Bjorn Borg was the first teenage star of modern tennis, bursting onto the scene in 1972 and winning his first titles in 1974, including the Roland Garros. At the age of 22 at the end of 1978, the Swede had already won nearly 40 ATP titles and six Grand Slams, paving the way to tennis immortality.
By the late 1980s, Bjorn was already a legend and one of the best players ever despite just turning 24 in June, and one could only imagine what his career would be like when he turned 30 years-old! Bjorn was the dominant figure on both clay and grass and one of the toughest players to beat on fast outdoor and even indoor courts, with incredible endurance and a frightening fitness that ended up crumbling all of his opponents with extraordinary regularity.
. Tired and worn out of traveling and competing, Bjorn decided to take a break in 1982 and never fully returned, crystallizing his record to 11 Majors and over 60 ATP titles. The Swede won Roland Garros six times between 1974 and 1981, being the second most successful player in Paris in the Open Era, naturally behind Rafael Nadal.
In a recent interview, Borg admitted that he would have liked to face Rafa at Roland Garros at their best, knowing that he would probably lose but still want the chance to challenge the Spaniard. "I think tennis has changed a lot in the last two decades; players hit the ball much harder today.
When I see my son Leo playing - says Borg - I understand how difficult it is to get good results, with so many top level rivals, already since the days of junior tournaments. Tennis is one of the most amazing sports in the world and I love it.
"Today you can hit with more topspin, and it was completely different in the past - continues the former Swedish champion - To make your way in tennis, you have to know how to do everything: move well and understand how to hit a forehand, a backhand, a volley and a good service.
Also, you need to have a big heart and great motivations. You cannot say how your career will develop, but you must always dream of great goals and play with determination and desire. Borg on Nadal adds: “I would have liked to have played with Rafa Nadal at Roland Garros.
He was the best player ever on clay, and my biggest wish would have been to play him in Paris when we are both at our best. I'm sure he would have beaten me, but it would have been a great challenge."