Match Stats/Report - McEnroe vs Borg, US Open final, 1980

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
John McEnroe beat Bjorn Borg 7-6(4), 6-1, 6-7(5), 5-7, 6-4 in the US Open final, 1980 on hard court

McEnroe was the defending champion. The two players had recently met in the Wimbledon final with Borg winning in 5 sets. The 2 would go onto play the final the following year also, with McEnroe again winning

McEnroe won 184 points, Borg 161

McEnroe serve-volleyed off all first serves and most seconds

Serve Stats
McEnroe...
- 1st serve percentage (105/180) 58%
- 1st serve points won (79/105) 75%
- 2nd serve points won (37/75) 49%
- Aces 7 (1 second serve), Service Winners 1
- Double Faults 7
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (71/180) 39%

Borg...
- 1st serve percentage (78/165) 47%
- 1st serve points won (53/78) 68%
- 2nd serve points won (44/87) 51%
- Aces 4
- Double Faults 9
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (25/165) 15%

Serve Patterns
McEnroe served...
- to FH 27%
- to BH 67%
- to Body 6%

Borg served...
- to FH 19%
- to BH 71%
- to Body 11%

Return Stats
McEnroe made...
- 131 (40 FH, 91 BH), including 14 runaround FHs & 20 return-approaches
- 3 Winners (2 FH, 1 BH)
- 21 Errors, comprising...
- 10 Unforced (1 FH, 9 BH), including 1 runaround FH & 3 return-approach attempts
- 11 Forced (4 FH, 7 BH)
- Return Rate (131/156) 84%

Borg made...
- 102 (42 FH, 60 BH), including 18 runaround FHs
- 17 Winners (5 FH, 12 BH), including 2 runaround FHs
- 63 Errors, all forced...
- 63 Forced (27 FH, 36 BH), including 6 runaround FHs
- Return Rate (102/173) 59%

Break Points
McEnroe 8/13 (10 games)
Borg 5/15 (7 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding serves)
McEnroe 48 (7 FH, 4 BH, 20 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 11 BHV, 5 OH)
Borg 68 (23 FH, 28 BH, 7 FHV, 5 BHV, 4 OH, 1 BHOH)

McEnroe had 25 from serve-volley points
- 16 first 'volleys' (7 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 5 BHV, 3 FH at net)... 1 FH at net was a drop shot
- 8 second volleys (4 FHV, 4 OH)... 1 FHV was a net chord dribbler
- 1 third volley (1 BHV)

- 5 from return-approach points (3 FHV, 1 BHV, 1 OH)

- FHs - 2 cc (1 return, 1 pass... Borg had lost his racquet for the return winner), 1 dtl pass and 1 inside-in return
- BHs - 4 cc (1 return, 1 pass)

Borg had 17 returns (5 FH, 12 BH)
- FH passes - 2 cc (1 an unintentional lob) and 2 dtl (1 runaround)
- regular FH - 1 runaround net chord dribbler (McEnroe on baseline)
- BH (all passes) - 5 cc, 4 dtl, 2 inside-out and 1 inside-in

- 24 regular passes (12 FH, 12 BH)
- FHs - 5 cc (1 net chord flicker), 7 dtl,
- BHs - 7 cc, 4 dtl and 1 lob

- regular FHs - 2 cc, 2 dtl, 1 inside-out and 1 inside-in
- regular BHs - 1 cc, 2 dtl (1 at net) and 1 dtl/inside-out

- 4 from serve-volley points
- 3 first volleys (3 BHV)
- 1 second volley (1 FHV)

- 2 OHs were on the bounce - 1 at net, 1 from no-man's land

Errors (excluding serves and returns)
McEnroe 61
- 37 Unforced (7 FH, 16 BH, 8 FHV, 5 BHV, 1 OH)... with 1 FH at net & 1 OH on the bounce from the baseline
- 24 Forced (5 FH, 10 BH, 2 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 5 BHV, 1 OH)
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 47.6

Borg 56
- 29 Unforced (11 FH, 9 BH, 3 FHV, 4 BHV, 1 OH, 1 BHOH)... with 1 FH at net, 1 FH running-down-drop-shot at net & 1 OH on the bounce from no-man's land
- 27 Forced (12 FH, 13 BH, 2 FHV)... with 1 BH running-down-drop-shot at net
- Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 50

(Note 1: All 1/2 volleys refer to such shots played at net. 1/2 volleys played from other parts of the court are included within relevant groundstroke numbers)

