Talk Tennis

Talk Tennis (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php)
-   Former Pro Player Talk (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/forumdisplay.php?f=37)
-   -   Björn Borg great at AKAI nov 1982 (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=227694)

Borgforever 10-22-2008 12:37 AM

Björn Borg great at AKAI nov 1982
 
Hi everybody!

Great forum. The actual, genuine, Borg-expert is here from Sweden. You can ask any question about "The Great Ice Cold Ghost Killa"-Borg and I will answer as best I can -- and if I can.

First out I will soon post a highlight reel on Youtube from, perhaps, Borg's greatest and last tennis-perfomance from his peak era: defeating John McEnroe at the AKAI Gold Challenge in '82.

Borg was potentially great in 82. In november, after 3 months of tough practice, much of it with weights, Borg peaked his form and won the AKAI -- tournament (Golden Racket in Sydney indoors on carpet outclassing Lendl in the subsequent final in straight easy sets -- 6-1,6-4,6-2).

Borg was visibly bulkier in his upper body here, to increase power in his shots. Which his defeat of Mac at AKAI clearly demonstrates. He just hits every stroke harder than ever. Becoming an outright slugger with stunning success. This is probably the brief fleeting moment of his absolute best before the started to feel "slightly bored" again in Stockholm in december which turned into the decision to quit at the start of 83.

But Man at AKAI he could've got a GRAND SLAM with that play in 82 and who knows in 83. Yes, Borg was more economical in his speed around the court than Rafa but he's also quite amazing in the foot-speed department.

Borg was denied to enter Wimby 82' though he was prepared to. I have an interview where he's sits in a sofa watching Jimbo and Mac in 82 battling it out and Borg comments "Oh, I want to be there now, paying them, God, I miss it now!". Damn ITF!

I can watch his movement forever. That soundless feather-like waltzing -- The Greyhound of Tennis -- he's suddently just there, ghost-like, in perfect position, with an excellent deep back-swing to unhurriedly firing with full follow-through. Borg won a 100m dash at an ALL STAR GAME in Gothenburg in 83 against Pelé and other sportstars. I guess on 10,2 or so. Untrained!

In the exxo on July 28th 1982 in Richmond, VA Borg had five set-points going to 4-6,6-3,6-4. Coonors screams out after one winning backhand from Borg "C'mon! You have practiced!" but Connors saved to 5-5 and Borg started to get unfocused with many errors finishing 4-6,6-3,5-7,3-6.

Another wacky memory is on the ALL STAR GAME in 83 Borg also, of course, the moment where you from 15m distance should throw a tennisball bullseye on a dart-board as often as possible in 10 tries. If bullsye was hit a beautiful girl sitting on ledge would fall down in a huge transparent water-filled tub! Sexist? I know! Borg sunk the poor girl 7 times and as the beutiful woman for the 7th time scrambled up out of the pool with her wet clothes revealing more than family entertainment -- and Borg finally turned to the TV-cameras, smiled the widest grin and let out his toungh far down his chin in a comic-horny manner! It brought down the house with applause from everybody! Except the girl of course...

tennis-hero 10-22-2008 02:03 AM

yay! a Borg specialist

ok, so tell me.....the rumors about drug usage? what drugs was Bjorn on?

what really made him retire?

did the pressure from the Swedish media from him not winning the US OPEN really push him over the edge?

Borgforever 10-22-2008 03:34 AM

I'm going to cannibalize an answer I gave on Youtube:

Why did Borg quit?

Complex answer. Boil it down to a still truthful conclusion:

It was recently revealed in a great in-depth-doc here in Sweden that "he was tired of the whole sh*t" already in the spring of '79. The main reason was in fact that he was so fed up with being pestered by people all over the world. Always scrutinized and his regimen were disciplined as a Navy Seal-soldiers during a mission -- for a full eight years. He was the first true, global superstar of tennis and he lacked the organized team to protect him from unwanted disturbances.

Only his coach Bergelin shielded him from the massive attention but even that wasn't enough. Today Federer and Nadal have a huge well-paid of teams of experts (from physio-trainers to publicists and security) protecting them almost completely from distractions. Even Sampras and Lendl (those that followed Borg) organized similar structures around their lives which greatly contributed to their sustained careers. Had Borg anticipated this problem, say in 1974, he surely would've had a won more Slams. It's a pity because he was still getting better at 25. Look at some of his great exxo's against Mac and Jimbo in 1982 and 1983. He sometimes averaged 20 aces in a few matches, hitting winners all over the place and starting to slice his backhand with one hand!

He was contractually obligated since 1979 (courtesy of Bob Kain, his feverishly diligent agent) to play at certain booked dates even so far as in the future as 1984!

