View Full Version : Borg vs Gerulaitis: Wimbledon 1977 (BBC version)

06-19-2009, 09:26 AM
From the BBC website:

"Gerulaitis twice came back from a set down but missed a match point and eventually went down 8-6 in the fifth.

Amid the gloom of twilight in the final set, first one player edged ahead and then the other.

But it was the American who had the first chance to secure victory against the defending champion when all he had to do was put a simple backhand down the line for the winner.

Having played with a sliced backhand for his entire career, it was the perfect opportunity to play the more aggressive top-spin drive he had worked on in practice. He shaped up to hit it - and then changed his mind.

He went back to his slice. But as so often happens when a player changes his mind, the ball drifted long."

It's hard to believe a tennis article having so many mistakes. This is what actually happened in the 5th set:

Gerulaitis serving at 1-2, 30-30. Borg hits a backhand pass that is called out. He disagrees and it is one of the few times I've seen Borg look really upset. He gives the linesman a really long stare. Gerulaitis holds. 2-2.

Gerulaitis breaks to love and takes a 3-2 lead.

Borg breaks back. 3-3. I wonder if you could say Gerulaitis choked. at 30-15 he has a forehand volley that he should put away but it sits up and Borg makes a forehand pass.

It stays on serve until 7-6. The tennis has been fantastic. In the final game I remember Gerulaitis putting a fairly easy volley in the net. Borg then hits a fantastic lob to bring up 2 match points. He takes the first one by hitting a return that Gerulaitis can't control.

So Gerulaitis never had a match point. He broke for 3-2, but was broken back straight away. I don't think he had a break point after that, but I do remember one fantastic game on Borg's serve (I think it was at 5-5).

I asked the BBC to change this story (the number and scale of the errors is unbelievable), but that was a few years ago. Checking back today, I see it's still there.

06-21-2009, 02:41 AM
Do you think there is any way to get this changed. I mean, it never happened. The whole thing is a complete fantasy. I've seen the match in full several times and I have no idea what backhand he's talking about. It's completely insane.

And it's spreading. An article in the Guardian describing the match in exactly the same way.