Björn Borg

Björn Borg is a former World No. 1 tennis player from Sweden. Between 1974 and 1981 he won 11 Grand Slam singles titles. He won five consecutive Wimbledon singles titles (a record shared with Roger Federer) and four consecutive French Open singles titles (a record shared with Rafael Nadal). He is considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
During his relatively brief pro career, Borg won 41 percent of the Grand Slam singles tournaments he entered (11 of 27) and 89.81 percent (141-16) of the Grand Slam singles matches he played, which is an all time record. He also has the highest all surfaces (grass, clay, hard, carpet, court) career match winning percentage of any other male player 82.68 (730/603). All three are open era male records for an entire career. In addition, Borg's six French Open singles titles are an open era male record. He is one of four players in the open era to win both Wimbledon and the French Open in the same year and the only player to do so for three consecutive years. He also won three year end championship titles including two Masters Grand Prix titles and one WCT Final title.
Borg joined the professional circuit at age 14. In 1972, at the age of 15, Borg became one of the youngest players ever to represent his country in the Davis Cup and won his debut singles rubber in five sets against seasoned professional Onny Parun of New Zealand. Later that year, he won the Wimbledon junior singles title, recovering from a 5-2 deficit in the final set to overcome Britain's Buster Mottram.
In 1973, Borg reached the Wimbledon main draw quarterfinals in his first attempt. Just before his 18th birthday in 1974, Borg won his first top-level singles title at the Italian Open, becoming its youngest winner. Two weeks later he became the then-youngest winner of the French Open defeating Manuel Orantes in the final 2–6, 6–7, 6–0, 6–1, 6–1. Barely 18 at the time, Borg was the youngest-ever male French Open champion (the record has since been lowered by Mats Wilander in 1982 and Michael Chang in 1989).
In early 1975, Borg defeated the great Rod Laver, then 36 years old, in a semifinal of the World Championship Tennis (WCT) finals in Dallas, Texas 7–6, 3–6, 5–7, 7–6, 6–2. Borg subsequently lost to Arthur Ashe in the final.
Borg retained his French Open title in 1975, beating Guillermo Vilas in the final in straight sets (three sets). Borg then reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals, where he lost to eventual champion Ashe 2-6, 6-4, 8-6, 6-1. Borg did not lose another match at Wimbledon until 1981.
Borg won two singles and one doubles rubber in the 1975 Davis Cup final as Sweden beat Czechoslovakia 3–2. With these singles wins, Borg had won 19 consecutive Davis Cup singles rubbers since 1973. That was already a record at the time. But Borg never lost another Davis Cup singles rubber, and, by the end of his career, he had stretched that winning streak to 33—a Davis Cup record that still stands.
In early 1976, Borg won the World Championship Tennis year ending WCT Finals in Dallas, Texas with a four-set victory over Guillermo Vilas in the final.
At the 1976 French Open Borg lost to the Italian Adriano Panatta, who remains the only player to defeat Borg at this tournament. Panatta did it twice: in the fourth round in 1973 (7–6, 2–6, 7–5, 7–6), and in the 1976 quarter-finals (6–3, 6–3, 2–6, 7–6).
Borg won Wimbledon in 1976 without losing a set, defeating the favored Ilie Năstase in the final. Borg became the youngest male Wimbledon champion of the modern era at 20 years and 1 month (a record subsequently broken by Boris Becker, who won Wimbledon aged 17 in 1985). It would be the last time Borg played Wimbledon as an underdog. Ilie Năstase later exclaimed,"We're playing tennis, he's [Borg] playing something else."
Borg also reached the final of the 1976 US Open, which was then being played on clay courts. Borg lost in four sets to World No. 1 Jimmy Connors.
Borg skipped the French Open in 1977 because he was under contract with WTT, but he repeated his Wimbledon triumph, although this time he was pushed much harder. He defeated his good friend Vitas Gerulaitis in a semifinal 6–4, 3–6, 6–3, 3–6, 8–6.[8] In the final, Borg was pushed to five sets for the third time in the tournament, this time by Connors. The win propelled Borg to the #1 ranking on the computer, albeit for just one week in August.
Through 1977 he had never lost to a player younger than himself.
Borg was at the height of his career from 1978 through 1980, completing the difficult French Open-Wimbledon double all three years.
