Why was Borg's comeback such a disaster?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by sandy mayer, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    Good points. I agree with you that we can't make ssumptions that if Borg continued to play he would still have dominated Connors just because he WAS dominating him before. But, hear me out, here's my logical on it. It seems like everyone here on the forum would say Borg is a superior Wilander, right? Now look at Wilander's head to head with Connors. He never lost to him. So, logically we could make a pretty good assumption that Borg would still dominate Connors if he continued to play and wasn't Burnt out. If you don't agree then you would have to admit that Wilander would beat Borg cause he was beating Connors. Almost no one believes this notion. I know different match ups may favour different players but Wilander's style is very similars to Borg's minus Borg's ground stroke power and serve so you can draw you own conclusions.

    I can use the same example above to logically deduce that Borg would still have done well against Mac if he continued to play.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2007
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  2. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    The Mac/Lendl rivalry can't be used. Lendl was a choker who found his form after Mac's layoff. Borg was not a choker.

    Exos? What? Didn't Roddick beat Federer at an exo this year? So what?

    Connors was playing a lot more tennis than Borg in 82. 1982 doesn't count at all.

    You say that we can't say that Borg's domination of Connors wasn't going to last forever then say that Connors was going to turn it around. So you're saying your prediction of the future is better than ours?

    You're basically saying we can't do what you just did.
     
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  3. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I agree with everyone else that exhibitions shouldn't count, but I think you've got a valid argument here. Connors came very close to beating Borg in 1980-81. The argument that Borg "owned" him is exaggerated, IMO. Navratilova certainly "owned" Evert as of June 1984, if "owning" has any meaning; but even that lopsided domination certainly doesn't mean that Evert had no chance of winning again. If Navratilova had disappeared in June 1984, there would be arguments about whether Evert could have closed the gap or was closing it at all, but it would not be valid to say from the scores alone that Navratilova owned her.

    Comparing against other rivalries is trickly. Evert changed her game more than Connors did. The Lendl-McEnroe rivalry might apply, but McEnroe turned it around in 1983 by starting to come into the net a lot more on Lendl's serves; Connors did not have as many options.

    That said, Connors did come very close to beating Borg in 1980-81. These are all their sanctioned matches after the 1976 US Open:

    1981, US Open, NY, U.S.A., Hard, S, Borg, 6-2 7-5 6-4

    1981, Wimbledon, England, Grass, S, Borg, 0-6 4-6 6-3 6-0 6-4

    1980, Masters, NY, U.S.A., Carpet, S, Borg, 6-4 6-7 6-3

    1979, Masters, NY, U.S.A., Carpet, RR, Borg, 3-6 6-3 7-6

    1979, Tokyo Indoor, Japan, Carpet, F, Borg, 6-2 6-2

    1979, Wimbledon, England, Grass, S, Borg, 6-2 6-3 6-2

    1979, Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A., Hard, F, Borg, 6-3 6-2

    1979, Pepsi Grand Slam, Boca Raton, FL, USA, Hard, F, Borg, 6-2 6-3

    1978, US Open, NY, U.S.A., Hard, F, Connors, 6-4 6-2 6-2

    1978, Wimbledon, England, Grass, F, Borg, 6-2 6-2 6-3

    1978, Pepsi Grand Slam, FL, U.S.A., Clay, F, Borg, 7-6 3-6 6-1

    1977, Masters, NY, U.S.A., Carpet, F, Connors, 6-4 1-6 6-4

    1977, Pepsi Grand Slam, Boca Raton, FL, USA, Clay, F, Borg, 6-4 5-7 6-3

    1977, Wimbledon, England, Grass, F, Borg, 3-6 6-2 6-1 5-7 6-4

    1976, US Open, NY, U.S.A., Clay, F, Connors, 6-4 3-6 7-6 6-4

    Through the 1977 season they had close matches. In the 1978-79 seasons, Borg took almost all the matches in straight sets, other than the '78 Open final in which he was injured, and the Masters match in January 1980 (listed above as the 1979 Masters). That one went to 7-6 in the deciding set.

    That was during what was Borg's best period ever, the 12 months between his fourth and fifth Wimbledon titles. On that evidence alone, I'd say that Connors still had a chance of beating Borg, so long as he stuck around long enough for Borg to have an off-day or off-season, and at least tried to come into the net more.
     
