Well the "rock-star" thing with Borg is basically just the reaction he induced in pre-pubescent girls, which was reminiscent of Beatlemania.
yes, that was exactly my impression as well : he attracted girls a lot. By the way for that reason I was surprised that Safin was not more often mentioned
Castafiore also talked of a rebel-side and that I didn't know. His hair-style didn't look uncommon to me comparing to Vilas and a few other players I saw in that time, but maybe I missed something which happened earlier.
Victor Pecci who faced him in 1979 final in Roland-Garros looked more anti-conformist. I remember the charm he had on me as a young boy : Borg-Pecci is actually the first match which I do remember
Pecci was also known to be on drugs and always be with girls
The actual rock-'n'-roll lifestyle thing emerged only later.
it surely started quite early, but yes people didn't know it.
I mean, until I gave up drinking recently I had a rock-'n'-roll lifestyle, but it didn't make me a star outside a few local pubs.
you make a lot to support on MTF the idea that the Brits have a lot of humour
I do agree there is a clear Anglo-Saxon bias on MTF, but I'd be interested to know just how widely the stardom of Borg, Mac & Connors did actually spread.
In France, I will say nothing surprising to you if I tell you that they were very famous.
But what may be specific to France is that Borg always winning Roland-Garros, had a huge aura and respect, and I would say more that than "sex-appeal", because his matches against Vilas and so on were not especially "sexy". Of course beside that he had that physical stature which was impressive ...
What's also specific to France is that Connors and McEnroe came quite late : Connors came first in 1979, McEnroe in 1980 (and was absent in 1982). Then first they were very expected, secondly they were not seen as they were in the US or Britain. I especially remember that Connors for the French was not seen as the "bad boy", but rather as the old guy with the respect associated with that status. People had also been warned about how McEnroe was before he came, then he was not the scandal he was in Wimbledon (also because of Wimbledon's "snob" specificity
). But he was very expected as something really new, different and fascinating, especially in a tournament made for grinders. Actually, two of the most famous movies which were made about McEnroe were made by French moviemakers (Gil de Kermadec and Benjamin Rassat) and in the Roland-Garros context. But McEnroe was still seen as a brat for long in France and it's well-known that the French rather supported Lendl in the FO 1984 final. Like many French people I went over that bad impression about his character only later.