(Note 2: the Unforced Error Forcefulness Index is an indicator of how aggressive the average UE was. The numbers presented for these two matches are keyed on 4 categories - 20 defensive, 40 neutral, 50 attacking and 60 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
McEnroe was...
- 128/196 (65%) at net, including...
- 103/150 (69%) serve-volleying, comprising...
- 72/98 (73%) off 1st serve and...
- 31/52 (60%) off 2nd serve
---
- 10/20 (50%) return-approaching
- 1/4 (25%) forced back

Borg was...
- 36/57 (63%) at net, including...
- 12/16 (75%) serve-volleying, all 1st serves
---
- 1/3 (33%) forced back/retreated

Match Report
Very good and tense match on a quick-ish hard court. Borg gets very little out of his serve (more for it being ordinary than Mac's returning being exceptional) but dominates play starting from baseline - and it doesn't come easy because McEnroe is particularly steady from the back. Mac dominates play with his serve-volleying, with Borg returning from well behind baseline making it so that anything short of a return winner is unlikely to trouble the server. It mostly comes easy - or at least, Mac makes it look so - but every now and then, Borg throws in a exceptional returning game and then all bets are off. McEnroe maintains a steady level from both front and back, with his movements declining slightly in 2nd half of match. Borg plays horrendously in the second set, virtually donating the set, but is otherwise consistent too

Effectively, 2nd set is a gift to Mac, leaving the rest of match to be fought out. All the other 4 sets could go either way, and turn on 'who-plays-big-points better'. Its not clear who does. I'd say odds would slightly favour Mac, particularly in light of the vulnerability Borg shows in his groundstrokes in 2nd set, Borg's low first serve in count and Mac's ability to threaten second serves with chip-charge returns. By contrast, Borg has to return and pass virtually perfectly to make in roads as returner. Even so, final outcome is nudged the way it falls by 2 questionable line calls

In first set tiebreak, McEnroe's 2nd serve is called an ace to take score to 2-2. It looks out to me. Mac eventually takes it 7-4. In what turns out be the only break game in the 5th set, Mac's harried return to the corner is called a winner. This also looks out to me, though its less clear and Mac goes on to break after deuce. Both balls are right under Borg's nose and he doesn't seem to like either call, though not making much of a protest. The very, very out of character protest Borg made at a line call in a relatively unimportant round robin match against McEnroe at the Masters not long after this match makes a little more sense in context of these calls

How well each player handles break points is a key. Note Mac with very impressive 8/13 (10 games). He was 6/6 at one point. Borg by contrast, struggles to put the final nail in and is 5/12 (7 games). Even so, he converts in 5 off 7 games which is good... Mac prolongs games he's in a hole in, but usually can't save them. He has to serve 180 points to Borg's 165. The figure is heavily influenced by Borg being broken is short games

At one stage, Borg loses serve 6 times in a row, including twice failing to serve out the first set. Some solid play from Mac returning at 4-5 and 5-6 in first set to nab the breaks back (and poor stuff to give up his serve to be returning to save the set in the first place at 5-5 in between it all), but some very poor play from Borg during this period - weak serves, low first in count, missing groundies in short rallies and missing regulation volleys

Borg's serve games & baseline-to-baseline stating point
Combinations of other match long stats aren't easy to explain. Low first serve in count of 47% from Borg is obviously likely to be a problem, but bigger than that is how unthreatening his serve is. Even his first serves looks - or is made to look - harmless, like a Jimmy Connors showing. His unreturned rate is a lowly 15% - a humongous 24% behind Mac's, with just 4 aces. Mac puts it in play easily and only rarely does Borg look for a big one (often missing or Mac putting it in play anyway). The low in-count isn't due to looking for big serves and the serves he makes are imminently returnable. Credit Mac for consistency on the return, but more discredit Borg for weak serving. If anything, Borg does well to win 68% first serve points... Mac's return is enough to neutralize servers advantage most of the time, virtually making them 50-50 starting point. For Borg to win 68%, he'd have to be a the better court player by a large degree. And he is

On his first serve, sans 4 aces and 12/16 serve-volleying (in other words, first serve points starting baseline-to-baseline), Borg wins 37/58 or 64% of these more-or-less 50-50 points (including non-ace unreturned points)
On his second serve, sans double faults and Mac's 10/20 return-approaching (in other words, second serve points starting baseline-to-baseline), Borg wins 34/58 or 59% of 50-50 points (including unreturned points)
On Mac's second serve, sans double faults and second serve volleying, Borg wins 10/15 or 66% of 50-50 points (there are no unreturned serves for these points)

