Long live the ancient King of Roland Garros: A tribute to Bjorn Borg.

What’s up, have you gone crazy?”Almost every day, we are asked a casual question like this. Nine times out of ten, neither the speaker nor the receiver consider the statement’s meaning seriously. In contrast, when John McEnroe contacted Bjorn Borg six years ago, he was completely somber. The American, who had spent his entire life with a violent temper, continued the phone call with firm conviction and purpose. In the end, Bjorn Borg was left with the silence of a finished conversation and his five Wimbledon trophies back at home. Borg, who had planned to auction them off, saw reason only after tennis royalty such as Andre Agassi and Jimmy Connors implored him not to sell.

Why would two generations of the best tennis players in history stand up to safeguard an athlete’s silverware? The answer rests in attempting to understand what produces the feeling of protectiveness toward someone. Bjorn Borg was a rockstar. He was to Andre Agassi as Black Sabbath was to Iron Maiden. He was the one man everyone adored and couldn’t despise. Borg wore looks, game, and physique like a mannequin in a Gucci store. More than anything else, he had a significant impact on how the game eventually evolved. Tennis owed him both, gaining a million new fans and leaving an indelible mark on fashion.

All in all, Borg won 11 Grand Slam titles. Unlike most other tennis greats, Borg was likely the only one who never achieved success on hard courts. He won Roland Garros a record six championships, a feat surpassed only by Rafael Nadal last year. His other five majors came at the All England Club. Only Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have been able to replicate the RG-Wimbledon double, which is considered the most difficult in tennis. Borg accomplished thNo article about the Iceberg is complete without mentioning the 1980 Wimbledon singles final, which is now regarded as one of the best matches ever played, second only to the Federer-Nadal classic that occurred 28 years later. In a match that took the term ‘drama’ to new heights, Borg had championship points at 5-4, which McEnroe snatched away. The tiebreaker that followed, dubbed ‘THE tiebreaker’ in today’s tennis world, consisted of 34 points of seat-breaking chaos. McEnroe won the break but not the match.is three times, from 1978 to 1980.

No article about the Iceberg is complete without mentioning the 1980 Wimbledon singles final, which is now regarded as one of the best matches ever played, second only to the Federer-Nadal classic that occurred 28 years later. In a match that took the term ‘drama’ to new heights, Borg had championship points at 5-4, which McEnroe snatched away. The tiebreaker that followed, dubbed ‘THE tiebreaker’ in today’s tennis world, consisted of 34 points of seat-breaking chaos. McEnroe won the break but not the match.

Today, Mr. Borg has seen everything. His retirement, failed comeback, attempted sleeping pill suicide, and bankruptcy are all part of his legacy. In Sweden, his namesake apparel brand ranks second only to Calvin Klein. At 56, he has earned the right to relax and repose in peace as former tennis royalty. We wish him a happy birthday and a wonderful future.

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