Talk Tennis

Talk Tennis (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php)
-   Former Pro Player Talk (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/forumdisplay.php?f=37)
-   -   bORG VS lENDL, THE RIVALRY WE MISSED (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=459284)

kiki 03-30-2013 10:52 AM

bORG VS lENDL, THE RIVALRY WE MISSED
 
It didnīt develop although we got some signs after their Masters and, specially RG 1981 final, this last one of the best finals there.

Lendl became the second youngest guy to beat Borg, since Borg never lost to a younger player other than Mac and Ivan.he did so beating him in 5 gruelling sets at Basle, back in 1980...and this was ONLY the second time, after that USO final that Borg lost a 5 sets final.Again, only Mac and Lendl could achieve it.

In 79 Borg beat Lendl at the CO semis, and in 1980 Lendl defeated Borg also at the CO final, but Borg did retire after losing the first set, so...what could have happened?

If Borg hadnīt been retired in 82, that year and next 83 might have been two of the greatest ever, with Borg,Connors,Lendl and Mac going at each other, as they did in 1980 and 1981...any opinions?

borg number one 03-30-2013 02:26 PM

Lendl was 4 years younger than Borg, so Borg was 25 and Lendl was 21 in 1981. In 1982, you would have also had Wilander in the mix in terms of the rankings as well. Yet, I completely agree that having Borg, McEnroe, McEnroe, and Lendl playing more matches would have been just great. Connors took over the top spot in 1982, even if the rankings said that McEnroe was #1, since Connors won both the US Open and Wimbledon. Yet, Lendl did garner 10 titles in 1982 though. If Borg would have continued playing through 1982 and beyone, it would have been on a lighter schedule with a focus on the U.S. Open, Wimbledon, the French Open and the Masters. Recall that he was fighting to reduce his schedule for a while without having to qualify for the majors, but the FO and Wimbledon insisted that he would have to qualify if reduced his schedule to under 10 official tourneys for the year.

If he had resolved his dispute with the Tour in 1982, he may have even switched to graphite by late 1982-1983, because he was already in talks with Donnay to have a graphite frame specially designed for him before he finally announced his retirement in 1983. He lobbied to take some time off and play a reduced schedule to combat his burnout. He wanted to rest and then gear up for the majors primarily after taking some time off, but Tour officials insisted on having him qualify at the majors if he did that, with a new Tour in place that mandated that if a player played less than 10 official tourneys, he would have to play the qualifying rounds. Borg refused to comply and he was gone. Years later, I actually think Borg regretted his decision to leave early, but it was too late. I wish things had turned out differently, but Borg has no regrets and he had a wonderful career. He played a lot tennis and contributed so much to the Tour through 1981. Frankly, if the Tour had been more flexible with Borg, we very well may have had Borg around for a few more years through about 1985 or so. The head to head shows it as 6-2 in favor of Borg, with Lendl's wins at Toronto ('80) and Basel on hard courts. Borg won their matches at the Masters (indoors), the French Open (clay), Stuggart (clay), Monte Carlo (clay), Davis Cup (clay), and '79 Toronto (hard). I would have loved to have seen Borg play with graphite frames from 1982-1985 or so, along with Lendl, McEnroe, Connors, and Wilander, among others. I heard Lendl saying in a interview that his win in 1980 at Basel over Bjorn Borg was the biggest of his career, since Borg was the top player in the world. That win was huge for him since Borg was such a big star.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Players/...=B058&oId=L018


This is a clip from their final at the Masters Cup played in January 1981 ('80 YEC at Madison Square Garden).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyuiEzBb7hk




gavna 03-30-2013 02:28 PM

My god can you imagine Borg vs Wilander on red clay in 82 and 83!!!!!!! Bring a lunch and dinner!

borg number one 03-30-2013 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gavna (Post 7315033)
My god can you imagine Borg vs Wilander on red clay in 82 and 83!!!!!!! Bring a lunch and dinner!

Lol, maybe gavna. Yet, Wilander said that in practice during 1982 he couldn't take a set off of Borg. Anyway, that had to be some great practice before the French Open. Can you imagine? "Mats, who have you been working out with for the French Open? Oh, well, Bjorn Borg has been working out with me on clay."

gavna 03-30-2013 02:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by borg number one (Post 7315047)
Lol, maybe gavna. Yet, Wilander said that in practice during 1982 he couldn't take a set off of Borg. Anyway, that had to be some great practice before the French Open. Can you imagine? "Mats, who have you been working out with for the French Open? Oh, well, Bjorn Borg has been working out with me on clay."

I saw in person quite a few Vilas v Borg on clay.........would LOVED to have seen a true match Mats v Bjorn in Monte Carlo or RG......wow. Yeah a peak Borg on clay early 80s would have killed Mats.......Mats was kinda Borg lite early.

borg number one 03-30-2013 03:17 PM

Gavna, you are lucky to have watched Borg vs. Vilas on clay! I say Vilas play on clay at River Oaks during the 1980's and he was such a beast. My best friend talked to him after a practice session and Vilas was kind enough to give him an Ellesse shirt! I agree that Wilander vs. Borg would have been great to see also though.

