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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 June, 2003, 19:20 GMT 20:20 UK
Classic Matches: Borg v McEnroe
1980 - Men's Singles Final
B Borg (Swe) bt J McEnroe (US) 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7 (16-18), 8-6

John McEnroe

Favourite all-time tennis match? This would have to be up there.

The ice-cool Swedish champion Bjorn Borg against the brash John McEnroe who was snapping at his heels for the crown of the world's best player.

Borg's four-year reign at Wimbledon seemed over when the American sailed through the first set with his swinging, left-handed serve a dominant factor.

But Borg started to find the range with his heavy passing shots in the second set and looked on course for another title when he edged the third.

The Swede held two match points at 5-4 in the fourth set but McEnroe saved them with diving volleys.

The match was already destined to be the most memorable for years, but then came a tie-break the like of which may never be seen again.

McEnroe had seven set points and Borg five more match points, four on his own serve.

Finally McEnroe took it, but at what a price.

He later admitted he had been exhausted by the emotional and physical strain, while Borg, who always spent more time on the practice court than McEnroe, had enough left.

Borg conceded only three points on his seven service games in the fifth set and broke the American with yet another backhand pass.

But the writing was on the wall. The following year the pair met again in the final and this time McEnroe got his man.

The strain was too much for Borg, who knew it was never going to be the same again. After losing again to McEnroe in the US Open final two months later, Borg retired from the game.





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