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Swedish tennis player
Björn Borg, in full Björn Rune Borg, (born June 6, 1956, Stockholm, Sweden), Swedish tennis player who was one of the finest competitors of the modern era.
He was the first man to win the Wimbledon singles championship five successive times (1976–80) since Laurie Doherty (1902–06).
He won the French Open men’s singles championship an unprecedented four times in a row and six times in all (1974–75, 1978–81).
Borg learned to play tennis at a very early age, and, by the time he was 13, he was beating Sweden’s top junior players.
Noted for his powerful serve and two-handed backhand, Borg joined the professional circuit at age 14 .
and went on to win the Italian Open at 17 and the French Open at 18. In 1975 he helped Sweden win its first Davis Cup.
and by that time he had won 16 consecutive cup singles, passing Bill Tilden’s record of 12. By the spring of 1981.
when he finally lost at Wimbledon to John McEnroe, Borg had won 41 singles matches and 5 championships in a row, a record never previously set.
Borg, however, proved unable to ever win two of the four Grand Slam events, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open.
In January 1983
In January 1983 Borg abruptly announced his retirement from professional tennis, though he did attempt a short-lived comeback in 1991. Borg founded a successful sportswear company in the early 1990s.
He wrote, with Eugene Scott, Björn Borg: My Life and Game (1980). In 1987 Borg was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Björn Borg was a rock ‘n roll star draped in tennis clothes.
His massive appeal, based not only on his extraordinary tennis ability, but on his good looks and shy manner, made him a worldwide tennis teen idol. “He was like the Beatles for God’s sake,” said Ingrid Lofdahl-Bentzer, a close Borg friend.
Borg polarized tennis in the 1970s. Known as the “ice man” for his frosty temperament on court – never.
ever letting his opponent get a hint of what was boiling inside him – Borg was the epitome of cool. Everything from the way he walked onto the court, to his long hair that flowed to his shoulders.
to the headbands he always wore, to his Donnay racquet that featured a longer leather handle to accommodate his two-handed backhand, created hysteria.
He was tennis’s biggest drawing card. It was called “Borgmania.”
You’d have to search sporting annals long and hard to find an athlete in any sport that rose to meteoric heights like Borg, an 11-time major singles champion in just seven years (1974-81), who dramatically stunned .
and shocked the tennis world by retiring at age 26. Even in such a short time span, Borg left an indelible legacy on tennis history.
He won six French Open championships (second best in history behind Rafael Nadal’s 11) and four consecutively (1978-81).
Borg dominated Wimbledon like no other player since Willie Renshaw did when he won six straight championships (1881-1886), capturing five consecutive titles from 1976 to 1980.
his five-set marathon victory over John McEnroe in 1980 considered one of the greatest tennis matches in history. Borg’s five titles at Wimbledon are the third highest in history behind Roger Federer (eight titles) and Pete Sampras (seven titles).
Borg’s name stands alone in a half dozen all-time best tennis records:
He won 89.8 percent of his major matches; won three of his 11 major titles without losing a set (1976 Wimbledon, 1978 French, 1980 French),captured three consecutive channel slams .
(French and Wimbledon) from 1978-80 and had 14 consecutive victories in major semifinals. At Wimbledon, his 92.7 winning percentage based on a 51-4 record from 1973-81 won’t likely ever be broken.
nor will his 41 consecutive match winning streak achieved from 1976-81. He reeled off a 49-2 (96 percent) winning streak at the French Open, second best to Nadal, a position he firmly holds.
He was born in Sodertaljie, an industrial town 20 miles outside of Stockholm.
His tennis career
His tennis career began inauspiciously. His father had won a table tennis tournament when Borg was age 8. In the options of available prizes, young Björn asked his father to choose a tennis racquet.
The very next day he was playing tennis with his friends.
and said he “loved the game from the beginning … from the first ball [he] hit.”
A garage door was Borg’s first opponent; he would spend hours pounding the ball against an object that would become as unyielding as the Swede himself.
Borg’s parents never pushed him into competitive tennis, it was solely his decision. “When I was eight or nine years old, I had two dreams,”
Borg said. “One to be part of the Swedish Davis Cup team and the second to play on Wimbledon Centre Court.”
Dreams do come true.
He achieved both. Five Wimbledon Gentlemen Singles Championships would follow and in 1975 Borg led his small Nordic country to the Davis Cup championship at Kings Hall in Stockholm
the very same venue where he began playing tennis, with a 3-2 victory over Czechoslovakia.
in the 75 year
It was the first time in the 75 year history of the Davis Cup that a country other than Britain, France, Australia, or the United States had won the cup.
The unorthodox strokes that enamored Borg to worldwide audiences were rooted in his game from the outset, and caught the attention of the Swedish Tennis Federation.
While his strokes lacked style, his footwork was extraordinary.
In 1971 at age 15, Borg connected with longtime coach and mentor Lennart Bergelin, who as Davis Cup Captain selected the scrawny and athletically raw teenager to play on Sweden’s Davis Cup team the following year.
Bergelin was an integral part of Borg’s stardom.