John McEnroe, 1981 US Open champion

From John McEnroe‘s autobiography, Serious:

Borg and I split the first two sets, and he was ahead 4-2 in the third. He had broken me twice, and was serving to go up 5-2, but I hit two great topspin-lob winners over his head in that game, and after the second one I could have sworn I saw the air go out of him.

From there on in, it looked as if Bjorn was doing something I had never seen from him before: throwing in the towel. After having been down 2-4 in the third, I wound up winning that set 6-4 and cruising through the fourth, 6-2. In the last set, it looked to me as though he was barely trying.

“There are times – usually in exhibitions, but sometimes even in big tournaments – when you feel so bad physically or mentally that you’re simply not able to go all-out. It’s a tricky situation. You don’t want to lose by just missing every ball, so you hit a shot and leave a part of the court open.
At that point, your body language clearly says “I’m not going to cover that – just hit it there, it’ll be a winner, and the people will think, “Look, he was too good”. That’s what happened with Sampras when he played Lleyton Hewitt in the final of the 2001 Open: Pete had just run out of gas – he looked as if he had glue on his feet.
And that’s what happened with Borg in 81 – except that it did’t look physical to me.”
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I’ve had the chance to win 2 entry tickets for the Optima Open, the belgian stop of the ATP Champions Tour, so I spent a nice day last Friday in Knokke-Heist, Belgium.

Situated in the heart of the country’s Flemish-speaking Flanders region, Knokke-Heist is considered to be one of Belgium’s most exclusive and affluent seaside resorts.

Knokke-Heist

Knokke-Heist

Knokke-Heist
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Borg, McEnroe Wimbledon 1981

I had been famous for a few years now, but Wimbledon in ’81 is where I became infamous.

John McEnroe

Excerpts from McEnroe‘s autobiography, Serious:

“I was unbelievably tense at Wimbledon in 1981 because I knew, after beating Borg at the Open, that I could win it, should win it, would win it – unless disaster struck.
Well, disaster did strike, and kept striking, round after round, and somehow I kept getting through – endearing myself to nobody in the process.

It began at the beginning.

Although this was to become one of my famous matches, I’m positive almost nobody remembers who I played, and when I played it: Tom Gullikson, first round, Wimbledon 1981. Court One.

I had behaved badly at Wimbledon before. I was already Super Brat. Now I upped the ante. Tom could be a pretty tough opponent on grass, but i had a much tougher adversary out there that day. Even though I would eventually win in straight sets 7-6 7-5 6-3, I just couldn’t rest easy when I got ahead: the devils were crawling all over my brain that afternoon. When Gullikson went ahead 4-3 in the second set on a miserable line call, I smashed my Wilson Pro Staff racket, and James issued me a warning. And later, when a linesman called a serve deep that I had clearly seen throw up a spray of chalk, I threw my new racket and gave a scream that came straight from Queens – but that has traveled very far in the years since.”

Man, you cannot be serious!

[youtube width=”480″ height=”385″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekQ_Ja02gTY[/youtube]

You guys are the absolute pits of the world.

The umpire understood “You guys are the piss of the world” and gave Mac a point penalty. McEnroe demanded to see the referee, and yelled:

We’re not going to have a point taken away because this guy is an incompetent fool!

After the match, McEnroe was fined $750 for the obscenity, $750 for an unsportsmanlike comment about the umpire, and threatened with an additional 10000 fine and suspension from the tournament.

And I want you to understand: I felt terrible. I’ve felt awful virtually every time I’ve had one of my on-court meldowns.

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Bjorn loves John

One was calm and collected.
One was fierce and furious.
Together, they changed tennis forever.

Björn <3 John is a limited edition underwear collection celebrating the single greatest duo in sports history.

With double designs and part of the proceeds going straight to charity, Björn Borg and John McEnroe team up in the Swedish Underwear Liberation.

Four different skivvy styles will make up the collection, two of which are designed by Borg and two by McEnroe. The collection is inspired by the ’80s, better known as the golden age of tennis. Among the collection will be 100 pieces of extra limited edition underwear. Featuring the real signatures of Borg and McEnroe, they’ll be randomly sold at Bjorn Borg retailers around the world.
Pre-order on bjornborg.com

A nice way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their last Wimbledon clash.

Bjorn Borg – calm and collected

John McEnroe – fierce and furious

I was at Roland Garros today, not for the womens final because I didn’t manage to get tickets (by the way, congrats to Na Li for her historic victory) but for the Trophée des Légendes.

But first, on Court 7 today, an exhibition between Jim Courier, Andre Agassi, Mansour Bahrami and young players of the Longines Future Tennis Aces tournament.

Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi

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