Björn Borg (1956) Swedish tennis player
Golden-haired wonder child Björn Borg (born June 6, 1956 in Södertälje, Sweden) entered the world's tennis scene at age 15 in 1971, capturing the junior title at Wimbledon and debuting in the Swedish Davis Cup team immediately. The Swede had a thundering serve (for that time at least) and the best topspin of the circuit. His fame rose highest on the Wimbledon grass, but Borg could excel on any kind of surface.
Starting in 1976, at the age of 20, he won five consecutive singles championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, an achievement that wasn't even reached by historic greats like Fred Perry and Rod Laver. He also won an unprecedented six French Opens, the Italian twice, the Masters in New York and World Championship of Tennis in Dallas. Like his world dominating successor Ivan Lendl on Wimbledon, Björn Borg's Achilles’ heel was the US Open, which he never managed to win (although four times runner-up).
The Scandinavian's main rivals were Americans Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe, who were at home at the US Open. His battles with Connors and McEnroe became classic duels between contrasting personalities and game styles. Against these mad, emotional lefthanders, Borg was the good guy.
His main achievements listed:
- Won his first Grand Slam title at age 17: the first of his six Roland Garros victories, beating Manuel Orantes after dropping the first two sets.
- Led his country to its first Davis Cup victory at age 18.
- Won his first Wimbledon in 1976, crushing Romanian Ilie Nastase in the final (Nastase said afterwards: "He's a robot from outer space. A Martian.")
- Didn't lose a match over a seven month period in 1978.
Borg saved his greatest Wimbledon effort for his last against McEnroe in the 1980 final, winning it 8-6 in the decisive fifth set. That was the year also that Borg was married to Mariana Simionescu. They divorced 2 years later and Borg, aged 26, retired to enjoy his wealth on the French Rivièra. He's still active, playing his old rivals on the ATP's senior circuit.