five fave tourneys to play ever -- including all the heart-breaks. Borg never, ever disliked USO. He never said anything negative about the tourney. Bergelin did. Björn loved it.

Only motivated, but faint, room for speculation...

Borgforever
06-23-2009, 10:21 AM
It bugs me the same way when people say Pancho could never win Wimby or Rosewall wasn't able to win Wimby...

Could never? Wasn't able? Really?

I severely disagree. The stars weren't really lined up I say and they faced awesome opponents in disagreeable mix...

Borgforever
06-23-2009, 10:23 AM
And when I say falls to pieces at USO 1980 I mean the second set...

Steve132
06-23-2009, 05:21 PM
It bugs me the same way when people say Pancho could never win Wimby or Rosewall wasn't able to win Wimby...

Could never? Wasn't able? Really?

I severely disagree. The stars weren't really lined up I say and they faced awesome opponents in disagreeable mix...

I see what you mean, but for most people accomplishments, as opposed to potential, matter a great deal. The football great Jim Brown summed this up by saying "The word 'potential' bores me. Go out there and execute and then we can talk."

We need to distinguish between three senses in which we say that "player X never did Y." The first would be your Gonzales and Wimbledon example. Gonzales never played Wimbledon in his prime, because he turned pro after winning the U.S Open and was ineligible to play at Wimbledon during his peak playing years. The fact that he never won Wimbledon is basically irrelevant to evaluating him as a player, just as Borg's failure to win the Australian Open is irrelevant.

Rosewall's failure to win Wimbledon, or Borg's to win the U.S. Open, are, however, decidedly relevant. These are prestigious tournaments that Rosewall and Borg respectively could not win despite several attempts during their peak years. Rosewall lost to Hoad (his contemporary) in 1956 - in fact, Hoad dominated that season, losing the Grand Slam only to Rosewall at Forest Hills. Borg lost four U.S. Open finals, two to Connors and two to McEnroe.

There is little question that Rosewall and Borg would have been (even) more highly regarded if they had won Wimbledon and the U.S Open respectively. As far as I know no serious tennis analyst doubts that Rosewall had the potential to win Wimbledon or Borg the U.S. Open. Nevertheless, they did not win these titles, and for most people this matters in terms of evaluating their achievements.

The obvious contemporary example is Federer's win at Roland Garros. It's been obvious for some time that he is the world's second best clay court player. His winning percentage on clay over the past five years is about the same as it is on hard courts, and in this period he has gone 30-4 at the French Open - 0-4 against Nadal and 30-0 against everyone else. Despite this, Federer's lack of a French Open title was considered a major reason for discounting his GOAT claims.

Nevertheless, I would distinguish clearly between Borg and Rosewall on one hand and Sampras' French Open record on the other. When Sampras' failures at Roland Garros are cited his fans frequently reply that other players have similar gaps in their resumes - Rosewall and Lendl at Wimbledon, Borg at the U.S. Open, Connors and McEnroe at the French, etc. This argument might work for Connors and possibly McEnroe, but not for the others. Rosewall made four Wimbledon finals although he was ineligible to play during some of his peak years. Lendl made two, although no one ever described him as a natural grass court player. Borg reached four U.S. Open finals although he left the game at age 26. Sampras reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros only once in thirteen attempts, and was then promptly eliminated in straight sets by Kafelnikov, a good but not great clay court player. He simply was not a contender on clay, and this is a far more serious failing than Rosewall or Borg's inability to win titles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open respectively.

DMan
06-23-2009, 08:17 PM
I think if a player retires when leading, it should not be counted as a loss. After all, w/o aren't counted as losses.

If you step on the court to contest a match, you pronounce yourself fit and ready to play. If you walk off the court and don't finish the match, it's a loss. Plain and simple. No way to get around that. It is, was, and always will be a loss.

Borgforever
06-23-2009, 08:47 PM
I'm just smiling at that beyond belief atrocious statement by DMan -- to simplify that the way you argue is as wrong IMO as saying 125-3 is the correct way stating Björn's streak.

Complete backround is of essence -- otherwise its what Jimbo used to call "Bullcrap!"...

Imagine this interview:

Reporter: So how do you see your chances against Pancho?

Player X: Well, I've beaten Gonzalez a few times already so I feel I can do it again...

Reporter: Great. So what's your main strategy -- if you care to explain?

