Borg: "Today you need rivalries" (November 2000)

06-20-2004, 11:05 PM
BANGALORE, India (November 8, 2000 9:11 a.m. EST - Swedish tennis legend Bjorn Borg says the modern game lacks the competitive edge of his own era, due to an absence of professional rivalry between the world's top players.

"I think something special in that era was myself, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe," Borg told reporters in the southern Indian city of Bangalore, where he is playing in a Legends tournament.

"We had a real rivalry between each other and I think that is what tennis is missing today," Borg said.

The winner of six French Open men's titles and five consecutive Wimbledon crowns said there had been no entertaining rivalry in tennis since Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi were at the top of their respective games around four years ago.

"They had a great time and good matches. If they have that it will do tennis a lot of good now. Today you need rivalries," the 44-year-old said.

Borg won 62 career singles titles along with four doubles titles. He reached the No. 1 ranking in August of 1977 and was ranked in the top 10 from 1974 to 1981.

He will retire from the seniors tour at the end of the current season. The Swede retired from the pro circuit in 1983 before making two brief comebacks in 1984 and 1992.

Borg said technology had changed the course of the game.

"It is not the fault of the players that power tennis is being played. Technology gives you more power that it used to. That is the future of tennis.

"Also, the players today are taller and stronger so the game is much faster."

After retiring from the seniors tour, Borg said he would concentrate on coaching, especially young players in his home country.

"We have players and we have more coming," he said.

Borg will be up against the likes of Ross Case, Guillermo Vilas, Pat Cash and Henri Leconte at the Bangalore tournament which begins on Thursday.

Gonzo Hates Me!
06-20-2004, 11:27 PM
I agree, I miss great rivalries... well, I am only 20 and havent been watching tennis TOO long, but the GREAT GREAT rivalries-- they're fun. The fans get to take it really personally and get really heated. It's nice that when observing who is successful in ATP tennis right now, it is very crowded and many guys are doing well. But hopefully, some guys can really step it up and take it to a rivalry level, with consistently meeting one another late in tourneys

06-21-2004, 03:55 AM
Of course Borg is right. But what can be done? Sampras-Agassi was great ... so was Borg-McEnroe-Connors-Lendl. But there was downtime in between, and this may be the period we're at now. Maybe Federer-Roddick will grow into a tremendous rivalry.