Djokovic vs Borg - Who is the better grass court player?

Better grass court player?

  • Djokovic

    Votes: 25 25.8%
  • Borg

    Votes: 72 74.2%

  • Total voters
    97

aman92

Hall of Fame
Both have 5 titles from 6 finals there and while Djokovic never dominated the tournament at a stretch like Borg, he has the longevity there and has beaten his 2 major rivals in all the finals they have contested. Who is the better grass courter?
 

The Blond Blur

Professional
Nothing against Joker because what he has accomplished at Wimby is amazing and ATG status on grass. But, Borg played in an era where you had to S&V to win, and he played against actual grass court specialists. There really aren't any grass court specialists in the game now save for an Ol' Rog.
 

Imperator

Professional
Different grass, different era, different equipment. We can’t say which one is the better grass court player, we can only try to determine which one is the greater (most accomplished) one.

For now, I’d say it’s still borg. 5 Wimbledon titles in a row is a bigger feat, I’ll consider Djokovic greater when (if) he wins a sixth Wimbledon title.
 

BVSlam

Professional
Borg as for pure grass game. But Djokovic is an amazing Wimbledon player. And yeah he didn't do great in 2016-2017, but still won four out of the last six, so that's still a reasonably dominant stretch.

I never thought Djokovic was so successful at Wimby purely because he loves grass so much, but he does love winning Wimbledon and is very good at it too. And of course, conditions are quite different these days compared to Borg's. It's less about the surface now as in that time, unless you're Nadal on clay.
 

topher

Semi-Pro
Different grass, different era, different equipment. We can’t say which one is the better grass court player, we can only try to determine which one is the greater (most accomplished) one.

For now, I’d say it’s still borg. 5 Wimbledon titles in a row is a bigger feat, I’ll consider Djokovic greater when (if) he wins a sixth Wimbledon title.
That and he did it while doing the channel slam 3 times in a row, that definitely makes winning Wimbledon difficult.
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
I will guarantee you that there may be one person posting here as a Djokovic fan who ever saw Borg play and most have no clue who he was and simply don't care. There's no basis of comparison because Borg might as well be ancient history. Since Djokovic is the GOAT in their eyes, obviously he's greater than Borg, Fed or Pete on grass or any other surface. He's even greater than Rafa on clay, as I've read here repeatedly.
 

Nadal_Django

Hall of Fame
I think Borg. He was the one doing the winnings on the real quick and slick grass of the 70s and the 80s. Otoh, Djokovic dominated the Goat of the post 2001"fake" slow, baseline friendly grass, the most accomplished Wimbledon player overall, so still it's a bit of a dilemma, I feel! :oops:
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Borg played on the proper Wimbledon grass. Sampras was the last player to win that tournament. All tournaments since have been played on a different surface.

That makes Borg's achievement greater than any post 2001 player.
Well, all I can see is grass growing on the Wimbledon courts whenever they play there. It may be thicker and slower than in Borg and Sampras' heyday but it is still grass.
 

alexio88

Hall of Fame
I will guarantee you that there may be one person posting here as a Djokovic fan who ever saw Borg play and most have no clue who he was and simply don't care. There's no basis of comparison because Borg might as well be ancient history. Since Djokovic is the GOAT in their eyes, obviously he's greater than Borg, Fed or Pete on grass or any other surface. He's even greater than Rafa on clay, as I've read here repeatedly.
87=87
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
Borg's 5 straight Wimbledon titles, all before the age of 25 make him an absolute beast.

Borg is so unique. His peak on clay and grass was arguably the greatest ever.

He was a rock star. Everybody loved Borg, except me. My sister and all of her tennis friends on her high school team had a massive crush on Borg. I was a Mac fan. Watching Mac take down Borg in the 1981 Wimbledon final on my brother's 13 inch black and white TV is probably my favorite tennis moment in my entire life. On the flip side, watching Lendl take out Mac at the 1984 FO was the worst memory.

Nowadays, I have lots of respect for Borg and Lendl. But back then, I got sick of Borg winning and I completely despised Lendl.
 

