Björn Borg - Revisited

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Nathaniel_Near, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    The ultimate hypothetical:

    Had circumstances been more favourable and adaptable to the needs of Borg at his time of 'burnout', how many Majors would he have gone on to win?

    Borg retired from the game with 11 - 14 Major titles, depending on your definition.

    Borg finds the fire and continues his career, where does he end up?
     
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  2. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
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  3. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    There would have been Lendl and mac and later on Becker and maybe Wilander, my best estimate is he could win a couple of more majors.
     
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  4. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    Great video!!! Burn out is a very serious thing, you can not fight against it. He just felt nothing (good) about tennis anymore.
     
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  5. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    With the AO picking up steam by 1983, he would have played 4 majors per year from 1983-1984. If the Tour dispute had been resolved and he played, that's about 20 more majors for him to contest between 1982-1986 (so that's through the age of 30). I say he gets about three more majors out of those 20 at the least and possibly a few more than that. He wanted to play the remaining years with a primary focus on the majors, having played so much through 25 at all manner of tourneys. See these stats. He won 64 ATP official titles as well as 37 other titles that were non-ATP, including invitationals (AKAI in 1982 would be an example).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Björn_Borg_career_statistics

    See this footage from the AKAI event in 1982, a big money event won by Borg in Australia, while beating both McEnroe and Lendl.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kger-33YtiY (Borg d. McEnroe in 4 sets in the final. He had been training quite a bit and you can see how he is moving/hitting. He was a bit stronger as well.)

    This is one of those non-ATP titles he won. Borg played a very heavy unofficial schedule on top of his official schedule through 1981, which contributed to his burnout and desire to take some time off and then playing with a focus primarily on the majors from age 26 forward.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
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  6. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    His hold on Wimbledon was tenuous thanks to Mac. Maybe he wins one more. At the Open he has a solid shot at one or two. In Paris he keeps collecting until Wilander or Lendl is mature enough to take them. That is a few years down the road. The Aussie is an open book, who knows when he shows, who knows who else shows, and lots of players who do well at Wimbledon, don't find enough gut-fire and motivation at Kooyung. If you thrive under pressure, Kooyung does not supply as much as the other majors.
     
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  7. Blocker

    Blocker Semi-Pro

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    Borg's plight is a unique situation. Guy with 11 slams retires at 26.

    In my opinion he can never be considered GOAT. He never won the USO, he lost to McEnroe in 3 slam finals and he retired too soon.

    And he does not have my sympathy either. Every top professional has to contend with the pressure of life on the tour and on the court. He never bothered to venture to Australia so he had the Australian summer off. Today, all the top players come down, they don't have the summer off. yet they seem to manage.

    Whilst the AO was considered a weak slam, it was still a slam. And it still attracted the odd big player (Connors, Newcombe, Vilas) in the 70s and by the early 80s pretty much all the top players started coming down under for it.

    I hope he regrets his early retirement and I hope he regrets not coming to play the AO more often than the once he came down. His bed, he needs to sleep in it.

    How things have changed. Don't think the AO would give 2 hoots about Borg now, even if he ever bothered to come down and watch it.
     
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  8. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    I've got things to do so I will elaborate on why later; Borg wins many more majors, perhaps as many as 7 or 8 more for 18-19.


    Explanations later.
     
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  9. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Borg stands at 14 majors, one less than Mac and Lendl with less years of play.The other memeber of the big four, Jimmy Connors won 11 big titles and played more years than anybody else.

    In those days, the big 5 were Masters and WCT finals indoors and Wimbledon,Roland Garros and Forest Hills/Flushing Meadows outdoors.
     
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  10. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    I like trying to isolate for the biggest tourneys each year instead though, which means that for each year one has to choose between the WCT and the Masters. Then, by about 1984, you have the AO really back into the mix, but even during the 1980's the AO was probably not even a top 5 tournament in terms of strength of field. As for Borg, those 14 titles were amassed between 1974-1981. That is an 8 year period, so he was winning an average of 1.75 big titles per year in that time frame.
     
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  11. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Bjorn Borg played in 27 majors. Pete Sampras played in 52 majors. Roger Federer has played in 59 majors to date and Rafael Nadal has played in 37 majors to date. Borg played a heavy schedule of both official (ATP sanctioned) and unofficial tournaments while playing fewer majors per year between 1973-1981. In his first year at the majors, when Borg was 17 in 1973, he reached the R16 at the AO, US Open, and the FO, while reaching the QF at Wimbledon (a boycott year albeit). He then won his first major at the FO, which was just the fifth major he played. He won about 41% of the majors he played and 90% of the matches he played at the majors. He won 23 official indoor titles, including 1 WCT title and 2 Masters YEC titles (Masters Cup at NY's MSG). He went 5-0 versus Lendl, McEnroe, and Connors while winning the Masters played in Jan. 80 and Jan. 81 at New York's Madison Square Garden, indoors at Madison Square Garden before crowds that reached up to 19K. Due partly to his retiring at or near his peak but also due to very stout win rate, those are the top percentages for any player. Nadal is the closest to Borg in terms of those two metrics (check the numbers for even Federer and Nadal through any point in their careers and check them against Borg's numbers and that becomes clear).

