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Last Updated: Monday, 31 May, 2004, 15:38 GMT 16:38 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.

But the Swede took control before losing a wonderful fourth-set tie-break that set up a grandstand finish. Borg came through 8-6 for his fifth title.

After McEnroe's swinging, left-handed serve had dominated the opening set, Borg began to find his range with heavy passing shots that saw him in edge the second and third sets.

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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SEE ALSO
Wimbledon legends: Bjorn Borg
31 May 04  |  Wimbledon History
Wimbledon legends: John McEnroe
31 May 04  |  Wimbledon History


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