If McEnroe never existed how many slams for Borg and Connors?

Whisper

Rookie
imo Borg would not have quit the game in 1981 at age 25 if McEnroe wasn’t around. Borg admitted it was all about being no.1 for him and no.2 was the same as no.20 in his mind. Borg was at his absolute peak in 1981 and only the genius of McEnroe could challenge him. Borg knew he couldn’t play any better and Mac beat him in 4 setters in Wim and USO finals. It broke him mentally. Borg in 1981 beat Connors in Wim and USO semis, the latter a very impressive 6275 63 thrashing (Connors went on to win ‘82 and ‘83 USOs after Borg quit). If Mac wasn’t around Borg would have 13 slams by the end of 1981 at age 25, and probably 14 as he would have played AO to win calendar slam. Actually very likely 15 slams as he prob would have won ‘80 USO (lost 64 in 5th set to Mac in final). Now imagine a peak age and form Borg age 25 with 15 slams under his belt already, and having just won calendar slam. How do you think he would have gone the next 5 yrs to age 30, and maybe played on a couple more yrs to 32 or 33? That’s 32 more slams he could have entered and wouldn’t be surprising to see him win say 10 minimum. That would have him at least 25 slams (maybe even 30?), and maybe more than just 1 calendar slam. McEnroe is my all time fave, but I do wonder what would have happened in an alternate universe where Mac decided to stay with soccer.
 
Without Mac Connors would surely have won the 79 US Open and 84 Wimbledon, and possibly the 84 US Open but probably not the 80 US Open because Borg would have probably beaten him in the final. Without Mac Borg would have won the 80 and 81 US Opens and the 81 Wimbledon. I don't think Mac was the real reason Borg quit. He was simply burnt out and bored with tennis. I don't see him winning slams after 81 even if Mac wasn't around.
 
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CyBorg

Legend
I think without Mac, Borg wins the 1980 US Open and then maybe completes the grand slam at the Aussie and retires even earlier.

Borg said he was already thinking about retirement midway through 1979.
 

paolo2143

Rookie
imo Borg would not have quit the game in 1981 at age 25 if McEnroe wasn’t around. Borg admitted it was all about being no.1 for him and no.2 was the same as no.20 in his mind. Borg was at his absolute peak in 1981 and only the genius of McEnroe could challenge him. Borg knew he couldn’t play any better and Mac beat him in 4 setters in Wim and USO finals. It broke him mentally. Borg in 1981 beat Connors in Wim and USO semis, the latter a very impressive 6275 63 thrashing (Connors went on to win ‘82 and ‘83 USOs after Borg quit). If Mac wasn’t around Borg would have 13 slams by the end of 1981 at age 25, and probably 14 as he would have played AO to win calendar slam. Actually very likely 15 slams as he prob would have won ‘80 USO (lost 64 in 5th set to Mac in final). Now imagine a peak age and form Borg age 25 with 15 slams under his belt already, and having just won calendar slam. How do you think he would have gone the next 5 yrs to age 30, and maybe played on a couple more yrs to 32 or 33? That’s 32 more slams he could have entered and wouldn’t be surprising to see him win say 10 minimum. That would have him at least 25 slams (maybe even 30?), and maybe more than just 1 calendar slam. McEnroe is my all time fave, but I do wonder what would have happened in an alternate universe where Mac decided to stay with soccer.
Borg wasn't actually at his peak in 1981 when he lost those Wimbledon and US Open matches to McEnroe.

Borg did start 1981 off really well as he defeated McEnroe, Connors & Lendl on his way to winning his second successive Colgate GP masters title.

He also crushed John in the first 2 matches in their 3 match challenge series in Australia in February 1981. He absolutely destroyed Mcenroe 6-0 6-4 followed by 6-2 6-4, and most pundits agreed that Borg was awesome those first 2 matches. Make no mistake this was no friendly exhibition series.

However shortly after that Borg lost in 1st round of one of his strongest tournaments Monte Carlo (to Victor Pecci)i complaining of a continued shoulder injury that had recently flared up. He lost another couple of matches clearly struggling, then took some time off before French Open in June.