In short, Borg is by far the better player starting with both players on the baseline. This is not unexpected but impressive for 2 reasons. Mac plays exceptionally well from the back himself. Baseline play is based on Borg trying to beat down more than outlast and Mac floating around court, dinking and slicing and junking balls back in play. Rallies have to go on for awhile before Mac yields the erros. Baseline UE counts are close Mac 22, Borg 17... Borg's advantage starting from the back is made up of his hitting winners, forcing errors or coming to net to finish. Mac can rarely do the former 2 things and doesn't make a particular effort to find net (which would be difficult seeing he's being beaten down in the rallies), but good job by him to hang in from the back. The second reason is overall figures include 2nd set, a period where Borg is terrible even from the back (He has 6 baseline UEs in the period to Mac's 1)

Stamina plays a role. From 4th set onward, Mac's movements declines a touch and he gives up errors to balls he can't get into position for as he had earlier. Borg has no such problems
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
What all this adds up to is for Borg to hold, he has to hit a lot of shots from the baseline to break down Mac. He's clearly got the better of things from there, but Mac holds in to the point where it likely he'll snatch breaks sooner or later when he can find net or outlast Borg or resist Borg's beat down play. And of course, chip-charge return. Like his baseline play, Mac doesn't overly look for net of the return. Whenever he does, he seems to get it and there's no big difference in the serves he stays back against to comes in against. Mac seems content to follow Borg's lead in Borg's service games... with Borg's serve being the way it is, there are alternatives for Mac to attack himself or challenge for attacking position, particularly against 2nd serves

Borg looks to play beat-down strong from the back, Mac is content to push balls back in play and let him get on with it. Particularly early on, Borg leans towards doing so with BH cc. This is a bit unusual for him and a questionable choice. In general, he leads with BH cc's regularly but to outlast, not beat down. Here, he messes up badly, hitting many a hard hit BH long, usually in short rallies. Mac is also able to find FH dtl approach shots against the less hard hit BH cc's - a shot that would be attacking even without the approach. And Mac hits his own FH hard when he wants to too, which he does more than half the time. The other large part of the time, he pushes FHs back in play, just keeping the rally going. Mac's FH has match low 7 UEs, Borg's BH follows with 9. Perhaps Borg's early choice, of leading with hard hit BHs is due to concerns over Mac creating approaches of his BH. In the event, Mac shows little initiative to take net from baseline rallies all match of either side

Later, Borg looks to pound down Mac's BH with hard hit FH cc's - and is much better for it. His FH is harder hit than his BH and Mac's BH is almost always a soft, just-keep-ball-in-play shot. UEs on that side read Mac with match high 16 BHs, Borg with 11 FHs (excluding a couple of net shots) - and Borg also hits good lot of winners, forces errors or comes to net commandingly to dominate off his FH

Borg's net play improves as match wears on. He misses his share of easy volleys - particularly in his second set horror show - and has 7 UEs in forecourt. It improves as match wears on and he decisively angles or snaps away volleys for winners, including trickily high ones and a few around net level. Wouldn't be out of his norm to plonk such volleys down middle of court and leave Mac with a shot on the pass, which he does some of early on. He's 24/41 or 59% rallying his way forward. Mac is ordinary on the pass (forces 2 volleying errors and has 3 winners) - as his groundstrokes suggest he would be - so 59% has room for improvement.
The 75% won serve-volleying he wins are mostly unreturned serves or easy first volleys to start with

McEnroe's serve games & serve-volleying play
Mac serves 100% off first serves and 78% off seconds. He wins 73% first serve-volley points (good), 60% second serve-volleying (very good) and just 33% staying back off second serves (which includes a fair bit of coming in early)

Play on Mac's service games is shaped by Borg returning from well behind the baseline. As far back as he's standing and with not flat hitting, returns have to be perfect to trouble the net blanketing Mac on the first volley. Mac serves very precisely and intelligently

He's able to draw Borg well wide - outside doubles alley - with the serve, particularly in ad court to the BH. But he also throws in regular surprise serves down the middle to the FH, which catch Borg off guard. Mac only serves to FH 27% of the time, but draws 33% of his return errors (counting the 6 runaround FH errors as BH serves) and good lot of his aces. The FH returns he draws are apt to be near unreturnable, Borg lunging to just get a racquet on the ball. he also returns a number of such FHs very weakly, leaving easy putaways. Very good use of the surprise down-the-middle serve by Mac and excellent, wide placement on the wide serve to

