Question for the older dudes... about Borg

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by 35ft6, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    We hear what the older guys say about Nadal and the modern game, how primitive and unsightly they are.

    Were people saying the same thing about Borg. Like the guys who were in their 40's and above when Borg emerged in the 70's, did they hate his two handed backhand, heavy top spin, and baseline style?
     
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  2. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    No, because the 'modern' game was still so young back then he was looked at as a revolutionary and a God.

    I don't think anyone on the tour or on Interenet message boards back then really complained about Borg but sometimes people would say the guy was one dimensional and was just a baseliner which was definitely untrue.

    We loved him.

    We idolized him.

    He was a legitimate revolutionary.

    He is a class act, and his legacy in the game is near perfect.
     
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  3. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    ^ Yeah, I seriously doubt people were complaining about him on internet message boards back then. hehe
     
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  4. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    I thought you would catch that.

    :D

    Nearly everyone I played against in the early 80s was emualting Borg's backhand and overall game to some extent. Some of the older guys I played with at my home club had a 1HBH and more of a touch game but in my generation the 2HBH really was the standard. This is where Borg's imprint on the game shines. His influence was huge and it remains today. I had all of his outfits. Back in the early 80s you had to go to a small place in Van Nuys called Tennis LTD to get the sick clothes the same way we come to TW.

    Its a shame that even the biggest retailers in major cities don't carry the latest tennis threads in 2010.

    :)
     
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  5. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Well said JoelD. As a kid/young junior player in the late 1970's, for me he WAS Tennis. When he left in the early 1980's, I had a hard time staying extremely motivated for about 1 year or so. My "inspiration" in Tennis seemed to be suddenly gone. To learn the Game back then and to be able to watch that guy play the Game will be something I'll never forget. He was SO inspiring to many junior players and for me, he personified excellence in a pursuit. Looking up to that guy (along with my father of course) so motivated me. Whenever I didn't feel like pushing myself in workouts or at Tournaments, or even in school, I would think about how hard Borg worked and how high he set the bar for himself and other players. The guy's mental focus during matches and his drive made him seem "out of this world". A "revolutionary" is a very good word to describe him.

    Having said that, I would sat that yes, there were some "old school" players/pros that resented his Game a bit (Kramer, etc.). He seemed so "unorthodox" but he literally ushered in a playing style that persists to this day. Many thought he didn't "hit the ball the right way". Yet his footwork and preparation, speed, and quickness were immaculate, so he was difficult to disparage. His consistency was amazing and his power came in sudden bursts at just the right time. Plus, of course he won a ton and was a complete GENTLEMAN. All the legends looked up to him because of how he carried himself on the court.

    There was no one like him before he played and there has not been anyone quite like him since. He's a very unique figure in Tennis and we are lucky he influenced the Game in so many ways. Pro Tennis would not be where it is today without his impact.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2010
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  6. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    His backhand looks choppy to me. His footwork and preparation, yes, pristine, but his backhand AND forehand, looks a bit choppy to me. I just figured the old guard at the time would have ripped on him for not being a serve and volleyer and for hitting with so much spin. Doesn't surprise me that the younger people loved him.
     
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  7. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Well he served and volleyed a TON to win Wimbledon titles, when grass courts there were much faster than they are now. Yet, yes, many "old school" tennis players criticized players such as Vilas and Borg for hitting so much topspin and having "loopy swings" instead of hitting like, say Chris Evert (straight back, and class follow through.) They also said that McEnroe was so "unconventional" and had a strange service motion.

    As far as his strokes being "choppy", hey I'll take his "choppy" bh and fh any day of the week. His strength from both wings, makes him, along with players such as Lendl, Nadal, and Federer the greatest groundstroker in the history of the Game. To me, someone with "choppy" strokes has "kinks" or "hesitations" in his/her swing. I don't see that when Borg hits either the FH, or BH. His two handed slice shot was unconventional, but he also sliced a lot with just one hand on the BH wing.

    His strokes were incredibly smooth and not as "jerky" as say Nadal, for example. His backhand was also better than either Nadal's or Federer's, and his fh was the best in the Game, while Connors arguably had the best BH at the time. What made his baseline play so formidable, was that among other things such as foot speed/preparation/footwork, he had a killer forehand, and then his backhand was only a "tad" less effective than his FH. He could hit running passing shots off both wings all day long, whether it was set 5 or set 1.