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  4. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    He didn't quit after '81.

    www.atptennis.com
     
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  5. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Connors is an introvert and chronic tennis addict. He never had much of a life outside of tennis, nor much of a social life.

    He's the opposite of Safin.
     
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  6. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Ultimately it hurts Connors more than it hurts Borg.

    Bjorn has his own fashion company while Jimmy doesn't know what to do with himself. We all know that Jimmy was dying the past several years, which is why he took on the Roddick job. He craves the attention - he wants to play but he can't.

    This is pretty terrible. Many athletes just waste away after retirement because of this. They spend their youth getting used to a lifestyle and then they must abandon it.

    Borg is lucky to be the way he is.
     
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  7. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Nah. Tanner was much tougher. I believe Borg beat Connors something like 12 times in a row.

    He couldn't do that to Tanner.
     
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  8. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Exactly. Borg played for fun after '81. Other guys played for a paycheck.
     
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  9. dommod

    dommod Banned

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    I look up his name. The information was confusing. He only play Monte Carlo and not many other tournament after 1981?
     
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  10. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    If you don't play a slam, you've quit in my book.
     
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  11. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    This is what he said this week about the '82 French:

    "On Thursday, I’m going to play John McEnroe. I can’t believe it’s been 25 years since we played our crazy Davis Cup match in St. Louis,"

    "John just lost to Jimmy Connors in a five-set final at Wimbledon and we played the following week. The match for me was kind of my introduction to the men’s game. Even though I won the French Open, I was still very young and frankly, at the French, a lot of the guys who I played choked a little bit."

    http://www.sportsmediainc.com/tennisweek/index.cfm?func=showarticle&newsid=16874&bannerregion=

    I don't think Borg would have choked had he played Wilander in '82. And Wilander knows it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
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  12. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Who exactly cares about your 'book'?
     
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  13. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    The ATP site provides the tourney info for those events that they recognize. There's a few (like the Suntori open) that are not in there.

    Most people know that Borg played much less in 82 and 83, but he didn't retire until 83. I think that what Borg foresaw for himself was to end his career like his idol Rod Laver, by concentrating on events outside of the grand slams. But I think he got restless and frustrated by the fact that his game was degenerating due to his, by that time, lax workout schedules.

    There is another factor - I believe Borg was trying to play at Stuttgart (correct me if I'm wrong here) in 83 and was denied on account that his rating had plummeted (he played very little). The tourney refused to grant him a wildcard and that pissed him off. He hung them up very soon thereafter. Tennis didn't treat past champions as well as it does now.
     
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  14. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    mabe due to his crap forehand technique.
     
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  15. noeledmonds

    noeledmonds Professional

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    The only time Borg and Wilander did meet in ATP competition Borg won 6-1, 6-1 (in 1982 at Geneva on clay). This combined with Wilander's clear lack of belief in his ability to beat Borg would surely have allowed Borg to ease to victory.
     
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  16. federerfanatic

    federerfanatic Banned

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    Maybe I am misinterpreting what some of you are trying to say but while on one hand I totally agree that Borg would have beaten Wilander at the 82 French Open, how does that diminish from Wilander's title there, or any of Wilander's future titles that might be in question?

    Borg chose to retire, that is his own choice, he should not be given any benefit of doubt credit to what he should have or would have won. It is not like he was stabbed or crippled as a teenager like some other noteable players. Should the players that profited from McEnroe letting his lifestyle lead him to take a detour from tennis as his #1 priority, after 1984, be considered to have wins of lesser value? It was Borg's choice to retire, whatever he might have won it is his loss, others that profited from it their wins are worth 100% value as I see it, since they were willing to put in the effort to play at that level, and Borg no longer was. The only thing is in evaluating their competition, however strong their competition may or may not have been in Borg's absence, other then that no consideration for me.