When someone returns from as far back as Borg does, clearly identifying body serves is usually difficult because returner has ample time to move around to take it comfortably of either side. Mac's body serves though still cramp Borg some, so perfectly in line are they. Precision placement rather than power is key to quality of Mac's serving

If giving Mac scope to move him off to sides is disadvantage of Borg's return position, the potential advantages are -
a) being dragged out wide opens up wide angles for him to hit the return winner into
b) extra time to see ball gives him better chance to put more balls in play

He does well enough on a) and has 14 virtually perfect winners (+ 2 mishits and a net chord dribbler with Mac on baseline) but not on b). lots of fairly makeable Mac serves end up not coming back

From as far back as Borg returns and with him hitting more loopily than flat, anything other than perfectly placed returns don't trouble Mac much. If Mac can reach the volley, he can put it away, helped by Borg being well behind baseline and not in good position to run down the first volley

15 UEs in forecourt by Mac, to 9 FEs is deceptive if it suggests he's faced with a lot of difficult volleys. The returns (and passes) either go for winners, or he's left with easy or at least comfortable volleys. 15 UEs isn't particularly consistent, given the huge lot of unreturned serves he draws. There's scope there for Borg to get somewhere by just making Mac hit a regulation volley... he'll get a few UEs to help him along. In that light, 59% return rate is disappointing from Borg's point of view. A lot of makeable returns - particularly against second serves - that he misses, with Mac missing enough volleys that just making him make the shot isn't a waste of time. Particularly with his runaround FH return, Borg's capable of doing a lot more damage with the return than he does

Another area where I think Borg errs is in his choice to go BH cc with the return so often. As wide out and far back as he is, dtl probably almost as easy and would pit him against Mac's slightly more vulnerable BHV. Instead he goes cc overwhelming bulk of time, and Mac's able to pick off winners with his favoured FHV

On the 'volley', Mac has -
- winners - FHV 21, BHV 11
- UEs - FHV 8, BHV 5
- FEs - FHV 3, BHV 5

... with bulk of volleys directed at FHV (and Mac slightly moving that way when he choice to make it so), the BHV errors are disproportionately high. Worth giving him a few more of them to make, at only slightly greater risk of missing more returns and passes. In play also, Borg tends to go BH cc rather than dtl. His switching it up briefly is a major reason for him for pinching the third set
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
To be fair, Borg misses a high lot of his attempted BH dtl returns and is more consistent going cc. That's normal in normal circumstances, but given his returning position, making more dtl returns was more do-able. Not a full on blackmark - Mac's first serve is a handful to deal with - but a could-have-and-was-capable-of-doing-better note on Borg's returning

Lots and lots of easy holds for Mac, with odd games being long and challenging when Borg gets his perfectly placed returns off. Its the kind of action where Mac can count on holding regularly with unreturned serves and hold off the odd dangerous returning game from Borg. Almost like a Sampras-Agassi match... with a combination of unreturned serves (good lot of them makeable), perfect return-passes (that go for winners) and other returns in play being relatively easy to deal with for the net player

There's not a whole lot of extended volley vs pass battles. Borg hits some astonishing winners on the run or from defensive position or Mac picks off the volleys. He's not forced into too many 'defensive' volleys that leave Borg a well-lined up pass. Borg with 24 passing winners in play, while having 25 groundstroke FEs (virtually all passing shots - almost all of them difficult) is excellent. There's the small matter of Mac dispatching 40 winners at net + large 39% unreturned serves though that keeps Mac well ahead of the curve at net

In nutshell, prospects of Borg breaking aren't great. He needs to hit perfect return passes and hope for Mac to miss regulation volleys, in the context of struggling to get returns in play to begin with. Other than perfectly placed winning passes (returns or otherwise), he isn't able to give Mac tough low or wide or very powerfully hit balls to volley. He'd need Mac to miss regulation volleys (which happens to a degree, but isn't likely and probably not something you want to count on) or hit perfect passes more often (he'd have to be playing stupendously well to do that). Mac's not particularly convincing on difficult volleys but Borg can't give him many

Match Progression
Some great passing and wide returning from Borg, including against Mac's chip-charges, early in the match and Mac endures 10 point and 16 point holds (saving 4 break points). Borg serve-volleys for a game, winning all 4 such points with unreturned serves. From the baseline, Borg plays a lot of BH longlines to Mac's vulnerable looking BH, which holds up well. Set goes to 4-4 without a break