    See a fh comparison between Borg and Federer below, and his bh in action. I think his groundstrokes were quite beautiful and sublime, but I guess that's a subjective thing. His groundstrokes were incredibly effective, imparting tons of spin with small, very heavy wood racquets, and no poly strings. Any of the players of today would be EXTREMELY hard pressed to get the action on the ball that he did with the equipment they used back then.

    Players such as Federer and Nadal would be forced to alter their swing paths fairly drastically. Imagine Federer playing this years FO with a Donnay wood frame, that's about 70 sq. inches! How would his shots look then? How about Nadal with that frame? Their games rely on the equipment of today, and Borg, Laver, and co. had to make the best of the equipment they had then.

    Now put modern equipment in Borg's hands and that would be incredibly effective, given that his Game was filled with "heavy" shots with lots of spin. No one played the way he did with wood frames. It is the style of play used by so many players today, but he and Lendl really ushered in this style of play, heavy shots from the baseline, with plenty of spin.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31IYa7VsZYg (Borg forehand/Federer forehand)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTMx--E0OhY (See his Game against another Great, Borg-Connors in 1979. Thanks TW Poster Krosero)


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ugw-pjROUQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU0SG-ZkUA4

    (Thanks to TW Poster Borgforever. Borg beats Nastase at 20 yrs. of age, and takes his first W title, proving himself on Grass after having already won 2 FO titles by then. See him Serve and Volleying a lot here. He didn't lose a set the whole tourney.)

    Sorry for the long post, but I can't talk about him in a few words very often..something like...His groundstrokes were SUBLIME..Anyway, I guess how you view how a player's strokes look is a little like picking between ice cream flavors. My three favorite players in terms of purely how their strokes "look" are Laver, Borg, and Federer. Three AMAZING shotmakers. Guess what, Sampras is probably 4th, because he was also very smooth. Is it an accident then that all 4 have amazing looking strokes and that they are 4 of the greatest players ever? Nope. Form meets function.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
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  8. muddlehead

    muddlehead Rookie

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    it's a good question. re:borg and baseline game. when borg came (and evert at the same time), like elvis presley in the fifties, and the west coast offense of bill walsh and montana in the eighties, we were all ready for something new.
     
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  9. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Borg's BH

    Keep in mind that you had Chrissy, Jimmy and Bjorn all hitting 2-handed backhands at the time...this style soon became the "rage". Each one had a different style. Bjorn's was a little unusual, as he sometimes released his right hand on the follow thru , yet some have said his right hand drove thru the BH, not his left. Personally, I could not quite emulate his BH...and his forehand, well, fuggedaboutit.

    Chrissie's style was perhaps the easiest to mirror as it was so very "clean". She had wonderful ground strokes, from a perspective of watching and learning the game (at least for me). Connors threw his whole GD body into the BH shock, making it incredibly explosive. All of these folks had tremendous footwork, on top of it all, so you could learn a lot from watching them; none of them were ever "late" in terms of their set up for striking the ball.

    But, there were lots of other topspin players out there in the 70's...it just gets forgotten at times. Bjorn was unusual for his success on grass given his style; but as others have noted, he was the most fleet of foot, had a great serve and forehand, and did in fact S&V on grass. He was quite unique in a generation of truly stellar competitors.
     
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  10. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    Ok... lets not forget it was Chris and Jimmy arrived a year before Bjorn using a 2-handed backhands. I would argue that Borg was not a serve and volleyer... he did serve and volley but only selectively.

    What made Borg so different was his heavy topspin... back in the day when you tried to achieve depth and pace... Borg would play the ball high over the net and just past the service line, playing a very high percentage game. He would challenge you to out last him or go up against his pin point passing shots. Like other have said he was very fleet of foot and fit. He did not mind staying out there all day with you, I am sure he felt he could outlast anyone on the tour. I would also say his serve was only average... but he had the ability to come up with shots in big points.

    If someone were to ask me how to describe his game... I would say he was the best counterpuncher of his time. I seldom thought he pressed during a tennis match like a Connors or McEnroe. He would defend from the baseline... attack when you made a mistake... and occassionally surprise you with the odd serve and volley.
     