Now while he played some great tennis to win his 6th French Open, any serious tennis pundit could see he was not playing at quite same level he had done previous few years. I think that while he had mostly recovered from the physical injury he was mentally not as match tough as normal.

I also note that this rumour about Borg quitting because of McEnroe has been doing rounds for years. The reality is Borg had been cutting back is schedule dramatically from end of 1979 onwards. I think he was really struggling to motivate himself anymore. Don't get me wrong if McEnroe hadn't been around he might have stuck at it wee bit longer, but i think he would have retired soon anyway as he was no longer motivated with the desire he used to have.
 

Harry_Wild

G.O.A.T.
Grand Slam finals[edit]
Singles: 16 (11 titles, 5 runner-ups)[edit]
Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Win 1974 French Open Clay Manuel Orantes 2–6, 6–7(1–7), 6–0, 6–1, 6–1
Win 1975 French Open (2) Clay Guillermo Vilas 6–2, 6–3, 6–4
Win 1976 Wimbledon Grass Ilie Năstase 6–4, 6–2, 9–7
Loss 1976 US Open Clay Jimmy Connors 4–6, 6–3, 6–7(9–11), 4–6
Win 1977 Wimbledon (2) Grass Jimmy Connors 3–6, 6–2, 6–1, 5–7, 6–4
Win 1978 French Open (3) Clay Guillermo Vilas 6–1, 6–1, 6–3
Win 1978 Wimbledon (3) Grass Jimmy Connors 6–2, 6–2, 6–3
Loss 1978 US Open Hard Jimmy Connors 4–6, 2–6, 2–6
Win 1979 French Open (4) Clay Víctor Pecci 6–3, 6–1, 6–7(6–8), 6–4
Win 1979 Wimbledon (4) Grass Roscoe Tanner 6–7(4–7), 6–1, 3–6, 6–3, 6–4
Win 1980 French Open (5) Clay Vitas Gerulaitis 6–4, 6–1, 6–2
Win 1980 Wimbledon (5) Grass John McEnroe 1–6, 7–5, 6–3, 6–7(16–18), 8–6
Loss 1980 US Open Hard John McEnroe 6–7(4–7), 1–6, 7–6(7–5), 7–5, 4–6
Win 1981 French Open (6) Clay Ivan Lendl 6–1, 4–6, 6–2, 3–6, 6–1
Loss 1981 Wimbledon Grass John McEnroe 6–4, 6–7(1–7), 6–7(4–7), 4–6
Loss 1981 US Open Hard John McEnroe 6–4, 2–6, 4–6, 3–6

MacEnroe +1
Connors +2
 

WCT

Semi-Pro
Count me in the group that never subscribed to the Mcenroe drove Borg out of the game because he just felt he couldn't beat him anymore theory. I'm in the Borg was burned out group.

I think Borg wins the 80 and 81 US Opens and 1981 Wimbledon. Connors was not in great form at the 1979 US OPen so I'm not as certain of his victory there as the other 3.
 
Count me in the group that never subscribed to the Mcenroe drove Borg out of the game because he just felt he couldn't beat him anymore theory. I'm in the Borg was burned out group.

I think Borg wins the 80 and 81 US Opens and 1981 Wimbledon. Connors was not in great form at the 1979 US OPen so I'm not as certain of his victory there as the other 3.
Connors would have faced Gerulaitis in the final if he had beaten Mac in the 79 semi. Connors was clearly the third best player in the world behind Borg and Mac in 1979. Connors clearly had the upper hand over Gerulaitis in their rivalry. Connors at Flushing Meadows was extra hard to beat. Connors would have dealt better than Gerulaitis with the pressure of a US Open final. I am 95% certain Connors would have won the 79 US Open final against Gerulaitis. The 79 US Open semi between Connors and Mac was virtually the final. No question if Mac didn't exist Connors would have been the overwhelming favourite at the 79 US Open after Borg was beaten by Tanner in the quarters.
 

WCT

Semi-Pro
By 1979 Gerulaitis was starting to play Connors closer. Losing, but more 3 setters in best of 3 matches. Then, starting in a match only several months later, he beat him and then spent the next couple years beating Connors more than Connors beat him. Again, Connors was not in great form. He lost in straight sets in the semis. About the same way that Gerulaitis did in the finals.