In 1978, Borg won the French Open with a win over Vilas in the final. Borg did not drop a set during the tournament, a feat only he, Năstase (in 1973), and Rafael Nadal (in 2008 and 2010) have accomplished at the French Open during the open era.
Borg defeated Connors in straight sets at the 1978 Wimbledon. At the US Open, now held on hard courts in Flushing Meadow, New York, he lost the final in straight sets to Connors. That autumn, Borg faced John McEnroe for the first time in a semifinal of the Stockholm Open and was upset 6–3, 6–4.
Borg lost to McEnroe again in four sets in the final of the 1979 WCT Finals but was now overtaking Connors for the top ranking. Borg established himself firmly in the top spot with his fourth French Open singles title and fourth straight Wimbledon singles title, defeating Connors in a straight-set semifinal at the latter tournament. At the French Open, Borg defeated big-serving Victor Pecci in a four-set final, and at Wimbledon, Borg took five sets to overcome an even bigger server, Roscoe Tanner. Borg was upset by Tanner at the US Open, in a four-set quarterfinal played under the lights.
At the season-ending Masters tournament in January 1980, Borg survived a close semifinal against McEnroe 6–7, 6-3, 7–6(1). He then beat Gerulaitis in straight sets, winning his first Masters and first title in New York. In June, he overcame Gerulaitis, again in straight sets, for his fifth French Open title. Again, he did not drop a set.
Borg won his fifth consecutive Wimbledon singles title, the 1980 Wimbledon Men's Singles final, by defeating McEnroe in a five-set match, often cited as the best Wimbledon final ever played. Having lost the opening set 6-1 to an all-out McEnroe assault, Borg took the next two 7-5, 6-3 and had two Championship points at 5-4 in the fourth. But McEnroe averted disaster and went on to level the match in Wimbledon's most memorable 34-point tiebreaker, which he won 18-16. In the fourth-set tiebreak, McEnroe saved five match points and Borg six set points before McEnroe won the set. Bjorn served first to begin the 5th set and fell behind 15-40. Borg then won 19 straight points on serve in the deciding set and prevailed after 3 hours, 53 minutes. Borg himself commented years later that this was the first time that he was afraid that he would lose, as well as feeling that it was the beginning of the end of his dominance. Borg married Romanian tennis pro Mariana Simionescu in Bucharest on 24 July 1980.
He defeated McEnroe in the final of the 1980 Stockholm Open, 6–3, 6–4, and faced him one more time that year, in the round-robin portion of the year-end Masters, played in January 1981. With 19,103 fans in attendance, Borg won a deciding third-set tie-break for the second year in a row, 6–4, 6–7, 7–6(2). Borg then defeated Ivan Lendl for his second Masters title, 6–4, 6–2, 6–2.
Borg won his last Grand Slam title at the French Open in 1981, defeating Lendl in a five-set final. Borg's six French Open singles titles remains a record in the Open era for a male player.
In reaching the Wimbledon final in 1981, Borg stretched his winning streak at the All England Club to a record 41 matches. In a semifinal, Borg was down to Connors by two sets to love before coming back to win the match 0–6, 4–6, 6–3, 6–0, 6–4. However, Borg's streak was brought to an end by McEnroe, who defeated him in four sets, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4.
Borg went on to lose to McEnroe at the 1981 US Open, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3, and the defeat effectively ended Borg's career. After that defeat, Borg walked off court and out of the stadium before the ceremonies and press conference had begun. It would turn out to be the Swede's last Grand Slam final. Although he felt in good condition physically, he recognized that the relentless drive to win and defy tour organizers had begun to fade.
The U.S. Open was his particular jinx. He failed to win in 10 tries, losing four finals, 1976 and 1978 to Jimmy Connors, and 1980 and 1981 to McEnroe. In 1978, 1979 and 1980, he was halfway to a Grand Slam after victories at the French and Wimbledon (the Australian Open being the last Grand Slam tournament of each year at the time) only to falter at Flushing Meadow, lefty Tanner his conqueror in 1979.
He had appeared only once at the Australian Open, earlier in his career, at which he lost in one of the earlier rounds.
In 1982, Borg played only one tournament, losing to Yannick Noah in the quarterfinals of Monte Carlo. Nevertheless, Borg's announcement in January 1983 that he was retiring from the game at the age of 26 was a shock to the tennis world. McEnroe tried unsuccessfully to persuade Borg to continue.

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