Krish0608

Hall of Fame
Of course it's Borg. Borg won Wimbledon 5 times in a row. Something that is shared only by Roger Federer. He's the combined 2nd greatest Wimbledon champion in Open Era along with Pistol Pete. Djokovic's Wimbledon record is also extremely impressive.
 

Spencer Gore

Professional
Well, all I can see is grass growing on the Wimbledon courts whenever they play there. It may be thicker and slower than in Borg and Sampras' heyday but it is still grass.
It's a different type of grass. Specifically planted to slow the courts, even out the bounce and stop the ball skidding.

It makes an enormous difference.
 

GabeT

Legend
It's a different type of grass. Specifically planted to slow the courts, even out the bounce and stop the ball skidding.

It makes an enormous difference.
It’s a different type of grass so for all we know Borg would have not done well in today´s grass
 

Xavier G

Professional
The game has changed so much in 40 years, but Borg in his day was greater than Djokovic today on grass courts imo.

BB adapted his game and won five straight Wimbledons on the different grass courts back then with a wood racket and reached another final, so six finals consecutively. He had to face many big serve/volleyers in a different era and had an aura of invincibility that Novak doesn't have. They're both great champions though.
 

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
I'll go with Borg as well... 5 in a row on his second best surface - which was shocking when he won his first couple - is hard to top. That said, how many more Wimbledons will Novak need to win to tie/eclipse Borg in people's minds. There's no formula for this.
 

Third Serve

Hall of Fame
I think Borg's achievement in winning five in a row on fast grass against serve and volley players is a greater achievement than any player on the new, slower grass.

How does that make me insecure?
The grass needed to be slowed down because racquet tech was getting too good. If they had kept it fast, we'd see a lot more servebotting going on. It's probably best if they sped the courts up again, but not as fast.
 

Heliath

New User
I think Borg's achievement in winning five in a row on fast grass against serve and volley players is a greater achievement than any player on the new, slower grass.
Borg played in a fast grass era but also played in an era without any technology on the rackets and players in his era werent hitting the ball as hard as the current era, nor with the spin they can put nowadays on the ball. With that playstyle he wouldnt have won 5 Wimbledons in a row playing post 2001, he would need to adapt to the new grass and the technology available, and thats exactly what players do, so saying that Borg's Wimbledons are worth more than current Wimbledons makes no sense at all.
 

KG1965

Legend
Djokovic would have won 4 matches out of 5.

But Nole lost 3 times out of 5 v McEnroe.

Grass: Mac > Nole > Borg
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
It's a different type of grass. Specifically planted to slow the courts, even out the bounce and stop the ball skidding.

It makes an enormous difference.
It is certainly thicker and more noticeable. Back in Borg's day it was just like a green tinge on a surface that had big brown patches. There would have been nothing for Djokovic to eat! ;)

Whichever era we discuss, it is still grass though.
 

hipolymer

Hall of Fame
There's not really a point in comparing them; completely different circumstances. Sure Borg won 5 in a much shorter time, but he also quit after he lost to his biggest rival at a young age
There was also a bunch of grass courters then, but Djokovic beat Fedal multiple times on the surface
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Djokovic beat Fedal multiple times on the surface
Did Djokovic ever beat Federer on Grass from 2003-2010? I mean beating Federer when he was a premier grass courter would have been an accomplishment. Beating Federer when he was an old man isn't that remarkable.

Borg beat premier grass courters when specialization was a thing.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
I will guarantee you that there may be one person posting here as a Djokovic fan who ever saw Borg play and most have no clue who he was and simply don't care. There's no basis of comparison because Borg might as well be ancient history. Since Djokovic is the GOAT in their eyes, obviously he's greater than Borg, Fed or Pete on grass or any other surface. He's even greater than Rafa on clay, as I've read here repeatedly.
Spoken as a true connaisseur of hyperboles and strawman arguments.

But yeah Djokovic beat total mugs so his achievements don't matter.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
Uh, Borg. And it's not close.
The results say it is close. Everything else is subjective. Yes, the conditions, surface and equipment were different. But both is grass, so no reason to call one the "real" and one the "false" grass. Also both types required different playing styles, and again none is per definition better than the other.

