On this historic day… Bjorn Borg retires shortly after falling during the Las Vegas qualifiers

The Grand Prix Super Series, which preceded the current ATP Tour, included the Vegas event. The promoters had recently instituted a regulation requiring players to participate in ten or more events annually in order to be eligible for events based solely on ranking; otherwise, they would need to go through qualifying. Borg was eager to reduce his schedule and committed to just seven, having spent the majority of the previous few years at the top of the game.

After winning his sixth French Open title and finishing fourth in the rankings at the end of 1981, the Swede took a long hiatus before playing again in April 1982 at the Monte Carlo Country Club. The champions from 1979 and 1980 made it to the quarterfinals but were defeated by Yannick Noah of France. After that, Borg decided to take part in an invitational tournament in Tokyo, where he defeated Guillermo Vilas and Vince Van Patten in front of almost 15,000 spectators, earning $110,000 for his troubles. A few days later, he lost his second qualifying round match in Las Vegas because he lacked the same will to win. Dick Stockton, his rival, remarked, “I don’t think he had his heart in the qualifying.”

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