Björn Borg is considered one of the greatest professional tennis players of all time. He is famous for his calm demeanor and long blonde locks that were complimented with a headband. Borg was known to not give much of a reaction to opponents during tennis matches which led to him being known as the 'Ice Man' on the court. However, his technique worked out well as Borg has had one of the most successful careers in tennis history.
The Swedish tennis player was naturally gifted at the sport and rose quickly through the ranks. Although he had a lot of success at a young age, his trajectory was cut short when he ended up retiring at the young age of 26. In those ten years though, he was ranked number one for 109 weeks and won 11 Grand Slam Titles, including 5 Wimbledon wins in a row!
Borg began playing tennis after he was enamored with a tennis racket his dad won in a ping pong tournament. After this, Björn Borg kept playing and improving his skills. His dedication paid off when he turned pro in 1973 and became the youngest person to win the Italian Open. His first big win came in 1976 when he won Wimbledon against the favored Ilie Nastase at 20 years old. At the time, Borg was one of the youngest tennis players to win Wimbledon. Even more impressive, he won without losing a set.
Borg went on to win four more Wimbledon's in a row the next four years. He also went on to win four French Opens in a row from 1978-1981. He won two more French Opens in his career as well. Another notable point was his 1980 win against John McEnroe in the Wimbledon finals. This 4.5 hour is considered to be the best tennis match in history.
A year later he lost to McEnroe in his last Grand Slam final at Wimbledon and began suffering from "burnout" which led to Borg announcing his retirement.
In addition to winning 11 Grand Slam Titles, 62 Singles Titles, and 83% of the singles matches he competed in, Borg has collected lots of awards and titles throughout his ten year pro tennis career. He held the number one ranking by the ATP six different times for a total of 109 weeks.
The ATP also named him the Player of the Year for his performance in the 1979-1980 season. Björn Borg won the BBC Sports Personality of The Year Overseas Personality Award in 1979 due to his calm but charming demeanor that captured the world. He was also later honored by the BBC again with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. He was also named the Swedish Sportsman of the 20th Century Davis Cup in 2000. In addition to these awards, Björn Borg will remain an important figure in tennis history for all he accomplished in his career.
Björn Borg was born a little outside of Stockholm, Sweden. He is the only child of Rune and Margaretha Borg. He fell in love with tennis and would spend many hours hitting the ball against the garage door. Borg eventually dropped out of school to pursue his passion of playing tennis professionally.
After his incredible career was done, he was able to focus on his other passions. In 1989 he started a clothing line company and named it after himself. Björn Borg sells high end underwear.
Borg has been married three times and is currently still with his third wife, Patricia Östfeld who he married in 2002. The two have one son together named Leo who also plays tennis and competed in the Junior Wimbledon Championships in 2019. Borg also has another son named Robin from a previous relationship with Swedish model, Jannike Bjorling.
Björn Borg decided he wanted to retire because playing tennis was no longer fun for him. He didn't give a lot more of an explanation for his early retirement so fans were very surprised by this decision. Borg did try to make a comeback to the sport during the 1991 Monte Carlo Masters but it unfortunately didn't work. Borg was underprepared and wanted to keep using a wooden racket rather than a more modern one.
Part of the reason Björn Borg became such a huge figure in the tennis world was that he was so interesting to watch. His appearance with the long hair and headband was part of the allure. Additionally, fans were drawn in by his playing style. Borg was bowlegged yet surprisingly very fast on the court. He also was strong enough to deliver a powerful topspin to his competitors. Lastly, his slap shot styled backhand also amused fans.
Borg and McEnroe are so opposite that they were nicknamed Fire and Ice for their tennis court behavior. Their rivalry on the court is also very famous since they pushed each other and the sport in their close matches. Despite their history in playing against each other in big matches (Borg's 1981 loss against McEnroe hindered him from winning six Wimbledon's in a row) the two have great respect and admiration for each other.
The 1980 Wimbledon Final match between John McEnroe and Björn Borg is considered one of the best due to the incredible athleticism as well as the story of the match. This was McEnroe's first Wimbledon appearance while it was Borg's possible fifth win. This intensity is seen in the game as both players have something to prove and truly give the match their all. Also, the players are so opposite that it makes for the perfect rivalry. These factors are some of the reasons this match is so important in tennis history.