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Björn Borg

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Björn Borg

Björn Borg
Full name Björn Rune Borg
Country (sports)  Sweden
Residence Monte Carlo, Monaco
Born (1956-06-06) 6 June 1956
Stockholm, Sweden
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Turned pro 1973
Retired 4 April 1983[1] (comeback from 1991 to 1993)
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money US$ 3,655,751
Int. Tennis HoF 1987 (member page)
Career record 609–127 (82.7%)
Career titles 64
Highest ranking No. 1 (23 August 1977)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 3R (1974)
French Open W (1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981)
Wimbledon W (1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980)
US Open F (1976, 1978, 1980, 1981)
Other tournaments
Tour Finals W (1979, 1980)
WCT Finals W (1976)
Career record 86–81 (51.2%)
Career titles 4
Team competitions
Davis Cup W (1975)

Björn Borg (Swedish pronunciation: ; born 6 June 1956) is a former world No. 1 tennis player from Sweden widely considered to be one of the greatest in tennis history.[2][3][4] Between 1974 and 1981 he became the first male professional to win 11 Grand Slam singles titles: six at the French Open and five consecutive at Wimbledon. He also won three year-end championships and 15 Grand Prix Super Series titles.

Borg set numerous Open Era records that still stand, including winning 41% of the Grand Slam singles tournaments he entered and 90% of those matches,[5] winning both the French Open and Wimbledon for three consecutive years, and winning three Grand Slams without losing a set. Also, his total career match win rate of 82.7% remains the second best of the era.

A teenage sensation at the start of his career, Borg's unprecedented stardom and consistent success helped propel the rising popularity of tennis during the 1970s.[6] As a result, the professional tour became more lucrative, and in 1979 he was the first player to earn more than one million dollars in prize money in a single season. He also made millions in endorsements throughout his career. The downside, however, was the constant attention and pressure eventually caused burnout and his retirement at the age of 26.[7]


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
    • Retirement 2.1
    • Failed comeback 2.2
  • Personal life 3
  • Memorabilia preserved 4
  • Distinctions and honors 5
  • Recognition 6
  • Playing style 7
  • Career statistics 8
    • Grand Slam tournament and Year-End Championship performance timeline 8.1
    • Records 8.2
      • All-time records 8.2.1
      • Open Era records 8.2.2
  • Professional awards 9
  • See also 10
  • Notes 11
  • References 12
  • Bibliography 13
  • Video 14
  • External links 15

Early life

Björn Borg was born in table-tennis tournament. His father gave him the racket, beginning his tennis career.[8]

A player of great athleticism and endurance, he had a distinctive style and appearance—bowlegged and very fast. His muscularity allowed him to put heavy topspin on both his forehand and two-handed backhand. He followed

  • Official Wimbledon website profile
  • BBC profile
  • Sunday Times article 5 July 2009

External links

  • The Wimbledon Collection – Legends of Wimbledon – Bjorn Borg Standing Room Only, DVD Release Date: 21 September 2004, Run Time: 52 minutes, ASIN: B0002HODA4.
  • The Wimbledon Collection – The Classic Match – Borg vs. McEnroe 1981 Final Standing Room Only, DVD Release Date: 21 September 2004, Run Time: 210 minutes, ASIN: B0002HODAE.
  • The Wimbledon Collection – The Classic Match – Borg vs. McEnroe 1980 Final Standing Room Only, DVD Release Date: 21 September 2004, Run Time: 240 minutes; ASIN: B0002HOEK8.
  • Wimbledon Classic Match: Gerulaitis vs Borg Standing Room Only, DVD Release Date: 31 October 2006, Run Time: 180 minutes, ASIN: B000ICLR8O.