Player X: Well, I'm aiming for another great w/o-win against Pancho like all my other wonderful victories against him. We're very even you know as players -- 2 all in H2H's --

Reporter: -- Yes, I've seen the record. You two are on a similar level. Gonzalez beat you 6-0, 6-1 last year and 6-4, 6-3 having a bad cold this spring and you've scored two fine w/o's -- one three years ago and one just last month. You think you can pull off another victory?

Player X: Yeah, I'm just as good as Pancho. No question. If he steps out on court and retires that means I am a better tennis-player and deserves the win. I hope he slips badly or runs head-long into the umpire's chair or the net-post and cracks his head open. That's how I beat him in the past. And you never know, maybe I can manage to get a couple of insanely poor line-calls going my way at deciding stages -- I know he's disturbed by unfairness in the clutch so that's one of my main goals as well -- providing he doesn't tear a muscle severely or breaks a major bone in his body and retires -- which I sincerely hope he does.

Reporter: That's lovely! But what about backhands and forehands? Playing great? Beating him the old-fashioned way?

Player X: Nobody cares about context. If he steps out on court and gets carried off on a stretcher, mid-match, that means I'm a better tennis-player than him and it must be counted just as much as anything else. If Gonzalez has bad luck tomorrow, yet again, I will have three w/o-victories and he has two victories over me which proves beyond all reasonable doubt that I am a greater player than him and everybody agrees with this...

Reporter: One cannot say you lack masterful tactical skill. Good luck!

Player X: Thanks...

DMan
06-23-2009, 09:49 PM
I'm just smiling at that beyond belief atrocious statement by DMan -- to simplify that the way you argue is as wrong IMO as saying 125-3 is the correct way stating Björn's streak.

Complete backround is of essence -- otherwise its what Jimbo used to call "Bullcrap!"...

Imagine this interview:

Reporter: So how do you see your chances against Pancho?

Player X: Well, I've beaten Gonzalez a few times already so I feel I can do it again...

Reporter: Great. So what's your main strategy -- if you care to explain?

Player X: Well, I'm aiming for another great w/o-win against Pancho like all my other wonderful victories against him. We're very even you know as players -- 2 all in H2H's --

Reporter: -- Yes, I've seen the record. You two are on a similar level. Gonzalez beat you 6-0, 6-1 last year and 6-4, 6-3 having a bad cold this spring and you've scored two fine w/o's -- one three years ago and one just last month. You think you can pull off another victory?

Player X: Yeah, I'm just as good as Pancho. No question. If he steps out on court and retires that means I am a better tennis-player and deserves the win. I hope he slips badly or runs head-long into the umpire's chair or the net-post and cracks his head open. That's how I beat him in the past. And you never know, maybe I can manage to get a couple of insanely poor line-calls going my way at deciding stages -- I know he's disturbed by unfairness in the clutch so that's one of my main goals as well -- providing he doesn't tear a muscle severely or breaks a major bone in his body and retires -- which I sincerely hope he does.

Reporter: That's lovely! But what about backhands and forehands? Playing great? Beating him the old-fashioned way?

Player X: Nobody cares about context. If he steps out on court and gets carried off on a stretcher, mid-match, that means I'm a better tennis-player than him and it must be counted just as much as anything else. If Gonzalez has bad luck tomorrow, yet again, I will have three w/o-victories and he has two victories over me which proves beyond all reasonable doubt that I am a greater player than him and everybody agrees with this...

Reporter: One cannot say you lack masterful tactical skill. Good luck!

Player X: Thanks...

I am just smiling at the beyond atrocious statement, or beliefs, of those who have the need to prop up Borg, especially since there are now all sorts of comparison to a certain totally complete player who is eclipsing the marks of everyone who ever played the game.

But first I disclose: I was a huge Borg fan. Great record. Too bad he just walked away from the game when he couldn't take a few losses.

OK, now here is how the real world works: you're a professional tennis player. You play tournaments. You step on court for a match. You are declaring yourself fit and ready for play. Champions learn how to deal with adversity. Play through pain. Play when they're not playing their best. Or the circumstances don't suit their needs.

So while Brg had a fantastic year in 1979, and into 1980, he lost 5 matches in said period between March 1979 and the SF of the US Open in 1980. Yup, that loss in the finals of the Canadian Open is...a loss. Funny, because Ivan Lendl's name is on the honor roll as champion of the Canadian Open, and Brg was the runner up. Champions are winners. Runner ups are losers.

Complete background is of essence. And funny how folks like to cite that when 'splainin away why a certain player didn't lose a match.