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    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
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  12. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
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  13. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Sorry for not elaborating yet, I'll get to it tomorrow. I have a few threads to answer to and I'm doing other things and will find a little time soon enough.
     
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  14. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

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    Borg's dominance at Wimbledon and Rolando Garros was slipping during the period of his retirement. Maybe he could have won 3-4 more majors. I doubt he would have won more than that with all the younger players starting to come out.
     
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  15. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Thanks for the thread Nathaniel.

    Vensai, it would have been fascinating that's "for sure" as Borg would say. I think that it is much more likely that he would have kept winning at about the same rate or slightly below that win rate. What he was looking to do was to drop down on his schedule for a few years at least, after playing at a dizzying pace. He wanted to focus on the majors primarily. You had players like Wilander, and later Becker added with McEnroe, Connors, Noah and Vilas. In 1982, when Wilander was practicing for the French Open, he practiced with Borg and he remarked that he couldn't take a set off of him in practice. That must have been excellent training for the 1982 French Open, training with Bjorn Borg. That was a great time for Swedish tennis. After Borg there was wave of tennis talent from Sweden.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPGh4p0dyIk
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
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  16. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

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    Borg and Wilander are both from Sweden, no? I always figured Wilander was slightly exaggerating because of his respect of his fellow countryman.
     
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  17. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    I don't think so Vensai. Wilander would point out that Borg was no longer playing Swedish Davis Cup (Borg did win 33 matches in a row for the Swedish DC earlier in his career). Borg had moved away from Sweden by then primarily due to the exorbitant taxes and he had settled in Monte Carlo. Borg was just a bit too good still in 1982 for Wilander and also really anyone else. He was the defending FO champ. Wilander was getting better by 1982, yet still young at 17. Borg won his first FO at 18. It may have been somewhat of a matchup issue like Vilas and Borg at the French Open, yet we never saw that rivalry mature. Wilander likely played better than he had ever played before when he won that 1982 title. He was a great clay courter too, no doubt.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1982/06/06/sports/wilander-resists-comparison-to-borg.html
     
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  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    yes, it´s always challenging trying to pick between the WCT and Masters every single year.But we should take 5 then and 5 now.
     
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  19. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Yet, I think it's more than just challenging Kiki. It's problematic to use the 5 tourney per year approach when looking at Borg's career since (1) Picking only 4 instead of 5 means taking out the AO and replacing it with either the WCT or Masters each year. Otherwise, you could try and look at the top 5 tourneys each year instead, but then in effect you'd be giving players 5 chances a year to win "major tourneys" instead of just 4 chances per year. (2) Borg didn't play the WCT finals in certain years.
     
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  20. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, but Borg was one of the most consistent WCT players.In fact, his first great final was 74 Dallas.He also played three more finals even if he WO in the 78 tournament ( which as Gerulaitis would point out..."It is the first time that Bjorn lets me win anything").

    IMO, the big five of the 70´s and 80´s would be comparable to the three best pro and 2 best ams of the 60´s and the current 4 slams+WTF.at least, that is how I do envision it over the long haul.
     
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  21. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    I understand. That five set format for the WCT was very cool indeed. Laver vs. Rosewall was epic and the Laver vs. Borg match is another great match at the WCT. The Masters produced some stellar contests as well as we've discussed. Great times. Moody Coliseum, and later Reunion Arena and Madison Square Garden produced some classic matches over the years! I love that feel of big crowds watching great indoor matches.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
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  22. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Had Borg continued to play he could have won between 14-18 majors.

    That's why he belong to the top tier.
     
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  23. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes.Two different yet exciting formats.With the Masters RR system you could watch most top players facing each other.With WCT best of five the drama and emotion because you couldn´t afford to lose a match.
     
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  24. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    If Borg didn't switch to a decent graphite racket, he wins no more majors.

    If he switches to decent graphite racket, he wins 2-4 more.

    If he secretly discovers polyester strings and uses them in a graphite racket without the competition using them, he wins 8 more slams.
     
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  25. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I saw Borg play Tanner in '81 quarters at USO. I was on the baseline about 15 rows up so had great seats. Borg's return of serve was spooky good. He did well against the first serve but his return of the 2nd serve was incredible. As if he were throwing topspin darts to precise targets.
     
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  26. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I've always wondered which graphite racquet Borg might have chosen.?

    Did Donnay make a graphite racquet c. 1982? Slazenger?
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014
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  27. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

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    being his customized borg pro was so stiff they probably would have made him a special frame. although i think donnay users in that period were using the pro cynetic 1
     
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  28. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    B.R. Borg would have won 20+ slams with this baby.
     
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  29. morten

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    Beautiful racket, also curious about specs...
     
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