And then there are 4 in a row. Borg breaks to love with 3 successive return winners (1 a fluke, mishit lob) to leave himself serving for set. He can't do it. Mac hits a fine FH dtl passing winner - 1 of only 3 he makes all match, and takes net twice from 30-30 to break back

No matter. Borg break again in a 10 point game, this on back of Mac's errors (a double fault, 3 forecourt UEs and a groundstroke one) and steps up to serve out the set for the second time. And again, he can't do it. Good volley from Mac to take the first point, but then Borg double faults, misses a third ball approach attempt and loses a baseline point after retreating from net on a serve-volley point.

Mac misses an OH on the bounce from baseline to start tiebreak, Borg misses a point ending FH inside-out to keep tiebreak on serve. At 2-2, a Mac second serve is called an ace that appears to have been out. Borg fumbles another serve-volley point by missing a FH at net shortly after. Mac seals the set with a return-approach, forcing a passing error

Borg oddly wins 13/25 first serve points and 8/14 off second for the set and hits 16 passing shot winners

Second set is the worst tennis I've seen from Bjorn Borg. He misses routine groundstrokes in short rallies, misses easy volleys and double faults his way through it, while failing to put returns in play or leaving putaway balls when he can. He extends his run of losing serve to 6 games. Mac meanwhile starts a first serve winning run of 17 points that extends into the third set

Slowly play changes in the third. Borg's still pushed to hold, but manages and continues to struggle to put returns in play. He gets a break in a rare game where he's able to draw defensive volleys and hit strong, error forcingly strong second passing shots to move ahead and follows it up up with a particularly aggresive hold ending with 3 winners. A game later, he steps up to serve for the set

And for the third time in the match, he can't do it. Good game from Mac as he comes in 3 times, hitting winners everytime. The way baseline rallies are going - Borg hitting harder, but Mac holding in and prolonging rallies without unduly seeking net - it doesn't come as a big surprise

Excellent tiebreak from Borg, who's able to succeed with shots he'd had next to 0 success with upto this point. There's a BH inside-in return winner and he passes BH dtl and both prove successful. Mac misses a high, slightly wide BHV set point down

4th set is much, much better from Borg. He starts serving more heftily, and hitting beat down strong from the back with good depth while moving Mac around and barely missing a ball. Good lot of baseline-to-baseline winners too. He even volleys decisively well. Mac's movement drops a touch, but he's able to continue holding on back on unreturned serves

Tense end to the set. Serving at 5-5, Borg has to save 2 break points - the first he's faced in the set. Mac leaves a Borg pass on the second of these that lands in. Next game is brilliant one with Borg making his returns. He has 4 return winners in the 14 point game, including 2 in a row to end the 14 point game to take the set

Momentum is with Borg going into the fifth. Mac doesn't seem unduly fatigued, but his movements have dropped off a touch. Borg meanwhile, has just played his very best tennis

Borg serve-volleys a fair bit and continues to hammer groundstrokes, particularly FH cc's. Mac, who'd flirted with hitting harder in previous set, reverts to junking balls back in play as he'd done at start of match. Borg makes more returns, but leaves comfortable volleys. Mac endures a pair of deuce holds without facing break point. Borg has better of play

The break comes at 3-3. The game opens when an advancing Mac jammed by Borg's second serve pushes it. It lands in the corner, probably out but goes uncalled. Borg throws in 2 double faults to give Mac break point. On it, he chip-charges and Borg's up to passing him. Same play next point leads to a passing error to raise a second break point. Borg takes net on it, but a good pass from Mac forces a FHV error to give him the break

Rest of match is uneventful, with 2 points going against serve in 3 games. Mac serves out to 15, ending with his 20 FHV winner

Summing up, a very memorable match - more due to storyline and tension than unduly high standard of play. Borg fails to serve out a set 3 different times and 2 questionable calls set McEnroe on the way to claiming a couple of sets. Of play, McEnroe's first serve is excellently placed and smartly mixed up. On the volley, he does the needful with typical style. From the baseline, he's able to prolong rallies by pushing, slicing and dinking balls back without giving ground or particularly looking to approach. On the return, he's excellent in his consistency (against admittedly ordinary serving) and would likely do better to look to chip-charge more often. He maintains a steady level of play through match

Standard of Borg's play varies more. On whole, his serving is undamaging and inconsistent, leaving him with a lot of work to do from the baseline. Horror show of second set aside, he's at least the more consistent player from the back and for most of the match, hard hittingly to the point of beating down a well-playing McEnroe. Some very good, decisive volleying from him too, particularly in latter part of the match

Borg's biggest problem is on the return. Good lot of virtually perfectly placed return winners, but anything short of that from the well-back position he plays from, isn't troublesome and he misses a good lot of makeable ones too.