Benhur 03-30-2013 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by borg number one (Post 7315030)

This is a clip from their final at the Masters Cup played in January 1981 ('80 YEC at Madison Square Garden).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyuiEzBb7hk

Great clip, borg number one. I'd never seen it. Those rallies are so well played. Beautiful tennis. Thanks for that. And lol at those who believe that you could not play great baseline tennis with old small framed racquets. Ha!

borg number one 03-30-2013 05:15 PM

You're very welcome Benhur. Two of the all time great baseliners going at it before 18,000+ at MSG in the finals. Borg only lost seven games that match. Then, what would they be hitting like with poly and today's frames? Glad you liked it.

hoodjem 03-30-2013 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by borg number one (Post 7315030)
This is a clip from their final at the Masters Cup played in January 1981 ('80 YEC at Madison Square Garden).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyuiEzBb7hk]

Talk about grinders! It wears me out to watch. Gosh, I wish I could play like that.

hoodjem 03-30-2013 05:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gavna (Post 7315068)
I saw in person quite a few Vilas v Borg on clay.........would LOVED to have seen a true match Mats v Bjorn in Monte Carlo or RG......wow. Yeah a peak Borg on clay early 80s would have killed Mats.......Mats was kinda Borg lite early.

Wilander has said that when they would hit together, Borg would feel sorry for him and get generous, and gift him a few points.

I think Wilander said Borg would "throw him a few bones."

Mike Bulgakov 03-30-2013 07:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by borg number one (Post 7315030)

If he had resolved his dispute with the Tour in 1982, he may have even switched to graphite by late 1982-1983, because he was already in talks with Donnay to have a graphite frame specially designed for him before he finally announced his retirement in 1983.

I was in Monte Carlo and watched his return match in 1991. It was really strange that he still wanted to play with wood, which gave him no chance. I talked with optimistic Swedes, who said he was beating Becker in practice sets, and all the top players at the event wanted to watch the match.

Borg was so nervous that his racquet hand looked shaky for his warm-up serves. He had no chance with that wood racquet.

borg number one 03-30-2013 07:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike Bulgakov (Post 7315416)
I was in Monte Carlo and watched his return match in 1991. It was really strange that he still wanted to play with wood, which gave him no chance. I talked with optimistic Swedes, who said he was beating Becker in practice sets, and all the top players at the event wanted to watch the match.

Borg was so nervous that his racquet hand looked shaky for his warm-up serves. He had no chance with that wood racquet.

Yes, his return that many years after being on the tour full time was something he would later describe as "madness". He had financial problems back then and did not even practice the way he would have had to. He did go to graphite soon after Monte Carlo, but he was way past his prime by then and as I mentioned I think he went through a period where he regretted his earlier decision to leave the Tour. It was way too late by the early 1990's for him to comeback. It was almost as if he was trying to shed his former self. It was a tough time for him in his life.

kiki 03-31-2013 09:48 AM

Iīll give Lendlīs the edge on hard and probably indoors but on natural surfaces Borg was superior to him.

Xavier G 04-01-2013 11:25 AM

Kiki, yes, Borg and Lendl didn't really get time to develop into a true rivalry with Bjorn's last year at the top level being 1981 just as Ivan is really starting to threaten in the big championships. Bjorn had the better of the matches they did play, of course, over a young Lendl, but Ivan was becoming dangerous to Borg too. A five set win for Lendl over Bjorn said something as did Ivan taking Borg to five sets in the French final. If Bjorn had come back at a good level in 82, 83 etc, we could have seen some great matches in the Slams and Masters.

kiki 04-01-2013 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xavier G (Post 7318975)
Kiki, yes, Borg and Lendl didn't really get time to develop into a true rivalry with Bjorn's last year at the top level being 1981 just as Ivan is really starting to threaten in the big championships. Bjorn had the better of the matches they did play, of course, over a young Lendl, but Ivan was becoming dangerous to Borg too. A five set win for Lendl over Bjorn said something as did Ivan taking Borg to five sets in the French final. If Bjorn had come back at a good level in 82, 83 etc, we could have seen some great matches in the Slams and Masters.

Thatīs what I say.The Golden era of tennis has 4 columns: Borg,Lendl,Connors and Mc Enroe.Each in their style and personality were appealing and unique.

borg number one 04-01-2013 09:14 PM

I agree Kiki. Lendl was still young in 1981, but he had already developed into an extremely good player. Those were among his best years, though he wasn't yet actually winning majors versus the gauntlet of Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe. That's not an easy trio to face at the majors! If Borg would have continued playing, I still think he would have had the edge on Lendl on clay, grass, and indoors and that he would have matched Lendl on hard courts as well. Borg was so tough mentally and was actually getting very fit in 1982. Lendl was already using a graphite frame and if Borg would have actually gone back to the Tour full time with an understanding in place, he would have made the switch to graphite with Donnay most likely by 1983. So, he would have gotten a performance boost there in the years to follow. Here is Borg in 1982 versus McEnroe when he was still in the dispute with the Tour. He was only 26 in 1982. It would have been a great continued rivalry with the other greats of that era, including Ivan Lendl.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kger-33YtiY

spinovic 04-02-2013 05:21 AM

Lendl pushed Borg to 5 sets in the 1981 final. Borg's peak was past him and he was on the decline while Lendl was the opposite, not having reached his peak and still improving. I'm guessing Lendl would have had the upper hand had Borg hung around for 3-4 more years.