    Now speculating what he would have gone on to win, and who would have been impacted had he continued I can see. Tainting the wins of anyone else because Borg chose to take early retirement I dont see at all though.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
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  17. noeledmonds

    noeledmonds Professional

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    Here is Borg's record against other great clay courters on red clay:

    Borg 7 Vilas 2*
    Borg 2 Connors 0
    Borg 3 Lendl 0
    Borg 1 Wilander 0
    Borg 2 Kodes 1
    Borg 2 Nastase 3
    Borg 6 Panatta 5
    Borg 9 Orantes 3

    *Includes match in Buenos Aires where Borg retired

    Incredible, particularly when you consider that Borg was playing many of these players from the age of 16 and 17 (e.g. Borg's first 2 loses to Nastase were before his 18th birthday)
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2007
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  18. federerfanatic

    federerfanatic Banned

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    I laugh a bit at how you emphasize "red clay" in such a pronounced way. :p

    Since Roddick even wins tournaments on green clay though, I can understand though.
     
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  19. noeledmonds

    noeledmonds Professional

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    Results corrected to incorpertate Davis Cup results. Borg actually beat Nastase 6-3 6-0 6-0 that time. (Of course Nastase was older, and Borg was near prime but still impressive result.)
     
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  20. B.B.

    B.B. Rookie

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    1. Borg played against the best in the world when he was ranked number 1 in the world, you can´t blame him for living during this time .
    2. He is a coolcat that loves life and don´t bother about thinking more than 1 minute forward.
    3. His comeback(s) was not a comeback, it was just a worried mind at a worring time.
    4. If I had to compere him to any atelet in the world it would be Ben Hogan in golf and Valentiono Rossi in Moto GP.

    And for all you suckers out there that don´t appriciate hard work and devotion, I have seen the place where he used to train alone grewing up, and it isn´t a pretty sight. It has 2 sevear damage holes. One on the right side about 1" from McEnroe´s reach on his backhand volley. The other one is on the asphalt about 15 yards out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2007
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  21. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    The Borg vs Connors head to head stands at 13-8 in Borg's favor. I don't consider that owning a player.

    Some of Borg's other major rivals:

    McEnroe vs Borg - tied at 7-7
    Lendl vs Borg - 2-5 in Borg's favor


    This is what I consider the proper usage of the term "owned":

    Borg vs Vitas Gerulaitis 16-0 in Borg's favor. ;)
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2007
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  22. keithchircop

    keithchircop Professional

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    are you implying that everyone who works at least 4 hours a day doesn't have a life? LOL
     
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  23. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    But Lendl beat borg twice when he was only 20 and borg 25 and at his peak. Lendl was just a baby and became much better after that. Mcenroe also beat Borg the last 3 times in 1981, at only 22, when mcenroe was getting better, so it was a timely retirement for Borg. And Wilander was only 17 when Borg beat. him.


     
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  24. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    John Newcombe v Borg 3-0
     
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  25. obanaghan

    obanaghan New User

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    A lot of tennis is mental intimidation. I saw Martina play and come to net on crappy approaches and beat a gal easy. The gal would have blown those balls down my throat but because it was MN she shanked the passing shots and lost.

    If the men were no longer afraid of Borg or better yet if his motivation and confidence were down he was toast. Speaking of Wilander this is what happened after his awesome 1988 efforts winning 3/4 Slams. After that he was routed often and I think made a QF in Melbourne and that was about it.
     
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  26. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Look at the results in their head-to-head from 1977 onwards.
     
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  27. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    No. Think it over - I bet you're smart enough to figure it out.
     
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  28. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Let's just make this clear: you're a troll.
     
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  29. noeledmonds

    noeledmonds Professional

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    It is good to see you have done some research on the players but you twist and minipulate numbers out of context. You make 20 to 25 sound like a massive age gap. This is not the case, Federer and Nadal are more different in age than Borg and Lendl. Borg still has a convincing head to head lead over Lendl of 5 wins to 2 losses. Borg won their most important encouter at the FO final. McEnroe and Borg were fairly well matched on grass and this is reflected with 1 Wimbledon final won each. Borg was at his weakest in the USA so it is not a suprise that McEnroe got the better of Borg there with his home crowd. Borg was good enough to reach finals in the USA and play McEnroe. McEnroe on the other hand was not good enough to reach finals against Borg on the red clay. McEnroe and Borg never even played on Borg's strongest surface and McEnroe's weakest surface. Borg would have been unlikely to lose a set to McEnroe on clay in ten encounters, such was Borg's dominance on the dirt. Borg and Wilander were actually practise partners for a while and Wilander admitted that he would have NO chance of beating Borg when he won his first FO in 1982. Borg was in a different class to Wilander and Wilander was not afraid to admit it.

