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Bjorn Borg

Björn Rune Borg (born June 6, 1956, in Stockholm, Sweden) is a former World No. 1 tennis player from Sweden. During his nine-year career, he won 11 Grand Slam singles titles – five at Wimbledon and a record six at the French Open. Because of the large number of Grand Slam titles he won in a relatively short career and his winning both the French Open and Wimbledon singles titles in the same year three consecutive times, Borg is widely considered to be among the all-time great tennis players.
As a child growing up in Södertälje, a town near Stockholm, Borg became fascinated by a golden tennis racquet that his father had won as a prize at a ping pong tournament. His father gave him the racquet, beginning one of the brightest careers in tennis history. In 1972, at the age of 15, Borg became one of the youngest players ever to represent his country in the Davis Cup and won his debut singles rubber in five sets against seasoned professional Onny Parun of New Zealand. Later that year, he won the Wimbledon junior singles title. In 1973, Borg reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals in his first attempt.
In 1974, aged 17 years and 11 months, Borg won his first top-level singles title at the Italian Open. Two weeks later, he won his first Grand Slam title at the French Open, coming back from two sets down in the final to defeat Manuel Orantes 2-6, 6-7, 6-0, 6-1, 6-1. Barely 18 at the time, Borg was the youngest-ever male French Open champion (the record has since been lowered by Mats Wilander in 1982 and Michael Chang in 1989). In early 1975, Borg played Rod Laver, then 36 years old, in a semifinal of the World Championship Tennis (WCT) finals in Dallas, Texas, which Borg won 7-6, 3-6, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2. Borg lost to Arthur Ashe, another veteran of the tour, in the final. Borg retained his French Open title in 1975, beating Guillermo Vilas in the final in straight sets. Borg then reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals, where he lost in four sets to Ashe, the eventual champion.
Borg's last Grand Slam final was a four set loss to McEnroe at the 1981 U.S. Open. The spark seemed to have burned out of Borg's game by the end of 1981, and he was on the brink of burn-out. But Borg's announcement in the spring of 1983 that he was retiring from the game at the age of just 26 was a shock to the tennis world. Borg was ranked the World No. 1 in six different stretches between 1977 and 1981, totaling 109 weeks. During his career, he won a total of 62 top-level singles and 4 doubles titles.
Borg won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality Award in 1979. Borg was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987. After retiring, Borg suffered a drug overdose, was rumoured to have attempted suicide (which he has denied), and had a turbulent relationship with his then-wife, the Italian singer Loredana Bertè. He later bounced back as the owner of the Björn Borg fashion label, whose most noted advertising campaigns asked Swedes (from the pages of a leading national newspaper) to "Fuck for the Future." In the early-1990s, Borg attempted a comeback on the men's professional tennis tour. This time around, however, he was completely unsuccessful. Playing with his old wooden rackets in an attempt to regain his once-indomitable touch, he lost his first comeback match in 1991 to Jordi Arrese at the Monte Carlo Open. A series of first-round losses to lowly-ranked players followed over the next two years. The closest he came to winning a match was in 1993 in Moscow, when he pushed Alexander Volkov to three sets and lost a final-set tie-breaker 9-7. After that match, he retired from the tour for good and confined himself to playing on the senior tour, with modern rackets, where he delighted crowds by renewing his old rivalries with McEnroe, Connors, and Vilas.

Grand Slam singles finals

Year Championship Position Opponent Score
1974 French Open Champion Manuel Orantes 2-6, 6-7, 6-0, 6-1, 6-1
1975 French Open Champion Guillermo Vilas 6-2, 6-3, 6-4
1976 Wimbledon Champion Ilie Nastase 6-4, 6-2, 9-7
1977 Wimbledon Champion Jimmy Connors 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4
1978 French Open Champion Guillermo Vilas 6-1, 6-1, 6-3
1978 Wimbledon Champion Jimmy Connors 6-2, 6-2, 6-3
1979 French Open Champion Victor Pecci 6-3, 6-1, 6-7, 6-4
1979 Wimbledon Champion Roscoe Tanner 6-7, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
1980 French Open Champion Vitas Gerulaitis 6-4, 6-1, 6-2
1980 Wimbledon Champion John McEnroe 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7(16), 8-6
1981 French Open Champion Ivan Lendl 6-1, 4-6, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1
1976 US Open Runner-Up Jimmy Connors 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4
1978 US Open Runner-Up Jimmy Connors 6-4, 6-2, 6-2
1980 Wimbledon Runner-Up John McEnroe 7-6, 6-1, 6-7, 5-7, 6-4
1981 US Open Runner-Up John McEnroe 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4
1981 US Open Runner-Up John McEnroe 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3

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