Bjorg Borg is to play on grass in England for the first time since famously losing to John McEnroe in the men's 1981 final at Wimbledon.
The five time Wimbledon champion, who recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2006 BBC Sports Personality Awards, is to play at the 2007 Liverpool International Tennis Tournament in his first playing appearance in the UK for a decade - and the only one this year.
Organisers Northern Vision, who have announced that tickets are now on sale, are delighted the Swedish legend has chosen the annual tournament at Calderstone's Park to dust off his grass court shoes.
Anders Borg, Tournament Director, said: "It is fantastic for the tournament and for tennis fans everywhere that Bjorn has agreed to play. He hasn't played in the UK for over 10 years, but had heard of our unique format of ATP and legends and was intrigued to see for himself. To have him at Calderstones is a major coup for Liverpool and a testament to how the event has grown.
To be held from June 12 to 17, the Liverpool International is now in its sixth year and, outside Wimbledon, boasts more tennis than any British tournament with a men's, women's and legend's event. Previous years has attracted top ATP players such Marat Safin and Ivan Ljubicic as well as legends such as Martina Navratilova, Illia Nastase and Goran Ivanisevic.
With five successive Wimbledon titles and six French Open titles under his belt, Bjorn remains at the pinnacle of the all-time greats on grass by virtue of two statistics: his five successive victories between 1976 and 1980 and the fact that he also pulled off in three consecutive years the most difficult "double" in tennis, victory on clay at Roland Garros and on grass at Wimbledon.
Anders added: "We hope to see once again some of Borg's tennis genius and sparkle on centre court at Liverpool."
Bjorn will be gracing centre court for his first match on Wednesday 13th June to play doubles with the ever entertaining Mansour Bahrami and Pete McNamara, who have been crowd favourites at Liverpool for the last three years. Borg will be in Liverpool for three days and on Ladies Day (Friday 15th June) he will play his only singles match.
Councillor Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said: ‘'Borg is one of the all-time greats not just in tennis but in professional sport. His never say die attitude and ability to claw back from behind was an inspiration to all who saw him play. I'm sure he will be a big hit in Liverpool this summer for what is set to be another great week of first class tennis.''
For further information on The Liverpool International please visit www.liverpooltennis.co.uk
or call Emma Blackmore (Media) 07939 690 188 or Tournament Director, Anders Borg 07950 260 165.
Tickets can be booked online at Ticketmaster or call 0870 1690 107
Bjorn Borg - Tennis Legend, The Facts
* In 1972, Borg became the youngest-ever winner of a Davis Cup match, at age 15.
* Borg won 11 Grand Slam singles titles out of 27 tournaments played, giving him a male open era record 41 percent winning rate.
* Borg won more French Open singles titles (6) than any other male player in tennis history.
* Borg won four consecutive French Open singles championships, an all-time record. He retired while on a winning streak of 28 consecutive matches at the French Open.
* Borg won more consecutive Wimbledon singles titles (5) than any man under modern rules.
* Borg's 41 consecutive match winning streak at Wimbledon remains an all-time record. Sampras came closest with 31 consecutive match wins. From 2003 through 2006, Federer has won 4 consecutive titles.
* Borg played in six consecutive Wimbledon singles finals - a record in the modern era.
* On the list of open era winning streaks, Borg is first (49 tour matches won in 1978). The only other men with winning streaks of 40+ matches are Vilas (46), Lendl (44), and McEnroe (42).
* Borg won his 11th Grand Slam singles title in 1981 at age 25, the youngest male to reach that number of titles. By comparison, Pete Sampras won his 11th at almost age 27, Roy Emerson at age 30, and Rod Laver at age 31.
* Borg won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality Award in 1979.
* Borg retired aged 26 in 1983 with U.S. $3.6 million in career prize money, a record at the time.
* Borg was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987 at only 30 years of age.