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  11. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Ripper014, while I agree with most everything in your post, I disagree with the statement that Borg's serve being "average". His serve gained considerable pace over the course of his career, and it was clocked at 130+ from about 1979 forward. He improved his serve greatly especially at Wimbledon by about 1977-1978, largely because he got stronger and he practiced it like crazy with Lennart Bergelin (his coach). Hear his coach talk about it here, saying his serve, after a lot of practice had gotten "pretty good" before the 1976 Wimbledon tourney, which was an understatement:

    http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1694418/5686082

    Watching the 5th set of Wimbledon 1980 versus McEnroe will give you an indication that his serve was no where near being an "average" serve on the Tour. He only lost a few points on serve THAT ENTIRE FIFTH SET and it was not due purely to his defense. He won many free points off his first serve. You can't do that with an average serve. He would mix it up, "cranking up the pace" often when he was down in a service game.

    In fact he had one of the best first serves around, if you read the articles from that time. He relied heavily on 2 "power shots", his forehand and his first serve. McEnroe has spoken of Borg's serve being extremely underrated, as folks tend to focus on his ground game. Other posters often have pointed out his serve's top speed on his first serve (around 135 in a '78 Wimbledon match, and 130+ at the '81 US Open where he hit a serve that was the hardest of the Tournament). Yet, I do agree that he mainly served and volleyed on the fast courts at Wimbledon, and not much anywhere else, except some at the US Open as well. I will also note that he wasn't always hitting balls just past the service line. He would get plenty of depth, often shooting for the deepest parts of the court when he wanted to really press his opponent. Yet, yes, I agree with you in that that when rallying, Borg would often go for consistency and margin for error, using a lot of topspin (at the FO especially).
     
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  12. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Actually, in his prime there were some who said Borg's serve was the best in tennis. It was clearly way above average.

    Even when he was younger, Arthur Ashe gave him props for his serve and this was in 1974.
     
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  13. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    It clearly wasn't , tanner and then later mcenroe definitely had better serves .....

    It wasn't average by any means though .... pretty good serve since 76 and very clutch

    P.S. Are you serious about the 74 one ?????? cos' his serve wasn't that good at that time and he had to work on it quite a lot
     
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  14. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I don't think it was the best in tennis at the time but some did call it that.

    That's what Ashe wrote about Borg's serve in 1974. I'll see if I can find the quote. He didn't write it was great but he implied it was pretty good if I recall.
     
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  15. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Borg was criticized by old timers for staying back too much. I'm not aware of any criticisms of his strokes.
     
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  16. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Arthur Ashe thought Borg had no stroke weakness.
     
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  17. raging

    raging Professional

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    John Newcombe was critical of Borg's style and said that he would have injury problems (arm /shoulder) and probably have to retire early .

    Well he didn't but he did leave the game early... it was a shame.
     
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  18. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    ^^ Very true Raging, Newcomble always sounded a little dismissive of Borg, often saying that he thought his Game "really matched up well vs. Borg", etc.

    He was a fierce competitor, and serve and volleyer, and on the fast grass at Wimbledon in the 1970's, a peak Newcombe would have been very difficult to beat for ANY PLAYER, I don't care if it was Laver, Borg, Sampras, or Federer. Newcombe had some early success against Borg, but Borg beat him some after early losses, but you had a very young Borg facing an aging Newcombe, who was a 7 time Slam winner.

    See them play on rublico and then talk here in May 1977 (Borg at 21, with 1 W title and 2 FO titles at the time and Newcombe ~33):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzeL7wmPUxA
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
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  19. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    Sorry when I said average serve I meant when considered against the better servers of the time. Pure pace does not make for a good serve... and when matched up against a Tanner, Newcombe, McEnroe or a Dibley... I would not consider him a better server. But I do see everyone's point.

    I still say Borg only serve and volleyed as a surprise tactic, his main weapons were his defense and the ability to counter-attack. His ability to pass his opponent was second to no one, well... there was that Connors guy.
     
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  20. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Nitpick: it was Sept. '77. Bjorn was just getting back to tennis after defaulting at the USO with his sore shoulder.
     
