PUBLICATION "TENNIS MAGAZINE" HAS CHOSEN BORG LIKE ONE OF THE 10 GREATEST
PLAYERS OF THE 20TH. CENTURY. THE PLAYERS WERE CHOSEN BY A PANEL OF 108 SPORTSWRITERS
AND EDITORS INCLUDING BUD COLLINS AND JOHN BARRETT. IN THE SAME SURVEY THEY
MENTIONED JOHN MCENROE AND JIMMY CONNORS.
BORG HAS BEEN CHOSEN THE SPORTSPERSON OF THE CENTURY IN SWEDEN BY HIS FELLOW ATHLETES. THE SAME KING CARL XVI PRESENTED BORG WITH THE AWARD, A STATUE.
THE MOST IMPORTANT SPORTS MAGAZINE OF THE UNITED STATES "SPORTS ILUSTRATED" HAS PICKED BORG AS THE SECOND BEST PLAYER OF THE CENTURY BEHIND PETE SAMPRAS AND ABOVE ROD LAVER, BILL TILDEN AND JOHN MCENROE WHO ARE IN THE THIRD, FOURTH AND FIFTH PLACE RESPECTIVELY.
THE WORLD FAMOUS SPORTS NEWSPAPER FROM FRANCE L EQUIPE HAS CHOSEN BORG AS THE #13 SPORTS PERSON OF THE CENTURY AND THE SECOND BEST TENNIS PLAYER OF ALL TIME BEHIND ROD LAVER AND OVER SAMPRAS AND MCENROE WHO ARE THIRD AND FOURTH RESPECTIVELI.
"I think something special in that era was myself, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe," Borg told reporters in the southern Indian city of Bangalore, where he is playing in a Legends tournament.
"We had a real rivalry between each other and I think that is what tennis is missing today," Borg said.
The winner of six French Open men's titles and five consecutive Wimbledon crowns said there had been no entertaining rivalry in tennis since Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi were at the top of their respective games around four years ago.
"They had a great time and good matches. If they have that it will do tennis a lot of good now. Today you need rivalries," the 44-year-old said.
Borg won 62 career singles titles along with four doubles titles. He reached the No. 1 ranking in August of 1977 and was ranked in the top 10 from 1974 to 1981.
He will retire from the seniors tour at the end of the current season. The Swede retired from the pro circuit in 1983 before making two brief comebacks in 1984 and 1992.
Borg said technology had changed the course of the game.
"It is not the fault of the players that power tennis is being played. Technology gives you more power that it used to. That is the future of tennis.
"Also, the players today are taller and stronger so the game is much faster."
After retiring from the seniors tour, Borg said he would concentrate on coaching, especially young players in his home country.
"We have players and we have more coming," he said.
Borg will be up against the likes of Ross Case, Guillermo Vilas, Pat Cash and Henri Leconte at the Bangalore tournament which begins on Thursday.
Wimbledon honours former champions:
Sport Online's Gabrielle Lewis witnessed Wimbledon heralding its former
Fifty-nine of Wimbledon's past and present greats gathered together on Centre Court to commemorate the Millennium Championships.
For many of the packed crowd, the names of Sidney Wood and Pauline Betz-Addie, singles winners in 1931 and 1946 were almost anonymous.
Yet like the doubles champions and finalists who had come before them, the early champions duly received the respectful applause they had earned from their successes.
Ovation for Borg
ovation was reserved for five-time singles champion, Borg. The Swede had never
returned to Wimbledon after his last appearance as a runner-up in 1981. 70's
Connors has made a name for himself as a player who does not turn up to such occasions - he missed the All England Club's 1977 Centenary Parade. But Nastase's no-show left the onlookers baffled.
Richard Krajicek, the 1996 winner, was als0o missing following his second round exit.
Borg, McEnroe ready for possible last clash Reuters News Service
SINGAPORE (October 25, 2000 10:55 a.m. EDT (http://www.sportserver.com) - John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg face off on Thursday for possibly the last time in an encounter 20 years after the "Match of the Century," a marathon Wimbledon final where Borg beat McEnroe in five sets.
Borg, 44, plans to retire later this year and it's likely he will not clash competitively with McEnroe, 41, after the veterans Champions Tour tournament in Singapore.
McEnroe told reporters this week that playing Borg was a trip down memory lane.
"It brings up a lot of emotions because Bjorn is... my greatest rival, the person who played a game very different than mine. Our temperaments were quite different, so that led to interesting confrontations on the court."
Borg, dubbed the "Ice Man" for his reserved style, and McEnroe, known as "McBrat" for his on-court outbursts, dominated in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The Swede was a baseliner renowned for his powerful accurate strokes and top-spin attacking lobs while the American lefthander had a flair for creative strokeplay and sharp volleying.
McEnroe, with 77 singles titles to his name including seven Grand Slams, was the world's top ranked player from 1981 to 1984. Borg had 62 singles titles, including 11 Grand Slams. Borg was the top seeded player from 1979 to 1980 and won Wimbledon from 1976 to 1980 before McEnroe snatched the crown from him in 1981.
Borg's style and good looks elevated him to pop-star status.
"The way he looked... he was the first tennis player I ever saw who had legions of young girls following him on the court," McEnroe said.
"He had an aura about him without having to say anything at all... It brought a whole new element of interest and excitement (to tennis)."
Borg, still a man of few words, showed the fire to beat McEnroe still burned.
"The last three or four weeks I have been in Stockholm, practicing every day, preparing myself for this tournament," he told reporters.
"I'm looking forward to playing John."
Reuters News Service
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