I like em both for different Reasons, so i wont vote. Borg for his smoth strokes and calm demeanor, & McEnroe for his beautiful Serve & Volley, and it was entertainment every time he had 1 of his little fits.
This feels a bit like GM...two word posts: Bjorn Borg. I know its just a 'poll' but the words 'Borg vs. McEnroe' set off a series of bells in my mind...good bells.
Borg and Mac had a fascinating rivalry, which ended up tied at 7-7. Here are the results, with John taking the last 3:
1978 Stockholm Carpet SF MCENROE 6-3 6-4
1979 Richmond Carpet SF BORG 4-6 7-6 6-3
1979 N.Orleans Carpet SF MCENROE 5-7 6-1 7-6
1979 Rotterdam Carpet F BORG 6-4 6-2
1979 WCT Fin. Carpet F MCENROE 7-5 4-6 6-2 7-6
1979 Canadian O. Hard F BORG 6-3 6-3
1979 Masters Carpet SF BORG 6-7 6-3 7-6
1980 Wimbledon Grass F BORG 1-6 7-5 6-3 6-7 8-6
1980 U.S. Open Hard F MCENROE 7-6 6-1 6-7 5-7 6-4
1980 Estocolmo Carpet F BORG 6-3 6-4
1980 T.Maestros Carpet RR BORG 6-4 6-7 7-6
1981 Milan Carpet F MCENROE 7-6 6-4
1981 Wimbledon Grass F MCENROE 4-6 7-6 7-6 6-4
1981 U.S. Open Hard F MCENROE 4-6 6-2 6-4 6-3
This was significant for the rivalry on 2 counts. Borg was tiring of competition and complained at the end of the '80 season of being burned out. Still, he took Mac in the finals of year end T. Maestros 7-6 in the 3rd. Imagine that FOUR of these contests were decided 7-6 in the final set! Split 2:2.
Anyway, Borg being challenged to play more tournaments by threat from the ATP at the time, rather than fewer as he already had in mind, created even more pressure on burned-out Borg and clearly Mac was gaining in prowess right alongside side these events.
When Borg opted to retire early from the pro circuit rather than fight an insulting battle with the ATP, it broke a lot of hearts, but none more than McEnroe. For Mac, he finally had a rivalry, in his mind, on even footing with the Great Cool Machine, Borg. And then the rival disappeared. Mac credited Bjorn for giving him something to rise up to in order to become the player he was, and then was devastated...and felt cheated!...that he would no longer be able to try and prove himself in future match-ups of what he felt was just 'the beginning' of an amazing historical rivalry.
Bjorn had the more consistent unflappability and the more awe-inspiring groundies, Mac the greatest touch at net arguably ever, plus great agility and a world-famous temper. The comparison to the Evert/Navratilova rivalry are hard to shake...you hear commentators say almost identical statements about the rivalry dynamics when watching their matches. But whereas martina had a game better DESIGNED specifically to beat Chris...I don't think she was a better singles player against the rest of the full field outside of their head-to-head meetings...Mac's game was NOT designed purely to beat Borg. And I think if Borg had stayed interested in the sport, his COOL would win out over Mac's HOT more often than not.
Why? Borg always played near 97-99% of his potential; Mac needed to play at his highest level beat BB, and was not as consistently at his top form. Though in 1981, especially, Borg was Mac's obsession and DID play at his best when against his arch rival. Long-term, I dont think that would have continued to be the dynamic. And if you look at their dominance at their respective heights, you've got to go with Borg.
McEnroe - nobody has ever reached the level of tennis he once did - it was out-of-this-planet. I give all the credit to Borg and his awsome game but comparing his best to Mac's best is like comparing Mont Blanc to Mount Everest, I would say. Mac's 1984 through to most of 1985 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!