Borg virtually gifts away the second set with a terrible showing in all areas. The remaining 4 sets though are all highly competitive, coming down to a few key points. More good play than bad decides these points from both players. Next to nothing in the final result... 2 very close - and most likely, incorrect calls - nudges it in McEnroe's direction and he's good enough to close it out

Stats for McEnroe's semi with Jimmy Connors - (11) Match Stats/Report - McEnroe vs Connors, US Open semi-final, 1980 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
Stats for pair's upcoming Masters round robin match - (11) Duel Match Stats/Reports - Borg vs McEnroe, Masters semi-final & round robin, 1979 & 1980 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
Stats for pair's '81 final - (11) Match Stats/Report - McEnroe vs Borg, US Open final, 1981 | Talk Tennis (tennis-warehouse.com)
 

NAS

Hall of Fame
Never saw this match, seen their 1980 Wimbledon final and 1981 us open final.
How good this match is and has anybody link for this match.
 

urban

Legend
I remember the match as played on a very uneven level, with both players seldom at a high level together. Mac had that ultra long match with Connors just 10 hours behind him, and everybody thought he was dead tired. Borg too had a long match the day before, he had beaten Kriek after coming back from a two sets deficit. But Borgs play was pretty bad in the first two sets. He came back, but more because Mac lost a bit of his timing. Ahead of the fifth, everyone, including all commentators (i.a. Newcombe) thought that Borg would win now, because he very seldom had lost a fifth set, and at Wim 1980, he had won on stamina and great serving in the fifth. But Mac regrouped his serve, and suddenly Borg had some doubles and errors on his own serve. Mac served it out pretty impressive. What surprises me in the stats, is, that Mac won overall 23 points more, which is quite a lot in a close five set match.
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
Given the star appeal of both players, and following on from their legendary final at Wimbledon a couple of months earlier, I remember this final really being hyped up and understandably so. While the quality wasn't perfect, especially in the serving department although it often won't be over a high stakes 5 set match, I still enjoyed it a lot. Borg's poor serving in the 5th set of this match was in sharp contrast to his insanely clutch serving during the 5th set of the Wimbledon final.

Before this match, Borg's career win-loss record in 5 set matches was 25-4, with 13 consecutive wins in 5 setters dating back to early 1976 (when Nastase beating him at the WCT Challenge Cup) - 2 of those wins came before his 17th birthday and 7 before his 18th birthday. That included coming from 2 sets to 1 down to beat Tanner in his QF, and coming from 2 sets to love down to beat Kriek in this SF. He was considered to be pretty much unbeatable in 5th sets at the time, and it was no surprise that everyone thought that he was going to win after fighting back to force a decider. Just as McEnroe clearly thought that he was going to win after winning the epic 4th set tiebreak at Wimbledon, Borg clearly thought he was going to win after winning the 4th set in this match.

I always thought that instead of winning 5 Wimbledon titles and 0 US Open titles, Borg could quite easily have instead won something like 3 Wimbledon titles and 2 US Open titles; it often felt that things tended to land in his favour at Wimbledon, but land against him at the US Open. That said as badly as he wanted to win a US Open title, I strongly doubt he would have traded in any of his Wimbledon titles for one, as Wimbledon was far more important to him. McEnroe matching Tilden's feat of winning 3 consecutive US Open titles in 1981 was a big deal and he felt the pressure of trying to accomplish it that year. But still Borg matching Perry's feat of winning 3 consecutive Wimbledon titles in 1978 was a noticeably bigger deal than that.
 

urban

Legend
The missing US open title for Borg was a huge theme in the public and experts debate in the broadcasts and Tennis Mags at that time. It also would have given him a shot at the Grand Slam 1978-1980. Maybe 1980 was his best chance at Flushing.
 

NicoMK

Professional
I've probably said it before but the early 80s were glorious days...

ive always though that Borg deserved at least a US Open title. Weird that he could not win a final there. Well played Mac on this match.
 
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