Thread: Clay Court GOAT
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:20 PM   #203
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,450

Originally Posted by big bang View Post
but still its the closest thing to red clay.. if he could win on other surfaces why not har-tru?? I mean USO still counted as a claycourt tournament back then and some of the other claycourt specialists didnt seem to have trouble playing there. I still think its a flaw in Borgs resume!
Borg did eventually have great success on har-tru, not at the USO but at the Pepsi Grand Slam, which doesn't exist anymore but was a big tournament at the time. I don't think he was as strong on Har-Tru as he was on red clay, but the evidence is there that he was the best har-tru player of his generation. He just had to gradually overtake Jimmy Connors.

In '75 at the USO he was still far from his peak and not favored to win the USO. And he lost to Connors (who owned him them, physically and psychologically) in straights.

In '76 he went into the USO as the Wimbledon champion, and some people expected him to win, others picked Connors. And Connors beat him in a very close match (Connors had 2-point margin in total points won; Borg had points to go up two sets to one).

In January '77 he beat Connors in a close match at Pepsi. In September he was top-seeded at the Open and the favorite to win, but defaulted early with an injury.

In January '78 he beat Connors in another three-setter at Pepsi, 6-1 in the final set, a little more comfortably than the previous year.

In early '79 he dominated Connors at Pepsi, 6-2, 6-3. And he won Pepsi again in 1980, his last time playing that tournament.

So basically Borg didn't solve Connors until January '77, and until then Connors prevented him from winning the USO. Afterwards he solved Connors (eventually even dominating him), but there was only one USO left on Har-Tru and he was injured for it.

So a combination of youth and injuries (and a tough early matchup with Jimmy Connors) shut Borg out at the three USO's played on clay.
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