Bjorn Borg – Ilie Nastase Wimbledon 1976

The first of Borg’s five consecutive Wimbledon championships: Borg defeats Nastase 6-4 6-2 9-7

Not really regarded as a classic, but nonetheless interesting, this final between the mercurial Romanian and the cool Swede marks the debut of Borg’s era at Wimbledon.

Nastase, having reached the final in 1972 and leading in their head to head was the clear favorite, but the pressure was on his shoulders: this final was seen as his last chance to win Wimbledon.

Ilie Nastase

Bjorn Borg

Bjorn Borg - Ilie Nastase

Ilie Nastase

Bjorn Borg

Ilie Nastase

Winner at Roland Garros in 1974 and 1975, Borg reached the Wimbledon final in 1976 without dropping a set. He then demolished Nastase in straight sets. Borg became the youngest male Wimbledon champion of the modern era at 20 years and 1 month (a record subsequently broken by Boris Becker, who won Wimbledon aged 17 in 1985). It would be the last time Borg played Wimbledon as an underdog.

Bjorn Borg

Bjorn Borg

Bjorn Borg

With his long blonde hair and good looks, Bjorn Borg changed the face of tennis in the early 70s: winning Roland Garros made him a european celebrity, but winning Wimbledon made him a worldwilde celebrity, the first tennis popstar.

Bjorn Borg

After capturing 11 Grand Slam singles (six French, five Wimbledon) in the space of eight years, the enigmatic Swede quit the sport at only 26, mentally drained and physically exhausted.

In 1991 at the age of 34, Borg returned to tennis in the Monte Carlo Open. He looked like a ghost from the past, with his trademark headband, old wooden Donnay rackets and a strange guru.
I remember watching his match against Jordi Arrese, and it was quite pathetic: Borg was acting as if nothing had changed during his 10yrs hiatus. From 1991 to 1993, he played and lost 12 matchs before retiring for good.

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