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  21. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Well that was true on most surfaces. At Wimbledon you were expected to come in behind first serve and Borg mostly did so, though he stayed back at times. However at the '76 W he was coming in all the time. In the final I think we counted no times that he stayed back on first serve, and a handful of times that he came in behind second serve (that could be described as a surprise tactic of his, coming in behind the second ball).
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
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  22. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    ^^Got it Krosero, Borg does mention in that video that he'll be going for a THIRD Wimbledon, so that makes sense, given that the Summer of 1977 had past by then. So, that WITC event must have traditionally been played during the Summer, post Wimbledon and the US Open. What's strange then is that the Newcombe match in the video link was just weeks after Borg had defaulted at the 1977 US Open due to shoulder injury (in a match vs. Dick Stockton). Thanks.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?n...pwcAAAAIBAJ&sjid=22cEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3648,4089126
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
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  23. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    New York Times the day after Borg won his third Wimbledon ('78 ):

     
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  24. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Yes, the WITC event was always played in mid-late Sept/early October. In that interview in Sept. 77 Borg appears to be coached, to give the impression that the next Wimbledon is only a short while away; he says his ambition "this year" is to win Wimbledon again. But ABC always broadcast the WITC matches the spring after they were played, so they asked the players to help them pass off the matches as if they were live.

    Nothing like that today, and I'm glad. Though I'm equally glad that all the WITC matches are still being broadcast, so we can see all these players.
     
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  25. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Borg's serve

    Maybe I'm looking back w/rose colored glasses, but I thought Borg had a better than average serve; but, certainly not the speed of Tanner or placement of a Mac.

    I also thought he hit w/a good amount of depth (i.e., regularly past the service line), which made it hard for Connors and others to easily attack. But, maybe I'm just being overly nostalgic for Bjorn..
     
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  26. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Thanks for the responses. The New York Times article, I've been trying to find stuff like that, articles published when Borg was emerging. Keep em coming.

    A bit before my time, but I remember reading that Borg had a "big" serve. Or at least that Wilander, unlike Borg, didn't have a big serve.
     
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  27. Enlightened Coelacanth

    Enlightened Coelacanth Rookie

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    Borg's serve was underappreciated...let's put it that way.
    There were so many outstanding aspects he brought to the court: his speed, fitness, top spin, his defense, his mental resolve, ect. it's easy to see how his serve was neglected as a weapon.

    You don't win Wimbledon year after year without a very good, if it wasn't great, serve.
     
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  28. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I can actually speak from personal experience watching Borg serve in 1974. It was a good serve at the time and he could hit service winners if he had to. It would get much better later.

    Here's a quote from page 239 of Arthur Ashe's book Arthur Ashe: Portrait in Motion. It discusses Borg and his loss to Borg in May of 1974--I just could never get going last night. It was 7-5, 6-4 and then 7-6 with a sudden-death tie-breaker. The kid just climbed all over me. He had incredible timing and a really good serve. Nobody gives him much credit for his serve, but it's a good one.
     
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  29. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Borg is on our all-time greatest serves list.

    Here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=4405752#post4405752
     
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  30. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    And in 1974 this was before Borg worked on it and made it much more of a weapon (c. 1978?).
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
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  31. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Newcombe said in the early 80s that Borg always could serve hard (he played Borg, for example, in the Dallas final of '74), but that Borg improved other aspects of his serve later.

    Here's a quote from the NY Times at Wimbledon in '73:

    By the way, if he really did serve 20 clean aces in that match, I can't find a higher number for him; that might have been his career high.

    (But it's not a certainty that those were all clean aces).
     
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  32. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Borg's serve

    perhaps it's all relative to the rest of his game

    his serve was "average" much like Mac had "mediocre" ground strokes...:twisted:
     
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  33. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Ah come on guys. Get real. There was plenty of criticism that Borg and Evert had less variety in their game; that they did not come to net enough etc. they could be damn BORING to watch . Especially when playing on the red stuff with other baseliners. Part of their tactic at times was essentially to numb their opponents into concentration lapses with the sameness of their strokes . Sometimes with less nuanced viewers it worked on them too, LOL. This is decidedly not to say it was not effective or revolutionary and did not have lots of fan support. That's thanks in truth to their opponents which offered the contrast. They rose in an era filled of S/vers who did slice/dice and volley and baseliners with onehands . Evert did not find her fan base playing Austin and Jaeger and thank God Borg did not play Sundstrom, and young Wilander on his way up! You folks may have watch their footwork and stroke production. Others paid mind to more superficial 'assets' and gloried in their dramatic passing shots and their opponents dramatic histrionics.
     
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  34. Enlightened Coelacanth

    Enlightened Coelacanth Rookie

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    #34
  35. CAM178

    CAM178 Hall of Fame

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    Borg was the most feared player of his day. His game was faultless, he could outrun you 10 times over, and should you choose to attack, he simply loved to pass and was damn good at it. To boot, you could not get under his skin. There was a reason people called him 'Ice': he was emotionless. A little known fact is that he could wick up the heat on his serves, too.
     
