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Borg still the king of Wimbledon

Posted 03-12-2010 at 09:28 AM by Philip Oliver


Among the legends of Wimbledon’s lengthy and glittering history, there is no one that can yet match Swedish ace Bjorn Borg’s consistent brilliance at the end of the 1970s and early 80s.

Although surpassed by Pete Sampras’ seven men’s singles titles and equalled by Roger Federer in winning five straight championships, Borg’s dominance of the men’s game came in a golden era which included the likes of Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Arthur Ashe.

Sadly for the sport of tennis, Borg managed to play only until the age of 26, retiring less than a couple of years after his final victory in an SW19 final rated as one of the best in history, a stamina-sapping five-setter against McEnroe.

Borg came so close to making it six successive titles in 1981, again facing McEnroe, but by then it had become clear to those placing a Wimbledon bet that the Swede was ready to hang up his racket, going out with more of a whimper than his career truly deserved.

His achievements at Wimbledon were all the more impressive given his record at the French Open, where he was also a triple champion in three of the seasons he won Wimbledon which, until 2009, set him apart from Federer until the Swiss finally broke his duck at Roland Garros.

Sampras never managed to break through in France, so it was Borg’s ‘triple-double’ which placed him at the summit of the summer game – shockingly he never managed to win in Australia, where a third round was his best result, or at the US Open where he was four times a semi-finalist.

Another defeat at the hands of McEnroe at Flushing Meadows, just a couple of months after his final Wimbledon, would mark the end of Borg’s career but it was the amiable, yet tempestuous, American who was most vociferous in his desire for the Swede to play on.

Borg ranks only fourth with 11 Grand Slam successes, but he was the king of summer tennis, and unless Rafael Nadal manages to overcome Men's wimbledon betting by seeing an end to his run of injuries and win a couple more Paris-Wimbledon doubles, it appears unlikely that he will ever be dethroned.
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