    Interesting Head to Head but actually wrong I belive. Borg BEAT Newcombe at Hilton Head WITC in 1978 in the semi-final 6-4 6-2. You can buy the DVD here if you want:

    http://www.geocities.com/ricksasha27560/1970-1980.html

    You can't belive everything that ATP website says. It is not up to date and accurate. Talking of beating younger players like Wilander, remember that Borg was just 18 when he lost his first two matches to Newcombe. Borg acutally retired from the other match he lost to Newcombe.

    It may interest you that Newcombe is the ONLY player to have a leading head to head against Borg where three or more matches have been played. Effectivly no one holds a greater head to head lead than two match wins against Borg. Borg holds convincing head to head leads against so many great players.
     
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  30. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    The Natural is just another incarnation of a troll who likes to start a thread about how good Borg wasn't. Give him some time and he'll bring up an article by Gianna Clarici about how Borg wasn't that good.

    Yeah, Borg beat Wilander at 17 like a drum. That was the same 17-year old Wilander who went on to win the French Open still at 17.
     
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  31. Espen

    Espen Guest

    Bjørn Borg was basically motivated for an economic comeback - not a tennis one. The creditors was on his back all the time.
    Back in Sweden he had lost most of his friends, among other things through bad business proposals. He had also divorced Jannike, his wife. The only “friends” he still had, was his party friends and people hanging around him because of his legendary name and fame.
    Living in Monte Carlo, he did cocaine and heavy partying - and tried to stay in high society – but personally he was a sad, depressed and lonesome person.
    Tennis had improved enormously since he finished his career – so Borg had to be better than ever to succeed. It ended like it was doomed to – when you are motived by all the wrong reasons …

    It is written a book on Bjørn Borg’s life: http://www.amazon.com/Bjorn-Borg-Lars-Skarke/dp/1857820339 It is written by a former close friend; who got badly burned by Borg’s businesses. I have read it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2007
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  32. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    Just going by what I saw in his game. I was impressed by his fitness, and his backhand was ok by the standards of those days(in the early days not in his comeback days), but his game didnt really amaze me in any way.

    By the way John Newcombe beat Borg like a drum 3 times. SO How good was Newcombe?

     
    Last edited: May 8, 2007
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  33. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    My point is some players improve a lot after 20 years of age, so it's not too relevant to take their head to head record agaisnt people at that age in order to prove anything. If you took Federers early head to head record versus hewitt, Rafter etc , he wouldnt look that great. OBviously Lendl improved greatly after 20,just like Federer did, but he still beat borg twice at 20.

    Borgs achievements speak for themselves. But I think he retired at a time JUST before mcenroe and lendl and mabe others could start dominating him.



     
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  34. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Well first and foremost, your view of "like a drum" is quite different than the norm. I don't want to confuse you with facts, but here is their record:

    1978
    Richmond WCT
    VA, U.S.A.
    Carpet
    Q
    Newcombe
    6-0 1-0 RET

    1974
    Masters
    Australia
    Grass
    RR
    Newcombe
    7-6 7-6
    1974

    Dallas WCT
    TX, U.S.A.
    Carpet
    F
    Newcombe
    4-6 6-3 6-3 6-2

    [​IMG]In 1978, Borg retired from the match. It appears to me that Borg was injured as he didn't win a game.

    In the other two matches, one went to two tiebreaks and the other went 4 sets. One was on grass and one on carpet. In 1974, John Newcombe was ranked #1 in the world for at least part of the year. Borg was 17 - 18 during that year.

    How good was John Newcombe? He won as many Grand Slam titles as John McEnroe and Mats Wilander. He won 3 Wimbledon titles, one of which was the last before Open tennis in 1967 and the other two were during the Open era. So, he was no pushover, but then again, he was no Borg either.

