How fast was prime Borg?

davced1

Hall of Fame
I watched these highlights of Borg - Courier in 2010 when Borg was 54 years old and he was still incredibly fast even at that age. It made me think just how fast was prime Borg compared to the fastest players of today?
 

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
Thanks for posting. Borg was indeed the fastest man in tennis during his prime. Just like Fed, Rafa, and Novak, that court coverage was key to his dominance. Those physical gifts, still somewhat apparent in his 50s, indicate the true gap between an ATG and the rest of us. ;-)
 

WilPro

Semi-Pro
Borg was slow. Just look only at Borg he has always been very slow.

I think if there is a SlowHand in music, Borg should be his equivalent, the SlowFeet
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
Probably one of the fastest ever....I've always said he was the only guy who could make Connors look slow. It does seem like many (most?) of the greats demonstrate exceptional speed, footwork and/or reflexes. The very best baseliners always made their opponents due most of the running. Borg's matches were always a pleasure to watch, particularly vs. Mac or Jimbo.
 

KG1965

Legend
When he was a young boy he was the best middle distance runner in Sweden.
Of the 70s he was the best mix in speed-endurance. Gerulaitis, Connors and McEnroe followed.
He also had an excellent footwork, which allowed him to arrive composed on impact with the ball. He was never broken.
He did not have acrobatic skills (like Lendl, unlike Connors and McEnroe, or Nadal and Djokovic, real dragons of acrobatics).
 

KG1965

Legend
It does seem like many (most?) of the greats demonstrate exceptional speed, footwork and/or reflexes. The very best baseliners always made their opponents due most of the running.
Of all those I have seen from the 70s onwards the big difference between ATGs and others is the mix of speed and endurance.
Borg, Connors, Mac, Vilas, Wilander, Edberg, Sampras, Djokovic, Nadal, Federer were much faster and more resistant than their opponents.
They were not much stronger than their immediately lower level opponents, it has always been the most determining physical aspect.
Many players like Roche, Panatta, Ashe, Leconte, Orantes, Wawrinka, Del Potro ..... had significantly lower mixe (of speed and endurance).

Only Lendl, Agassi and Becker have come to be ATGs without reaching such a high level without having an incredibly high mix.
 

skaj

Legend
When he was a young boy he was the best middle distance runner in Sweden.
Of the 70s he was the best mix in speed-endurance. Gerulaitis, Connors and McEnroe followed.
He also had an excellent footwork, which allowed him to arrive composed on impact with the ball. He was never broken.
He did not have acrobatic skills (like Lendl, unlike Connors and McEnroe, or Nadal and Djokovic, real dragons of acrobatics).
His movement wasn't acrobatic, not because he lacked skills but because he had other skills(disciplined footwork, anticipation, good court sense). Borg had simply developed a different style. For me his mobility is a great blend of Federer's light feet and Nadal's speed and athleticism.

The one whose movement I would call acrobatic is Monfils.
 

skaj

Legend
Of all those I have seen from the 70s onwards the big difference between ATGs and others is the mix of speed and endurance.
Borg, Connors, Mac, Vilas, Wilander, Edberg, Sampras, Djokovic, Nadal, Federer were much faster and more resistant than their opponents.
They were not much stronger than their immediately lower level opponents, it has always been the most determining physical aspect.
Many players like Roche, Panatta, Ashe, Leconte, Orantes, Wawrinka, Del Potro ..... had significantly lower mixe (of speed and endurance).

Only Lendl, Agassi and Becker have come to be ATGs without reaching such a high level without having an incredibly high mix.
But it's not just that. You had Chang, Hewitt, Ferrer, they all had a great mix of speed and endurance.
 

KG1965

Legend
His movement wasn't acrobatic, not because he lacked skills but because he had other skills(disciplined footwork, anticipation, good court sense). Borg had simply developed a different style. For me his mobility is a great blend of Federer's light feet and Nadal's speed and athleticism.

The one whose movement I would call acrobatic is Monfils.
I agree with you, Borg had other physical skills. He simply did not have the acrobatic talent (such as elevation in the overheads or the glides of Nole, the dives of Becker, or many others). Nothing wrong, he had other skills, not acrobatics.

IMHO stunt is very important in terms of show. It's that dowry that makes you say: woooow.
But it's not just that. You had Chang, Hewitt, Ferrer, they all had a great mix of speed and endurance.
Again I agree very much with you in the sense that to be ATGs you need a lot of skills (big shots, power, mental strength...), Chang, Hewitt and Ferrer did not have others first level skills.
I think, however, that the physical aspect in tennis (and perhaps in many other sports) surpasses all others skills.
 

skaj

Legend
I agree with you, Borg had other physical skills. He simply did not have the acrobatic talent (such as elevation in the overheads or the glides of Nole, the dives of Becker, or many others). Nothing wrong, he had other skills, not acrobatics.

IMHO stunt is very important in terms of show. It's that dowry that makes you say: woooow.

Again I agree very much with you in the sense that to be ATGs you need a lot of skills (big shots, power, mental strength...), Chang, Hewitt and Ferrer did not have others first level skills.
I think, however, that the physical aspect in tennis (and perhaps in many other sports) surpasses all others skills.
I think that both acrobatic(e.g. Monfils) and elegant(e.g. Mecir) style are attractive for the viewers. Sampras' was both.

As for Borg, as I said I don't think he didn't have the talent for acrobatic skills, he just didn't develop them. It was not his style and I don't know if there were any "acrobats" back then. The first I can think of is Noah in the 80s.
 

skaj

Legend
Found this compilation and I am convinced now he was faster than any active player today. Prove me wrong!
I don't know about faster than any active player, but he is definitely one of only a few players from his era who can keep up with the fastest of today.
 

SeeItHitIt

Professional
It was the Tretorn’s. The other guys? PF Flyers (which we’re not. At h). Yes, BB shrunk the court, a combo of speed and anticipation.
 

Karma Tennis

Hall of Fame
For sure, Borg was one of the fastest athletes to play the game. He was brutal at chasing down balls.

But do not underestimate McEnroe. He was one of the quickest as well. His Serve Volley game required incredible explosive pace. The reason McEnroe was one of the greatest Doubles players of all time was his incredible reaction times and his ability to anticipate. That served him well in Singles as well.

I would suggest that one of the main reasons why that 1980 Wimbledon Men's Singles Final is so great is that you had two of the fastest and best moving players in the history of the sport playing at their peak in some of the fastest playing conditions ever produced.
 
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