borg number one 04-02-2013 05:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spinovic (Post 7320337)
Lendl pushed Borg to 5 sets in the 1981 final. Borg's peak was past him and he was on the decline while Lendl was the opposite, not having reached his peak and still improving. I'm guessing Lendl would have had the upper hand had Borg hung around for 3-4 more years.

Borg was definitely facing burn out spinovic but to say he would just simply decline from there on out is not at all certain. In fact, Borg was playing quite well while contemplating a return in 1982 and he was just 26, so he was actually in the prime years physically. He would have had at least a good three or four years. In addition, if you look at both McEnroe and Connors, recall that they switched to graphite by 1983-1984. Borg would have done the same thing. If he remained on the Tour, it would have been after a recharging of his batteries, with a reduced schedule in 1982. He was facing mental burnout, not physical burnout and at 26, he was actually stronger than he had ever been physically. You can see that in the video above from 1982 against McEnroe when he won that big money event. Borg, like McEnroe and Connors, would have made the switch to a more powerful graphite frame so that would have been very interesting. Lendl was already playing with graphite by 1980 (Adidas), whereas Connors (1984 from a T2000) and McEnroe (1983 from his Dunlop wood frame) waited a bit longer. They all reaping the benefits of graphite by 1984 as the Tour moved wholesale in that direction. If Borg would have played from 1983-1986 or so, he would have done the same, most likely with Donnay. As for Lendl, let's look at how he did versus another great baseliner from 1982-1984. Jimmy Connors was 30-32 during those years and definitely past his prime, while Lendl was on the upswing. Lendl went 8-5 versus Connors in those years. Versus McEnroe from 1982-1984, Lendl was 6-10 versus McEnroe. So, that's 14-15 versus those two players. I don't think he would have fared any better versus Borg had Borg played after a rest and with a graphite frame as well. Basically, those guys would have each won their fair share and lost their fair share as often happens when greats collide.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX4UMysPpWg (good excerpt from the movie "The French" from 1982 with footage from the 1981 French Open final)








Borg would have most likely played with something like this...


spinovic 04-02-2013 09:33 AM

Could be...I'm just guessing. Nothing is certain, but history and trends would support my assumption I believe. Borg was in decline when he quit...I have no reason to believe a racquet change would have suddenly given him a second peak. Historically, nobody wins 11 slams before they hit their peak, do they?

I think the younger guy who hadn't reached his peak would have come out ahead over a 3-4 year stretch against the guy who was past his peak. I generally believe that to be true.

The Connors argument might have some merit, but the McEnroe argument isn't as relevant because '83 and '84 may have very well been the peak of his career. Mac at his best was better than Lendl, so 6-10 seems reasonable. And, Lendl had a winning record against Connors. In fact, 8-5 vs. Borg sounds like a reasonable number. Borg might have got the better of him in the first year or year and a half, but the pendulum ultimately would have swung to Lendl and he'd have likely won more of the later meetings.

kiki 04-02-2013 01:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by borg number one (Post 7320012)
I agree Kiki. Lendl was still young in 1981, but he had already developed into an extremely good player. Those were among his best years, though he wasn't yet actually winning majors versus the gauntlet of Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe. That's not an easy trio to face at the majors! If Borg would have continued playing, I still think he would have had the edge on Lendl on clay, grass, and indoors and that he would have matched Lendl on hard courts as well. Borg was so tough mentally and was actually getting very fit in 1982. Lendl was already using a graphite frame and if Borg would have actually gone back to the Tour full time with an understanding in place, he would have made the switch to graphite with Donnay most likely by 1983. So, he would have gotten a performance boost there in the years to follow. Here is Borg in 1982 versus McEnroe when he was still in the dispute with the Tour. He was only 26 in 1982. It would have been a great continued rivalry with the other greats of that era, including Ivan Lendl.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kger-33YtiY

Lendl was just one set away from his first major...and leaving Borg slamless in his last year.

Even if fit, I canīt see him atop for more than one or one and a half year, then becoming a competitive player but not a nš 1 spot contender.Could he really face the pownding of a 1985 Lendl? the gruelling battles on clay with up and coming Wilander? the firepower of a young and hungry boris Becker on grass? I doubt it, and I wish I was wrong.A 1985 year with Borg and Connors still competitive, Lendl and Mac at their best, and up and doming new stars such as Becker,Edberg,Wilander and Cash, along Mecir,Kriek,Gomez,Curren,Noah,Leconte...thatīd have been explosive and easily the best ever year.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:44 PM.

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