Story Behind Borg & His Checkered Polo?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Michael B, May 16, 2012.

  1. Michael B

    Michael B New User

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    Did Bjorn Borg cancel the promotion of his checkered polo on account of his failure at the ’77 U.S. Open? I can vaguely recall a tennis commentator saying this not long afterwards. If so, it would explain the brevity of his use of it.

    Fila introduced the vertical lined Settanta (or “‘70s”) polo in 1976 and it had a four year run. It became the shirt most used by Borg. In 1977, Borg began to wear the checkered polo “Trezzan” line extensively here in the U.S. and was to become a big seller for Fila. Judging by the comparable number of versions it looked like it would have a similar run, but Borg didn’t use it for as long as the Settanta line.

    The 1977 U.S. Open was the last year it was held on clay and arguably the optimal moment for Borg to capture the trophy because hard courts were to give his rival Connors a truer bounce and lessen any advantage that Borg had over him on clay.

    At the 1976 U.S. Open, Borg was quoted as wanting to win this title more than anything else because he had won the French, Wimbledon, and Davis Cup. After his loss to Connors in the final, Borg improved his game. His serve became much bigger and his backhand improved. By the time the ’77 U.S. Open, he had turned the tables on his rival Connors and was favored to win. That didn’t happen as he was forced to retire from a shoulder injury in the middle rounds.

    Borg was a superstitious character. After Fila ended the Settanta line he continued to wear it (with the very same colors) at Wimbledon as his winning streak continued. He also arranged to have the same guest in his Wimbledon box for all of his titles to help continue his streak. So if Borg embraced that which brought him success, he’d also likely rid himself of what, in his mind, brought about failure.

    Do any of you recall this?
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    IMO, Fila's Settanta shirt occupies such an exalted place in tennis iconography, being associated as it was with Borg all that time.
    The Borg warm-up jackets as well - red, green and blue.
    I would love to have a long chat with Fila designer Pierluigi Rolando and the Fila marketing executives at the time (Marty Mulligan?). Oh, to have been a fly on the wall... :)
     
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  3. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Borg didnt cancel anything - that model in both blue and red (with the matching shorts - had an almost 4 yr run - it was sold and stocked in shops until late 1979 when the newer Fila stuff came out - Borg wore it (the Trezzan) all the way thru 1979 - I saw him in the states and in Europe wearing it. He liked to wear it in Rome - if i remember right he had it on in Red for the 78 finals. i think that line was the BEST looking stuff ever -
     
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  4. Michael B

    Michael B New User

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    When Borg played Panatta in that '78 Italian Open final, he wore the red collared/cream Settanta line, not the Trezzan.

    Of all the photos I've seen of Borg wearing the checkered line, he's using a Bancroft racquet, which means North America. Maybe he did wear it in Europe, Fila did reissue the line a few years ago in England, so perhaps there's a connection. I should know, I went through great pains to acquire a few of the last ones.

    Another interesting facet, I contacted an internet source of collectible old matches and he stated he doesn't have any matches of Borg wearing the Trezzan line, so just maybe the promotion was a brief one.
     
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  5. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    I was at the Italian open that year and i know he wore it during the week - It was also sold in his Monte Carlo shop as I remember buying both the tops and the checkered shorts there as well. He also wore it in Monte Carlo - And i remember also in Japan - Suntory Tourny maybe.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
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