  • John Barrett, editor, World of Tennis Yearbooks, London, from 1976 through 1983.
  • Michel Sutter, Vainqueurs Winners 1946–2003, Paris, 2003. Sutter has attempted to list all tournaments meeting his criteria for selection beginning with 1946 and ending in the fall of 1991. For each tournament, he has indicated the city, the date of the final, the winner, the runner-up, and the score of the final. A tournament is included in his list if: (1) the draw for the tournament included at least eight players (with a few exceptions, such as the Pepsi Grand Slam tournaments in the second half of the 1970s which included only players that had won a Grand Slam tournament); and (2) the level of the tournaments was at least equal to the present day challenger tournaments. Sutter's book is probably the most exhaustive source of tennis tournament information since World War II, even though some professional tournaments held before the start of the open era are missing. Later, Sutter issued a second edition of his book, with only the players, their wins, and years for the 1946 through 27 April 2003, period.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Navratilova joins Laver and Borg on the shortlist", Campbell, Alastair The Times (London), 3 July 2004
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Champions: Bjorn Borg, a 1983 documentary covering the end of Borg's career
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^ "Classic Matches: Borg v Gerulaitis", BBC Sport, 31 May 2004
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^ a b c d
  16. ^ a b c d
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ a b c
  26. ^ "Strokes for Agassi: He belongs among the 10 greatest ever", Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 September 2006
  27. ^ "Top Stars of Tennis", Bud Collins, MSNBC
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ a b
  32. ^ Aanalys av bra spelares teknik - Slagproffset Retrieved 2 July 2015
  33. ^
  34. ^ a b
  35. ^ a b
  36. ^
  37. ^ Borg, Björn, and Eugene L. Scott. My Life and Game (1980), page 11
  38. ^
  39. ^ a b
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^ a b c
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^


  1. ^ The Masters tournaments for 1977, 1979 and 1980 were actually held in January of the following year. In this table, however, the year of the tournament is listed for the preceding year.
  2. ^ The existing Major champions Borg defeated were Guillermo Vilas (1978 French Open), Ilie Năstase (1976 Wimbledon), Jimmy Connors (1977 & 1978 Wimbledon), Roscoe Tanner (1979 Wimbledon), Vitas Gerulaitis (1980 French Open) and John McEnroe (1980 Wimbledon).


See also

Professional awards

  • These records were attained in the Open Era of tennis.
  • Records in bold indicate peer-less achievements.
  • ^ Denotes consecutive streak.

Open Era records

Tournament Since Record accomplished Players matched
All Slams 1877 89.81%, (141-16) Major winning percentage overall Stands alone
Grand Slam 1877 Won 3 Major titles without losing a set overall Richard Sears, Tony Trabert
Wimbledon 1877 92.73%, (51-4) career match win percentage (1973–81) Stands alone
Wimbledon 1877 41 consecutive match wins (1976–81) Stands alone
Grand Slam 1877 3 consecutive Channel Slams, French Open + Wimbledon (1978–80) Stands alone
Grand Slam 1877 14 consecutive victories in semifinal matches Stands alone

All-time records


  • The Australian Open was held twice in 1977, in January and December. Borg did not play both matches.
Tournament 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 SR W–L Win %
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open A 3R A A A A A A A 0 / 1 1–1 50.00
French Open 4R W W QF A W W W W 6 / 8 49–2 96.08
Wimbledon QF 3R QF W W W W W F 5 / 9 51–4 92.73
US Open 4R 2R SF F 4R F QF F F 0 / 9 40–9 81.63
Win–Loss 10–3 11–3 16–2 17–2 10–1 20–1 18–1 20–1 19–2 11 / 27 141–16 89.81
Year-end championship
The Masters[1] A RR F A F A W W A 2 / 5 15–7 68.18
WCT Finals A F F W A SF F A A 1 / 5 10–3 76.92
Year end rankings 18 3 3 2 3 2 1 1 4 $3,655,751

Grand Slam tournament and Year-End Championship performance timeline

Career statistics

Borg's physical conditioning was legendary and unrivalled. He could outlast most of his opponents under the most grueling conditions. Contrary to popular belief, however, this wasn't due to his exceptionally low resting heart rate, often reported to be near 35 beats per minute. In his introduction to Borg's autobiography My Life and Game, Eugene Scott relates that this rumor arose from a medical exam the 18-year-old Borg once took for military service, where his pulse was recorded as 38. Scott goes on to reveal Borg's true pulse rate as "about 50 when he wakes up and around 60 in the afternoon."[37] Borg is credited with helping to develop the style of play that has come to dominate the game today.[35]

Another trait usually associated with Borg is his grace under pressure. His calm court demeanor earned him the nickname of the "Ice Man" or "Ice-Borg."[36]