So he was forced to play these exxo's basically, only like 10-15 matches a year up until 1985 -- but this melancholy and frustrating end to the brightest tennis-career (in terms of winning percentage at such a still young age) in history shouldn't really induce any real regrets. Borg himself rightly stated that the record he already had achieved at 25 and the fact that he had singel-handedly transformed tennis from one of the more popular sports in the western world to one of the most popular and well-paid global sports on the planet in just a few years: "One must be mad to feel any disappointment".

He made it to four US OPEN-finals! That's nothing to sneeze at. Even in defeat he's still an absolutely awe-inspiring example of what we as human beings actually are capable of doing.

As far as Borg's drug-use? I guess only Borg, Vitas Gerulaitis and a few others probably know for sure -- and I don't want to be sued or insult my greatest idol -- but from what I've deducted from a huge amount of reasonbly reliable sources is this: Borg smoked cigarretes and drank alcohol a few times year -- like binge-partying, and from what I heard "a modest amount of cocaine" around the Studion 54 scene with Vitas. Borg was extremely disciplined so this was at the most a very few times a year.

After he quit I guess this frequency of partying increased somewhat. One must realize that Borg had never had an ordinary teenage phase in life -- like you or I -- where we were allowed to make mistakes. Borg thought "the tennis circus" strangled his life so the quitting came as a rebellion to this.

Though Borg's drug-use was never, from what I hear, in a league with Rolling Stones, Hendrix, Elvis or Whitney Houston et al. But with crooks like Lars Skarke creating chaos in his affairs and his confusion in finding a balanced place outside his outrageously successful tennis-career contributed to what seems to be a depressed state. Borg was tired of his tennis-image -- it stood him up to here. That's where the sleeping pill situation developed although I firmly believe the episode was exaggerated.

Borg searched back to his roots to find harmony with tennis again. He didn't pursue "a real comeback" at the early 90's as some seem to believe. There wasn't a real "senior tour" at the time and Borg just felt he wanted to "play for the fun of it" and everybody thought he was set to be serious again. Which is not true. Bergelin and Borg knew that for a serious comeback he had to practice a lot more. He just played for fun.

And the selling "The Throphies-story" is also greatly misunderstood. Borg wasn't broke. Far from it. But he's just a complex personality. You have to understand that he doesn't take so much pride in displaying these trophy's to everybody. He has his own memories and had actually hid all his trophy's in his garage. he thought maybe some great fan (would appreciate it more -- some institution maybe). I guess if you been to the moon more than a few times you don't have to display "moon-rocks" to everybody around you all the time.

And Borg wasn't stupid or simple-minded. He was extremely intelligent, having almost top grade's in all subjects school. You can hear, during Ashe's interview with him after Wimby 81 SF, how fine, complex and detailed his analysis of match was that he just finished. Problem was that he finished school after the 9th grade at 15 to be the best tennis-player in the world. One must realize that a person who was robbed of high-school and university studies doesn't have the vocabulary as, say, Evelyn Waugh.

More questions!?

Borgforever 10-22-2008 03:47 AM

Borg also posed in a commercial reading a comic-magazine featuring sports for kids (with the goal of getting you kids into sports) and that was interpreted by ignorent people as "the tennis genius reads kids comic-books". The "idiot-savant" angle sells a lot of copy you know.

Print the legend and all that. Stanley Kubrick also suffered from this syndrome of bad reporting.

Borgforever 10-22-2008 04:01 AM

And, apparently, Vitas smuggled in a large bag of coke to Borg's marriage in Bucharest, Romania to Mariana Simionescu -- Vitas goes "look at this guy's -- it's gonna be a marriage for the ages!" wherewith Ilie Nastase flipped:"Are you nuts Vitas?! You dare bring this in Romania? It's a communist country! If they (the police) just get a whiff (pun intended) of this they lock you in and throwaway the key!". True story... He-he...

martini1 10-24-2008 06:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Borgforever (Post 2805818)
I'm going to cannibalize an answer I gave on Youtube:

Why did Borg quit?

Complex answer. Boil it down to a still truthful conclusion:

It was recently revealed in a great in-depth-doc here in Sweden that "he was tired of the whole ****" already in the spring of '79. The main reason was in fact that he was so fed up with being pestered by people all over the world. Always scrutinized and his regimen were disciplined as a Navy Seal-soldiers during a mission -- for a full eight years. He was the first true, global superstar of tennis and he lacked the organized team to protect him from unwanted disturbances.