Mind you, I didn't say I wouldn't have favored Connors. Just not nearly to the degree that you do.
 
By 1979 Gerulaitis was starting to play Connors closer. Losing, but more 3 setters in best of 3 matches. Then, starting in a match only several months later, he beat him and then spent the next couple years beating Connors more than Connors beat him. Again, Connors was not in great form. He lost in straight sets in the semis. About the same way that Gerulaitis did in the finals.

Mind you, I didn't say I wouldn't have favored Connors. Just not nearly to the degree that you do.
Connors only ever lost to Borg or Mac at Flushing Meadows in the period 78-84. Even in his veteran stage Connors only once got beaten by someone who wasn't a multi slam winner (Todd Witsken in 1986). Flushing Meadows was Connors favourite tournament. I really can't see Gerulaitis beating him there in 79 even if he occasionally beat him elsewhere.
 
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WCT

Semi-Pro
He also didn't play Gerulaitis there any of those years. It's all conjecture since they didn't play. He was not playing his best that year. Sure didn't against Mcenroe in the semis. I said it in another thread. That's why they play the matches. I would have favored him, but not by 90 plus % certainty.
ll
 

Thetouch

Professional
Yeah I don't buy the Borg retired because of McEnroe rumour either, since he was still fairly young and champions usually don't back off like that from a challenge. If at all McEnroe should have been the reason for Borg to continue playing tennis for more years. You can be certain that Federer would have retired already if it wasn't for Nadal and to an extend Djokovic. Also it's not like McEnroe was crushing Borg, sure he beat him 3 times out of their 4 matches at the two biggest Slams but none of them were in straight sets and two went over 5 sets. McEnroe himself won only 1 slam between 1982 and 1983, so it wasn't exactly the '84 version of Mac that made Borg retire either.
 

Phoenix1983

G.O.A.T.
Yeah I don't buy the Borg retired because of McEnroe rumour either, since he was still fairly young and champions usually don't back off like that from a challenge. If at all McEnroe should have been the reason for Borg to continue playing tennis for more years. You can be certain that Federer would have retired already if it wasn't for Nadal and to an extend Djokovic. Also it's not like McEnroe was crushing Borg, sure he beat him 3 times out of their 4 matches at the two biggest Slams but none of them were in straight sets and two went over 5 sets. McEnroe himself won only 1 slam between 1982 and 1983, so it wasn't exactly the '84 version of Mac that made Borg retire either.
I agree with much of your post, but remember that Mac only won 1 slam in 1982-83 mainly because Borg wasn't around to motivate him.
 
I agree with much of your post, but remember that Mac only won 1 slam in 1982-83 mainly because Borg wasn't around to motivate him.
I don't accept this as an excuse. Connors outdid Mac in 82 and Connors deserved his 3 slams in 82-83. Mac has no excuse for not winning these slams like Borg being absent.
 

Phoenix1983

G.O.A.T.
I don't accept this as an excuse. Connors outdid Mac in 82 and Connors deserved his 3 slams in 82-83. Mac has no excuse for not winning these slams like Borg being absent.
I'm not denying that Connors deserved his slams (only one of which was vs. Mac btw, so not sure why you brought them all up?)

I'm just responding to the poster who said that Borg would obviously have beaten Mac in 82-83 because the latter was somehow not in his prime.
 

Thetouch

Professional
I'm just responding to the poster who said that Borg would obviously have beaten Mac in 82-83 because the latter was somehow not in his prime.
You mean me? No, that's not what I implied. I meant that Mac hadn't even reached his peak before '84 so I didn't think that was the reason why Borg left. And whether Mac didn't won more slams because he was upset that Borg left or because of something else I don't know. What I meant was that Connors had 2 strong seasons and that Borg wasn't necessarily going to win any more slams even without Mac except for Paris maybe.
 
I'm not denying that Connors deserved his slams (only one of which was vs. Mac btw, so not sure why you brought them all up?)

I'm just responding to the poster who said that Borg would obviously have beaten Mac in 82-83 because the latter was somehow not in his prime.
You said Mac only won one slam because Borg wasn't around to motivate him. I don't agree.
 
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