Athlete Profile: Bjorn Borg
Weight: 160 lbs.
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Plays: Right-Handed, Two-Handed Backhand
Coach: Lennart Bergelin
Career Titles: 64
Current Residence: Monaco
Former world No. 1 tennis player, Bjorn Borg is widely considered to be one of the greatest in the history of the sport. From his teenage years Borg was a tennis sensation, setting numerous records that remain undeafeated to this day. In fact, the commotion surrounding his rise to tennis stardom helped propel the sport into the eye of the general public during the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1981 he became the first man to win 11 Grand Slam singles titles, while also winning three year-end championships, and 15 Grand Prix Super Series titles. In 1979 he became the first tennis player to earn one million in prize money within a single season. Combining that with the millions he made in endorsements, as well as the constant pressure to perform, Borg decided to retire from tennis at the age of only 26. Certainly, no male tennis career of the modern era has been as successful while also being as short.
Known for his icy, almost untouchable persona, Borg also had a very distinctive style and appearance, with long locks pulled back by his infamous headband. Although bow-legged he was also very fast and by the age of 13 had beat all of Sweden’s best players under the age of 18. As a child he enjoyed hockey, which alluded to his powerful two-handed backhand, likely adapted from the slap shot in hockey. While being an unconventional technique, it was also very effective.
His infamous victory against John McEnroe in 1980 (see below), and 5th Wimbledon title, also signaled the beginning of this duos historic rivalry. He was later beat by McEnroe in the 1981 Wimbledon final and furthermore, dethroned by the yankee in 1981 from his No. 1 world title. His final defeat by McEnroe at the US Open effectively ended his career and he retired shortly thereafter. Despite a brief comeback in between 1990-1993, Borg’s attempts proved unsuccessful. None the less, Bjorn Borg’s remembered with high regard within the tennis community, while his legacy lives on in the records he set as well as the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Witness the modern take on his rivalry with McEnroe in Borg McEnroe; a biographical drama released last month starring Shia LeBeouf and Sverrir Gudnason.