Only his coach Bergelin shielded him from the massive attention but even that wasn't enough. Today Federer and Nadal have a huge well-paid of teams of experts (from physio-trainers to publicists and security) protecting them almost completely from distractions. Even Sampras and Lendl (those that followed Borg) organized similar structures around their lives which greatly contributed to their sustained careers. Had Borg anticipated this problem, say in 1974, he surely would've had a won more Slams. It's a pity because he was still getting better at 25. Look at some of his great exxo's against Mac and Jimbo in 1982 and 1983. He sometimes averaged 20 aces in a few matches, hitting winners all over the place and starting to slice his backhand with one hand!

He was contractually obligated since 1979 (courtesy of Bob Kain, his feverishly diligent agent) to play at certain booked dates even so far as in the future as 1984!

So he was forced to play these exxo's basically, only like 10-15 matches a year up until 1985 -- but this melancholy and frustrating end to the brightest tennis-career (in terms of winning percentage at such a still young age) in history shouldn't really induce any real regrets. Borg himself rightly stated that the record he already had achieved at 25 and the fact that he had singel-handedly transformed tennis from one of the more popular sports in the western world to one of the most popular and well-paid global sports on the planet in just a few years: "One must be mad to feel any disappointment".

He made it to four US OPEN-finals! That's nothing to sneeze at. Even in defeat he's still an absolutely awe-inspiring example of what we as human beings actually are capable of doing.

As far as Borg's drug-use? I guess only Borg, Vitas Gerulaitis and a few others probably know for sure -- and I don't want to be sued or insult my greatest idol -- but from what I've deducted from a huge amount of reasonbly reliable sources is this: Borg smoked cigarretes and drank alcohol a few times year -- like binge-partying, and from what I heard "a modest amount of cocaine" around the Studion 54 scene with Vitas. Borg was extremely disciplined so this was at the most a very few times a year.

After he quit I guess this frequency of partying increased somewhat. One must realize that Borg had never had an ordinary teenage phase in life -- like you or I -- where we were allowed to make mistakes. Borg thought "the tennis circus" strangled his life so the quitting came as a rebellion to this.

Though Borg's drug-use was never, from what I hear, in a league with Rolling Stones, Hendrix, Elvis or Whitney Houston et al. But with crooks like Lars Skarke creating chaos in his affairs and his confusion in finding a balanced place outside his outrageously successful tennis-career contributed to what seems to be a depressed state. Borg was tired of his tennis-image -- it stood him up to here. That's where the sleeping pill situation developed although I firmly believe the episode was exaggerated.

Borg searched back to his roots to find harmony with tennis again. He didn't pursue "a real comeback" at the early 90's as some seem to believe. There wasn't a real "senior tour" at the time and Borg just felt he wanted to "play for the fun of it" and everybody thought he was set to be serious again. Which is not true. Bergelin and Borg knew that for a serious comeback he had to practice a lot more. He just played for fun.

And the selling "The Throphies-story" is also greatly misunderstood. Borg wasn't broke. Far from it. But he's just a complex personality. You have to understand that he doesn't take so much pride in displaying these trophy's to everybody. He has his own memories and had actually hid all his trophy's in his garage. he thought maybe some great fan (would appreciate it more -- some institution maybe). I guess if you been to the moon more than a few times you don't have to display "moon-rocks" to everybody around you all the time.

And Borg wasn't stupid or simple-minded. He was extremely intelligent, having almost top grade's in all subjects school. You can hear, during Ashe's interview with him after Wimby 81 SF, how fine, complex and detailed his analysis of match was that he just finished. Problem was that he finished school after the 9th grade at 15 to be the best tennis-player in the world. One must realize that a person who was robbed of high-school and university studies doesn't have the vocabulary as, say, Evelyn Waugh.

More questions!?


Nice write up. Borg is kind of before my time but I have always admired his super star charisma. I know a lot of people would have a different opinion but to me nobody come close to Borg's status until Sampras came by. Of course Federer's got it as well. I wonder if Nadal can be like that by 25.

Borgforever 10-25-2008 01:13 AM

I'll add some other observations about Borg's US Open experience later on -- but just a short, interesting fact about the man's name. In Swedish Björn Borg sounds quite cool. Björn is the Swedish word for Bear. And Borg is the Swedish word for fortified castle or fortress. Bear Fortress -- Björn Borg.

Certainly fits his playing style...

Borgforever 10-25-2008 01:42 AM

And Borg used the wear a T-shirt with the classic text printed on:

"Never love a tennis-player. To him love means nothing."

martini1 10-25-2008 07:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Borgforever (Post 2812838)
And Borg used the wear a T-shirt with the classic text printed on:

"Never love a tennis-player. To him love means nothing."

Really?? In english?

Do u have a pic of he wearing the t-shirt? :shock:

Borgforever 10-30-2008 08:09 AM

I'll check about the photo of Borg wearing the T-shirt. I think a have one.

