John McBorg

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by CyBorg, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Oh, man. I've completely forgotten about this.

    Johnny Mac in 1977 at Wimbledon playing Jimmy Connors, looking exactly like Borg (whom he idolized as a teen, of course): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8_Z1my-qVk

    Pretty amusing. He should have dyed his hair blond.
     
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  2. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Wow, Mac's serve stance was very different back then. And the umpire kept mispronouncing his last name.

    Nice to see those Cash-Mac highlights as well, you can see technology already changing the kinds of shots that were possible in only a few years time.

    thanks for posting, I really want to see the entire Connors-Mac match someday, haven't been able to find it.
     
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  3. iradical18

    iradical18 Professional

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    That's awesome, imitation is the finest form of flattery.
     
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  4. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    It also shows, that Cash wasn't a bad grass player at all. Regarding Mac's peak form that year, it was a honorable result, even losing in close straight sets. Cash went for his shots. Although not a natural shotmaker and returner, he wasn't afraid to give the ball a nudge, and was dangerous, jumping on short serves. His technique to close in to hit a forehand volley at all costs, even far on the left side of the net, reminds me of John Newcombe.
     
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  5. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Wow! This is an amazing video: Mac does look like a Borg clone. Even to appearing humble, speedy, and serious. And that service motion doesn't look at all like his later wind-up. It even looks like he was putting a little topspin on his shots. All he needed was a two-handed backhand.

    As for the second part with Cash, does anyone know what kind of racquet Cash was using? It looks a bit like one of those open-throated wooden ones like a Head Vilas.?
     
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  6. callitout

    callitout Professional

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    Thanks for the clip. Mac's hands are amazing and love the style, he would be great in any era...his hands are incredible at 4min18sec when he's playing Cash (a point he loses)...But generally the ball is moving so SLOW.
     
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  7. martin

    martin Banned

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    I almost thought that the picture was manipulated. In some pictures you actually think it is Borg. But then again Borg is righthanded and plays with a black Donnay.
     
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  8. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Yeah, compare this with a clip of hardcourt tennis right around this era and the pace is almost completely different. Today the ball moves pretty much the same on every surface.
     
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  9. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    McEnroe admired Vitas Gerulaitis at the time. He followed his lead in many ways, as did Borg.
     
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  10. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Open throated, graphite fiber reinforced wooden frame made by Slazenger called the V-24. V for Vilas. 24 bc the head was 24% larger than a standard headsize.

    It was burgundy with a little beige writing and striping...which looked hand done. Very impressive frame.
     
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  11. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    BTW, that shirt was REEEEALLY popular at the time at just about every club/pro shop I knew of. Lots of non-tennis players, poseurs and beginners had it. I remember my dentist wore it under his li'l white dentist's shirt.

    Mac wore adidas at Stanford. FILA, too. But when he wore Tacchini, that was when he was becoming an icon of his own.

    I remember seeing him work out on Long Island as a youngster. He played less like Borg and seemed more like a clurly-haired Rod Laver, my dad always felt. Not really Borg. Although, there's an interview with a young Johnny Mac by Bud Collins from the NCAA nat'ls in Athens, GA where John said he basically grew up on clay and was most comfortable in that surface. Funny. It is on a great video called The John McEnroe Story.
     
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  12. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    You're absolutely right. Stylistically McEnroe was never like Borg, even in his earlier years. I think that what guys like in Borg was his fashion sense. Gerulaitis was another guy who donned that look.
     
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  13. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    Yep. it looked like how the other players would serve. I wonder when he changed that.
     
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  14. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    This statement has me confused. If I'm reading it right it says that Borg also (like Mac) followed Gerulaitis's lead.

    I have always thought that--even though Gerulaitis and Borg were pals--Gerulaitis imitated Borg in fashion and hairstyle, etc. (because Borg had all the girls chasing him).
     
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  15. Legend of Borg

    Legend of Borg Legend

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    I'am sorry to correct you, but its McEnroe and Gerulaitis who imitated and admired Borg. I remember reading in McEnroe's autobiography, how Gerulaitis always followed Borg around and dyed his hair blond. One time, a pack of girls even mistook Gerulaitis for Borg and wanted his autograph. As for McEnroe, he admired his manner and fashion on the court, rather than off.
     
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  16. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    My understanding is that McEnroe looked up to Vitas growing up and only considered becoming a broadcaster after Vitas showed it can be done with personality and humour. Vitas had huge charisma and McEnroe followed his lead off the court.

    Borg was a tennis hermit for most of his career. Didn't Vitas show Borg the club scene and introduce him to the sort of nightlife that caused him problems in the 1980's?

    It sounds like you guys (Legend of Borg and hoodjem) know a lot more about these players, so I will defer to you on this subject. I have just heard a few things about Vitas and how people gravitated towards him.

    I bet a good biography of Gerulaitis would be a great read. It would also be interesting if Borg really opened up and told about his life in the 1980's through his attempted comeback in 1991.
     
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  17. Legend of Borg

    Legend of Borg Legend

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    Well, you are right when you said Vitas introduced Borg to the night life. As for Borg opening up and telling the truth, I doubt he even wants to be reminded of it.
     
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  18. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Mac (and the Johnny Smythe band) actually wrote a really heartfelt song about Vitas about twelve years ago. It's called 'Ode to Vitas'.
     
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  19. theace21

    theace21 Hall of Fame

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    Great clip, fun to watch to old matches. Pat Cash really could get on top of the net for that first volley. Thanks for the link...
     
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  20. Tennis old man

    Tennis old man New User

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    thank you for the post!
     
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  21. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    McEnroe's shirt is about as tight as what Federer wears on court.
     
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