It’s almost sure that both would destroy the other one in "their" conditions. And I think racquets are more important than surfaces, so modern playing style would still prevail on old fast grass with these new poly strings. Agassi showed that it is possible to rallye on it.

Who could better adapt to a totally different era? That could be Borg, because he already adapted within his own era.
 

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
I would have to give to Borg since I think dominance is most important when comparing greatness, but that's because he won 5 in a row which is out of this world. Djokovic winning 5 in this decade and beating Fedal everytime to win one is an accomplishment in itself though.
 
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Pantera

Banned
Both have 5 titles from 6 finals there and while Djokovic never dominated the tournament at a stretch like Borg, he has the longevity there and has beaten his 2 major rivals in all the finals they have contested. Who is the better grass courter?
Djokovic even though i love Borg. This is based on the logic that Federer fans claim Federer is God on grass...yet wikipedia tells me its Djokovic 3-0 federer in wimbledon finals #40-15
 

Pantera

Banned
I would have to give to Borg since I think dominance is most important when comparing greatness, but that's because he won 5 in a row which is out of this world. Djokovic winning 5 in this decade and beating Fedal everytime to win one is an accomplishment in itself though.
Love both...i just give the nod to Djokovic. Never lost a final to his great rivals...borg got tagged by Mac.
 

Mr.Lob

Legend
It's a different type of grass. Specifically planted to slow the courts, even out the bounce and stop the ball skidding.

It makes an enormous difference.
According to a former head groundskeeper, the major difference in speed and bounce is in the soil compaction, not the type grass.
 

Tshooter

Legend
I will guarantee you that there may be one person posting here as a Djokovic fan who ever saw Borg play and most have no clue who he was and simply don't care...
He was from one of those Scandanavian countries, I think ? Used to wear Fila; had a bit of a waddle when he walked ? Slapstick 2HB ? Is this the guy ?

I think I may have seen him play in person a few times. :p
 

mightyrick

Legend
Djokovic even though i love Borg. This is based on the logic that Federer fans claim Federer is God on grass...yet wikipedia tells me its Djokovic 3-0 federer in wimbledon finals #40-15
Federer fans have been delusional for YEARS about anything regarding Federer. So using a Federer fan's estimation about anything is a complete miss.

So first, I am a guy who judges Djokovic as already being the Open Era GOAT. I'm not a fanboy, but I look at the results. So given that context, I'm telling you that Djokovic is not better on grass than Borg. Borg was a specimen that (outside of Laver), we have not seen in the Open Era. He was an ultimate all-court player with a command of high-speed surfaces (grass/carpet) and ultra slow surfaces (clay) like no other. The man's very DNA and brain was built for those two polar opposite surfaces. Borg's weakness was that he simply did not have the DNA for middle-speed surfaces -- hard court.

People need to stop merely counting slams and really look at skills. The reality is that Djokovic is primarily a hardcourt talent. Whereas Borg was a primarily fast court/slow court talent. Mind you, I'm not saying Borg is more skilled than Djokovic or vice versa.

I'm only saying that on grass, Borg had better skills than Djokovic. It takes nothing away from Djokovic. Because when it comes to hardcourt, Djokovic completely destroys Borg. So I'd say it is about even.
 

Tshooter

Legend
...The reality is that Djokovic is primarily a hardcourt talent...
Only in the sense that Vamos is "primarily" a clay court talent. Or that FEDR is "primarily" a grass court talent. Who both are also GOAT level on other surfaces.

Of course, in each case, taking into account "skills."
 

Louis33

New User
It’s hard to compare who the better grass court player is without thinking about how they would match up against each other. Different eras using different equipment and playing styles make it difficult to compare who would win, but just from watching video of both players it’s pretty clear the physicality of today’s generation is far greater. The movement and stroke production of Djokovic is miles ahead of Borg, and given time to adjust to faster conditions and wooden racquets I believe Djokovic would beat Borg. I enjoy playing with wood racquets and their isn’t much adjustment to be made from modern gear using modern strokes. Hitting hard passing shots is still attainable with this equipment, and given Djokovic’s physicality and superior stroke mechanics I just don’t see how Borg could win.
 
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