    You really are like a terrier. When you get one factoid, you really hang on to it and push it as the only factor in the argument. John Newcombe was one of the best players to ever pick up a racket. He was a great grass court player. The fact that he is 3 - 0 against Borg really doesn't prove anything since Borg was 17 - 18 during the first two matches and retired in the third.

    With regard to being impressive,
    • Borg was the first player to routinely hit winners from the baseline with his opponent on the other baseline. He did this with a wooden racket.
    • Borg's other semi-impressive feat might include winning the French Open 6 times
    • and winning the French Open and Wimbledon back to back more than once.
    • Borg also had one of the most impressive winning streaks on clay (they really didn't care about that kind of stuff back then, so it wasn't broadcast. Borg himself didn't care about any event save the Grand Slams.)
    • and owned the guy who had the best winning streak on clay for 30 something years.
    • Borg also continues to have one of if not the highest winning percentages in Grand Slam competition.
    • He also holds the record for most consecutive wins at Wimbledon, displacing the previous record holder one Rod Laver, no slouch himself.
    • Borg dominated his competiton like no one until one Roger Federer showed up.
    • In 1979, Sports Illustrated said the Borg was the most perfectly musculatered athlete in any sport at any time
    Your obssesion with how good Borg wasn't only points to your lack of perspective and familiarity with that era of tennis. Borg was considered untouchable by the guys who played against him and pretty much revered by all as the ultimate competitor. Borg's demeanor on court and his reverence for Grand Slams really underscores his greatness.

    Finally, pointing to a matchup against John Newcombe is just plain disingenuous and as valid as those who would point to Federer and Sampras' head to head. If Borg had a problem with Newcombe, fine, it may well have been a poor match up for him. However, never think that John Newcombe wasn't a great player. He was.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2007
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  35. dirkgnuf

    dirkgnuf Rookie

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    Espen, Lars Skarke is the guy who tried to steal Borg's money, taking 25% claim in his company and then suing Borg to get even more money afterwards. His book is pretty much a blatant attack against Borg. I happen to have the SI 1991, "Borg Comeback" edition and a good bit of it is spent on Lars Skarke and how he was considered a con man in Europe etc.
    If anything, Borg wasn't as poor as most people think, as according to the article, he still had millions in trust funds.
    Rabbit, excellent points!
     
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  36. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Sounds trustworthy!
     
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  37. jelichek

    jelichek Rookie

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    Can anyone provide a link or way to that Sports Illustrated article from '91. Had the magazine then and it was a fascinating article. Would love to read it again.
     
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  38. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    i only read half of the first page, but i read that when he lost at Roland Garros that time to someone who i forgot, he didnt even stay for the trophy presentation. he walked off court, got in a car, went to the airport, and left town. just like that. and within 3 months of that loss he retired. i find him very interesting though,because he was so great, and at the same time he was an idol, especially with the ladies. there are also accounts of him sleeping naked the night before the match, with the temperature kept at exactly some degree, and he would lay out all 50 of his rackets, and order them in tension ,etc etc
     
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  39. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    OWNAGE. Borg is great. so, how do you hit winners from the baseline to the other baseline again :p
     
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  40. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    Borg looked pretty good at 34 when he attempted to come back.

    [​IMG]
     
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  41. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    You're thinking of the US Open, not Roland Garros. But, yes, interesting indeed.
     
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  42. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Yes, although I read that his training wasn't nearly as extensive as back in the heyday.

    It was funny when Borg was interviewed about his preparation for the recent matches with McEnroe and he said that he was practicing half an hour per day or something like that. The guy clearly stays in shape but tennis has been a recreational thing for quite some time.
     
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  43. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    I recall that had something to do with a death threat.
     
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  44. Morpheus

    Morpheus Professional

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    How can you possibly have a point of view in this conversation if you do not know the answer to this question?
     
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  45. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    An excellent question. Direct and to the point although rhetorical.
     
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  46. Morpheus

    Morpheus Professional

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    Sometimes some things just need to be said. Too often I see you and others discussing players of the past (with great detail and perspective, by the way)with people who either don't know tennis, or didn't live during the era under debate.

    I was one of those guys who wore the Fila red, played with the Donnay Borg, and got up early to watch Borg win Wimbly. That was a fun time to be playing tennis.
     
    #96
  47. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    7,949
    #97

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