Until then -- and my soon to post update about Borg and US Open -- I've posted the first of five videos of fascinating Borg matches on Youtube.

First out is four blissful minutes of high-lights from Borg's mauling of Tanner in the Wimby SF from the tropically hot summer of 1976.

Borg sawed off Tanner, who had out-served Connors in three straight in the QF, with his own game -- out-serving Tanner, who probably was the fastest server in the late 70's. I'll only include a few aces and other moments that characterized the match.

So sink back in your favourite couch with the beverage of your choice and enjoy Borg in his best form -- according to his coach Lennart Bergelin.

schwuller 10-30-2008 08:36 AM

i met mr borg so i'd like to add something here. i had just played tennis at Pepperdine near where i live (you often see greats playing there). afterward, i went with my friend to the Santa Monica Mall to grab a coffee, next to the Promenade. as we walked from the food court into the main mall, there was this tall, fit, long haired very stylish guy, nice wool slacks and a silk shirt, with a gorgeous equally tall woman. she looked like a bond girl, seriously. even in this area, this was a good-looking pair of people, and that's what caught my attention. in less than a second i said to my friend "holy (&#! it's bjorn borg!" and as the woman entered a jewelry store and left him to wait, i abandoned my friend and approached borg, offering my hand. i gushed for a moment. HE COULD NOT HAVE BEEN NICER! i can't express how nice this man was. softly spoken, quiet, almost shy, very pleased with what i was saying. he is much more striking looking in person than he appears on television; this man stands out even in a pretty crowd.

Borgforever 10-30-2008 09:31 AM

Great!

Feast your eyes on this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AT5mvbTaKeM

Borgforever 10-30-2008 09:33 AM

Soon up on Youtube:

The first third (7 minute) high-lights from Borg's legendary exxo vs John McEnroe at AKAI Gold Challenge in Sydney in november 1982...

Rabbit 10-30-2008 09:39 AM

Now this is a great thread. Thanks for posting!

Borgforever 10-30-2008 11:56 AM

Okey Borg-lovers...

Here comes a really rare delicacy -- seven minutes of tennis-joy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFXnTGqbwsU

More to come...

CyBorg 10-30-2008 01:08 PM

Looking forward to seeing more. Borg looks as great as ever here.

I recall shortly after retiring Borg wound up doing commentary for the 1983 Roland Garros and was in the booth (don't recall the network) for the final too.

He should have been winning that event! But he seemed so content not playing...:(

Borgforever 10-30-2008 02:15 PM

Yeah, RG 83 had his stamp on it. And according to sources he didn't do that well as a commentator -- being naturally shy around people he didn't know very well...

I am uploading the other clips right now. Takes ages...

topangasun 10-30-2008 02:41 PM

Hi Borgforever, thanks for making such a great thread! Like many people, unfortunately Borg was before my time but I've always been really taken by him. He seems to have this mystique surrounding him, almost as if he's more than a tennis player. You mention his navy seal-like training regimen. I'm wondering if you could perhaps give a detailed account of his daily or weekly regime and his diet? Thanks very much and keep up the interesting posts!

Borgforever 10-30-2008 03:01 PM

Sure, thanks...

Usually up at 7 polishing off 2-2,5 hours of tennis-practice, relax during noon followed by another 2-2,5 hours of tennis-practice in the afternoon -- mostly seven days a week. His discipline was absolute -- believing deeply that a perfect record of practice gives loads of confidence. Which it did. He always kept his match weight 72 kg perfectly -- not an ounce more or less... He felt he didn't bounce correctly in his movements if the weight was even just slightly off.

He usually focused on lots of vegetables, sallads, and different meat-recipes -- often quite spicy. As far as I know not a lot of pasta or bread.

Borg believed in focusing on the next point -- no matter what has just happened. You always had to fight to forget disturbances.

He practiced concentration every day -- knowing that a calm demeanor always helped because it's true that anger and frustration clouds your judgement and clouds your thinking. Even a completely false calmness will usually help you sooner to ride out a potential storm (see Borg's demeanor during the first set of Wimby 1980 final).

He was a great believer in that you can develop every side of yourself. You must remember that he behaved like McEnroe here in Sweden when he was in his early teens and got suspended from tennis for six months.
So he decided to practice calmness and look what happened?

He was also he very good physical specimen. His father was one of Sweden's best ping-pong-players and he ran and played tennis to an unprecedented degree. When he was as young as 11-12 he did stamina-training every day.

Does that answer your question? I can delve deeper into the issue if you want...?

topangasun 10-30-2008 04:12 PM

If you have more information I'd definitely be interested. I find all of this type of thing very interesting. Thanks very much!


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:23 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2006 - Tennis Warehouse