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Last Updated: Monday, 31 May, 2004, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Wimbledon legends: Bjorn Borg
Bjorn Borg
Born: 06/06/56
Sodertalijie, Sweden
Wimbledon titles:
1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980
Runner up: 1981
Grand Slam titles: 11
Prize money: $3,655,751
Bjorn Borg seemed an unlikely Wimbledon champion as his play was more suited to the slow clay courts of Europe.

He won the French Open six times but was no slouch on the grass either.

Between losing to eventual champion Arthur Ashe in 1975 and John McEnroe in the 1981 final, he won a record 41 consecutive matches in SW19.

That run saw 'Ice Borg' claim an unprecedented five successive titles beating Ilie Nastase, Jimmy Connors - twice - Roscoe Tanner and John McEnroe.

What makes that run even more amazing is that it came in an era when there were so many great champions gunning for the greatest prize in the game.

There were three years when he won both the French and Wimbledon, and in those days there was only one week of preparation for the grass between the two events.

The one rule of grass-court tennis is that you have be a supreme volleyer. But Borg was the exception that proved the rule.

Although no stranger to the net, Borg powered away from the baseline with powerful ground strokes, including a double-handed backhand.

He hit the ball high and brought it down with excessive top-spin. It made it very difficult for opponents to attack him. In other words, he developed the style of play that still dominates the world game today.

Many things about Borg are still an enigma. He retired having just turned 25 after losing the 1981 final to John McEnroe.

The year before the pair had played the all-time classic Wimbledon final - but not everyone remembers Borg actually won that match, focusing instead on McEnroe's memorable tie-break win in the fourth set.





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SEE ALSO
Classic Matches: Borg v McEnroe
31 May 04  |  Wimbledon History
Classic Matches: Borg v Gerulaitis
31 May 04  |  Wimbledon History


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