One of the factors that made Borg unique was his dominance on the grass courts of Wimbledon, where baseliners since World War II did not usually succeed. Some experts attributed his dominance on this surface to his consistency, an underrated serve, equally underrated volleys, and his adaptation to grass courts. Against the best players, he almost always served-and-volleyed on his first serves (but he naturally played from the baseline after his second serves).[34][35]

Complementing his consistent ground-strokes was his fitness. Both of these factors allowed Borg to be dominant at the French Open.[34]

[31] He hit the ball hard and high from the back of the court and brought it down with considerable [32] He played from the baseline, with powerful ground-strokes. His highly unorthodox backhand involved taking his racket back with both hands but actually generating his power with his dominant right hand, letting go of the grip with his left hand around point of contact, and following through with his swing as a one-hander.[31] Borg had one of the most distinctive playing styles in the Open Era.

Playing style

[30] or somebody."Liz Taylor or Elvis, "I think Bjorn could have won the U.S. Open. I think he could have won the Grand Slam. But by the time he left, the historical challenge didn't mean anything. He was bigger than the game. He was like Sports Illustrated told Arthur Ashe Additionally, another contemporary [29] Borg never won the

[28] In 2008,

[27] In his 1979 autobiography,

With 11 Grand Slam titles, Borg ranks fifth in the list of male tennis players who have won the most Grand Slam singles titles behind


Distinctions and honors

In March 2006, [22] The conversation, paired with Connors and Agassi's plea, eventually persuaded Borg to buy out the trophies from Bonhams at an undisclosed amount.

Memorabilia preserved

[20][19] He narrowly avoided personal bankruptcy when business ventures failed.[18] Borg married Romanian tennis pro

Personal life

In 1992 Borg, aged 35, using a Donnay Graphite Midsize racket strung at 85 lbf tension, defeated John Lloyd, 37, at the Inglewood Forum Tennis Challenge. Borg later joined the champions tour, returning to shorter hair and using modern rackets.

In the early-1990s, Borg attempted a comeback on the men's professional tennis tour. In doing so, he grew his hair out as it had been when he retired and returned to using a wooden racket; he had kept his hair cut and used modern graphite rackets in exhibitions he played during the later 1980s. Borg, however, failed to win a single match. He faced Alexander Volkov.

Failed comeback

Borg later bounced back as the owner of the Björn Borg fashion label. In Sweden his label has become very successful, second only to Calvin Klein.[16][17]

Upon retirement, Borg had three residences, a penthouse in Monte Carlo, not far from his pro shop, a mansion on Long Island, New York and a small island off the Swedish coast.


Borg failed to win the US Open in 10 tries, losing four finals, 1976 and 1978 to

[16] Borg won his last Grand Slam title at the French Open in 1981, defeating Lendl in a five-set final. Borg has a six French Open Grand Slam titles record bettered only by

He defeated McEnroe in the final of the 1980 Stockholm Open, 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. Borg then defeated Ivan Lendl for his second Masters title.[15]

[16][15] Borg won his fifth consecutive Wimbledon singles title, the

At the season-ending Masters tournament in January 1980, Borg survived a close semifinal against McEnroe. 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 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 Roscoe Tanner. Borg was upset by Tanner at the US Open, in a four-set quarterfinal played under the lights.

Björn Borg playing a double-handed backhand shot at the 1979 ABN World Tennis Tournament

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 John McEnroe for the first time in a semifinal of the Stockholm Open, and lost to McEnroe.

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 in five sets.[13] 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 no. 1 ranking on the computer, albeit for just one week in August. Prior to the 1977 US Open, Borg aggravated a shoulder injury while waterskiing with Vitas Gerulaitis. This injury ultimately forced him to retire during a fourth round match vs Dick Stockton. Through 1977, he had never lost to a player younger than himself.

In early 1976, Borg won the Jimmy Connors.

[12] In early 1975, Borg defeated

Borg joined the professional circuit in 1973, reaching the fourth round of his first French Open and the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. 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 won the French Open, defeating Manuel Orantes in the final in five sets. Barely 18, Borg was the youngest-ever male French Open champion up to that point.

At the age of 15 Borg represented Sweden in the 1972 Davis Cup and won his debut singles rubber in five sets against veteran 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. Then in December he won the Orange Bowl Junior Championship for boys, 18 and under after a straight sets victory in the final over Vitas Gerulaitis.[10][11]



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