On this day: Bjorn Borg calls it a career in Moscow after a terrible streak

by   |  VIEW 2648

On this day: Bjorn Borg calls it a career in Moscow after a terrible streak

Bjorn Borg was the first teenage star of modern tennis, bursting onto the scene in 1972 and winning his first titles in 1974, including Roland Garros. By the end of 1978, the Swede had conquered 41 ATP titles and six Majors, forging his way towards undisputed tennis glory and one of the best players of all time.

At the end of 1980, Bjorn was a walking legend despite only turning 24 in June, and one could have only wondered what his career would look like when he turns 30! Borg was the dominant figure on both clay and grass and one of the toughest players to beat on outdoor hard courts and indoor as well, using incredible stamina and fitness to crumble rivals and impose his strokes on the court.

There was only one problem in that fairy tale, the fact Bjorn became sick and tired of everything after eight years of endless traveling around the world, desperate to take a break from tennis. The ATP officials did not like the idea, afraid of losing their biggest star even for half a year, warning him that he would be forced to play qualifications once he decides to come back.

That was unacceptable for one of the sport's most excellent figures who had raised the popularity of the sport to another level. Thus, Bjorn decided to play only ten ATP events in 1981, winning his last Major title in Paris and losing Wimbledon and the US Open finals to John McEnroe, which strengthened his decision to take a break even more!

The great Swede claimed his 66th and last ATP title in Geneva on September 27, 1981, still at 25, with not a single person in the tennis world believing that this would be the last trophy he lifted in a career!

Bjorn Borg retired after the first-round loss in Moscow 1993.

Between 1982-84, Borg played only three ATP tournaments, staying away from the court until Monte Carlo 1991, when he made a surprising comeback, just before his 35th birthday.

Out of shape and with the long-forgotten wooden racquet, Bjorn lost to Jordi Arrese in straight sets, with eight tournaments on his schedule in 1992 also turning into a disaster after failing to win at least a set! In November 1993, Bjorn came to Moscow to play his last tournament in a career, losing to Alexander Volkov in the first round on November 9 to complete his incredible tennis journey.

It was Bjorn's third match of the season, taking a set in all of them and pushing Volkov to the limits before the Russian came from a set down to beat the legend 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 in an hour and 55 minutes, with three breaks on each side.

Bjorn had a match point in the tie break that Volkov saved to take it 9-7, sending the Swede into retirement after 14 straight losses in the previous ten years for an extraordinary end of a career that could have been the greatest ever.