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  36. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    #36
  37. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Thing is I think Borg played the way he felt had the best chance of winning. If it was serve and volley, he would serve and volley. If it was staying back and rallying forever he would do that. Whatever it takes and if it bored people to death, well tough luck.

    Borg versus Vilas could last forever on some surfaces. You could walk away, read War and Peace and it could be the same point. (just kidding) I'm exaggerating of course but it didn't seem that far off. Thing is with Borg and Vilas, you knew, Borg knew and I think Vilas knew that Borg would probably win the baseline rallies. You could see it mentally draining Vilas. Physically Vilas was one of the strongest players and had great stamina but Borg would eventually wear him down.

    Against Connors on grass Borg would serve and volley usually on first serve and would approach the net on groundstroking rallies whenever he could because that was the best way to win.

    On har tru courts like in the Pepsi Borg would often spin his first serve in and rely on his superior percentage groundstrokes to beat Connors, knowing that if Connors approached the net that he would have a great chance to pass Connors. And Connors would have to approach since Borg ruled the baseline as Arthur Ashe said at the time.
     
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  38. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Borg, variety, etc.

    LOL! Well, you did not want to watch Borg play Vilas...on clay...that was deadly. On that note, didn't Vilas and Wilander play a 5hr FO final that bored people to tears?

    You needed at least one player to be an aggressor for it to be interesting...i.e. Mac or even Jimmy, would go after Borg and make it interesting.

    Chrissie vs. Martina was exciting. Chris against another baseliner was either 1) her crushing them or 2) her outlasting them. The one matchup that would cure insomnia was Chris vs. Manuela Maleeva. I simply could not stand it, I tell you....would want to slit my wrists watching that battle of attrition. :-?
     
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  39. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Great posts folks. This really captures some of the complexities of Borg that tend to get "glossed over" through the years, and now many who never watched him play at all really, just pick up on certain "stereotypes", shall we say, such as he was a boring, baseliner, who didn't have a "varied Game". Complete nonsense. I think PC1's post above really captures how Borg was so good at constantly "adjusting", often changing his Game depending on the player and surface, and of course he also made a lot of adjustments during a match. He seemed thoroughly convinced always that as the match wore on, he'd always find a way to prevail (much like Federer in that way). He seemed always shocked when he would actually lose to someone, as beating him was a tall order, requiring such a massive effort typically and LOTS of winners.
     
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  40. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Always sort of felt that this must have also been why people spoke so glowingly about his calm demeanor (lucky he was good looking, otherwise calm demeanor can also mean "boring" or "no personality," in the same way a compliment from an ugly guy is sexual harassment but from a great looking guy...), he was interesting when held up against the hot heads and extroverts of the day, guys like Connors, Nastase, Mac, and Vitas. Was Vilas also a bit of a rascal? I don't think it was a coincidence that tennis was the most popular in the states when there were several obnoxious loud mouths at the top.
     
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  41. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    You're absolutely right. I like different styles of play and it seems so often today that we don't have enough variety in style of play.
     
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  42. ttbrowne

    ttbrowne Hall of Fame

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    He also was the darling of network tennis announcers and commentators because he was bringing humility back to tennis. At the time Connors, Mac, Nastase had been going in a direction which was seen as classless. The networks loved Borg and tried to make a hero out of him.

    I liked him but could never emulate his strokes so I quit trying and stuck with what I knew. I wish I hadn't quit!!!
     
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  43. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    With thanks to TW Poster BorgForever, see this recent YouTube Upload. Borg in superb form at the 1981 US Open, beating Connors in straight sets. Note that Connors won both Wimbledon and the US Open in 1982 with Borg no longer playing. Also, note McEnroe lost all his matches to Connors in 1981 and was 0-4 against Lendl that year. So, as many have discussed when Borg left the Game, he had plenty of "Game" left and it was in fact a fight at the top, with McEnroe, Borg, Connors, and Lendl all worthy candidates. See him in the "zone", with no chance for Jimmy Connors on hard courts (his WORST surface), and using "old technology". See his serve in action, and many other facets of his Game.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOUb8m6-lH0
     
    #43
  44. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    I recall that Borg did draw quite a bit of "boring" or "no personality" flak, not from everyone. Kind of like what some critics said/say about Sampras--tennis playing machines, that's all there is to them. Used to hear or read fairly often that Borg's resting heart rate was 40 or something like that, with someone implying "so there must not be much going on upstairs." Personally I think that's garbage--these guys are out to be the best tennis players they can, not to host the "Tonight" show.