DMan
06-23-2009, 09:52 PM
It bugs me the same way when people say Pancho could never win Wimby or Rosewall wasn't able to win Wimby...

Could never? Wasn't able? Really?

I severely disagree. The stars weren't really lined up I say and they faced awesome opponents in disagreeable mix...

Isn't there a Kipling quote above the entrance to Centre Court Wimbledon that says:

To those who treat triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same.....

Kind of like finding a way to win even if the stars aren't aligned in your favor and you face awesome opponents in disagreeable mix. Champions know how to do that.

David_86
06-24-2009, 02:06 AM
Say a player won a match in a tournament, but in that match he was injured and managed to play through the pain, but he did not turn up for his next match. Should that count as a loss?

Personally I would never count it as a loss. Even less so a player who retires when leading. In a w/o a player pulls out when the scores are even. Borg's two retirements both happen when he is leading. And that's why I can never bring myself to count those two Borg retirements as losses.

In stating the 125-3 record though, you should refer to those two retirements.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
06-24-2009, 04:24 AM
... its false to just say that Borg was 125-3 during that streak of matches. That's misrepresenting the situation and what actually occurred and IMO demonstrates an unfair bias in favor of Björn.
...

In my previous post I didn't talk specifically about the 125-3 record because I haven't studied it at all and so for the moment I have no opinion at all.

My argument was about w/o in general.

DMan
06-24-2009, 10:31 PM
Say a player won a match in a tournament, but in that match he was injured and managed to play through the pain, but he did not turn up for his next match. Should that count as a loss?

Personally I would never count it as a loss. Even less so a player who retires when leading. In a w/o a player pulls out when the scores are even. Borg's two retirements both happen when he is leading. And that's why I can never bring myself to count those two Borg retirements as losses.

In stating the 125-3 record though, you should refer to those two retirements.

Technically speaking, if you do not walk out on court, and officially announce you are defaulting a match, it does not count as a loss. Nor is it a victory for the player who advances via a default.

In Borg's case in 1979-80, he went out on court and retired mid match. Those are losses. There is just no way around it. It's a Won-Loss record. It's not defending a dissertation. It's simple statistics. You get exactly 1 for a win and 1 for a loss. Borg didn't have a record of 125 win and 3.4673 losses. Ivan Lendl didn't get 0.7628 for his win against Borg in the Canadian finals. He got 1 win for that match.

So if Borg, or anyone for that matter - did you see Wimbledon today when Michael Llodra had to retire, and lost the match to Tommy Haas. Yup, it was bad luck for Llodra (and that ballgirl!) But it was also a loss. Llodra will get prize money as a second round loser. The match goes on his official record as a loss. Sure we all saw what happened. But that's part of tennis.

Steve132
06-25-2009, 06:15 AM
Technically speaking, if you do not walk out on court, and officially announce you are defaulting a match, it does not count as a loss. Nor is it a victory for the player who advances via a default.

In Borg's case in 1979-80, he went out on court and retired mid match. Those are losses. There is just no way around it. It's a Won-Loss record. It's not defending a dissertation. It's simple statistics. You get exactly 1 for a win and 1 for a loss. Borg didn't have a record of 125 win and 3.4673 losses. Ivan Lendl didn't get 0.7628 for his win against Borg in the Canadian finals. He got 1 win for that match.

So if Borg, or anyone for that matter - did you see Wimbledon today when Michael Llodra had to retire, and lost the match to Tommy Haas. Yup, it was bad luck for Llodra (and that ballgirl!) But it was also a loss. Llodra will get prize money as a second round loser. The match goes on his official record as a loss. Sure we all saw what happened. But that's part of tennis.

Exactly. Defaults and walk overs do not count, but if a player is unable to finish a match that match counts as a loss in his/her record.

David_86
06-25-2009, 06:19 AM
I think you can make a decent case for not counting them as losses, and that's all that matters.

DMan
06-26-2009, 10:12 PM
I think you can make a decent case for not counting them as losses, and that's all that matters.

No, you cannot.

A match is a match is a match. A win is a win. A loss is a loss.

It's very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, plain and simple.
A win counts as a win. A loss - and I guess much to the consternation of Borg fans....even one when a player retires mid match - is a loss.

David_86
06-26-2009, 11:33 PM
DMan

I'm allowed to have a different viewpoint on how I see these statistics. And if you tell me it's definately the wrong viewpoint, then I think you're probably not someone I'd ever want to talk to.