    I don't recall much criticism of Vilas' character--he's a poet, right, so was expected to be more emotional? I always liked watching him hit that backhand (see admission below.)

    I was OK with watching Borg back in the day (as you youngsters are so fond of saying) and think he really was the father of the "new" approach to tennis, but I'd just rather watch a player with a 1-hand BH, just looks more "elegant" or whatever.
     
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  45. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Personalities

    Borg was cool as ice...meaning he didn't show a lot of emotions...much like Chrissie...that does not mean he didn't have personality. I think the "fun" of the 70's was that hot v. cold match up of a Connors or JMac vs. Bjorn. Vilas seemed like a fun guy, based on his interviews...not sure what he was like otherwise (i.e. was he a rascal?). Plus, everyone knows that off the court, Bjorn and Vitas were big party guys as the 70's club scene was raging. Ah, fun, fun, fun...
     
    #45
  46. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Great clip; Connors striking the ball quite well, but Bjorn simply hitting some AMAZING shots, no matter what Jimmy is throwing at him. Always loved watching these 2 go at it...the ground stroking is superb.
     
    #46
  47. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    35ft6, have you seen this video of Borg and his Wimbledon run from the 1970's through his loss in the 1981 Wimbledon Final? (Legends of Wimbledon-Bjorn Borg, from the Wimbledon DVD Collection)

    It really captures many aspects of this Tennis legend. If you've already seen me post these elsewhere, sorry, but I like to point as many people as possible to this excellent video. Check these out, along with that 1981 US Open clip above when you get a chance. It'll give you a real good picture of his impact on the Game at the time.

    Bjorn Borg-Legends of Wimbledon (Wimbledon DVD Collection)

    (Part 1)
    http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1694076/5681964

    (Part 2)
    http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1694418/5686082

    (Part 3)
    http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1694791/5681794

    (Part 4)
    http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1695359/5682850

    (Part 5)
    http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1695735/5683378

    (Part 6)
    http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1702965/5702564

    (Part 7)
    http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1695987/5684466
     
    #47
  48. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    ^ Thanks! I'll check them out.
     
    #48
  49. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    "Great posts folks. This really captures some of the complexities of Borg that tend to get "glossed over" through the years, and now many who never watched him play at all really, just pick up on certain "stereotypes", shall we say, such as he was a boring, baseliner, who didn't have a "varied Game". Complete nonsense. I think PC1's post above really captures how Borg was so good at constantly "adjusting", often changing his Game depending on the player and surface, and of course he also made a lot of adjustments during a match. He seemed thoroughly convinced always that as the match wore on, he'd always find a way to prevail (much like Federer in that way). He seemed always shocked when he would actually lose to someone, as beating him was a tall order, requiring such a massive effort typically and LOTS of winners.


    Borg-one let me clarify my view. Its not that Borg or Evert did not have variety or could not adjust in tactics . Quite to the contrary. Its that they did not employ variety if their basic grinding ground game was working or likely to work or unless they were sooo confident and ahead they were using the match to practice volleying or slice or whatever for future rounds. For most players, variety is as much about relieving boredom and testing their mastery of spin as it is about winning a point. Not for Evert or Borg. So disciplined were they, that they never seemed to hit a shot for their pleasure in its production. It was usually when pushed by challenge tht they began to explore their options and show us just what they had in their bag of tricks. That meant a lot of matches especially in early rounds where the basics of keeping the ball deep, moving their opponent around and driving them into mental and physical exhaustion was pretty much what the audience got along with some forays into the net when the ball was short or the surface demanded. Made them damn consistent in avoiding trouble in the first week. Trust me this is no slam on them . Its incredible discipline they showed which I admire. I don't know that much about Borg evolution but for Evert, while she approached and volleyed in the 70's it was really in response to Martina, Hana and Austin that she REALLY learned to create and exploit with alternate spins from the ground and variety at net regularly especially in her early 30's. Borg did not hang that long. He used S/V which Evert refused to do outside of doubles to her last breath.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
    #49
  50. pug

    pug Semi-Pro

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    To answer the question asked by the OP, most of us back then were in awe of Borg, and I heard very few critical comments. He was unbeatable at times, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching him.
     
    #50

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