Bjorn Borg meets Rod Laver in their only Major duel. Who wins?

Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver played at the 1975 US Open

by Jovica Ilic
Bjorn Borg meets Rod Laver in their only Major duel. Who wins?
© Tony Duffy / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver are among the most decorated players in tennis history, winning 11 Major crowns each. Their only match at Majors came at the 1975 US Open, with the younger player winning in four sets. Growing up in different eras, Laver and Borg had different play styles.

Still, they were equally efficient, crumbling the rivals at the net or from the baseline and securing a place among the top tier of men's tennis. No one will ever repeat what Bjorn Borg achieved before turning 26. The Swede became a walking legend, earning over 60 ATP titles in no time before deciding to take a break, never returning to the competitive level after 1981.

On the other hand, Rod Laver had the opportunity to display his greatness for two decades. The Aussie achieved the real Grand Slam in 1962 at 24 and turned pro the following season, staying away from Majors until 1968 when the Open era started, just a couple of months before his 30th birthday.

In their only match at Majors, Bjorn Borg beat Rod Laver at the 1975 US Open.

In the age when technical skills had the upper hand over physical strength, The Rocket lifted almost 70 ATP titles between 1968 and 1975, securing his second Grand Slam in 1969 and staying in the top-10 until age 37.

Between 1974 and 1978, Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver played seven official matches on the Tour. The young gun took a commanding victory in Barcelona 1974 on clay before the Aussie bounced back in Tokyo and Houston later that year.

Their fourth and by far the most entertaining encounter came at the famous Dallas WCT event in 1975 when Laver scored a 7-6, 3-6, 5-7, 7-6, 6-2 victory, one of his best in the closing stages of a career. On September 1, 1975, Bjorn and Rod stepped on the court in the US Open fourth round, in what was their only Major clash.

Bjorn scored a 6-1, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 victory in two hours and six minutes en route to a place in the quarter-final. The surface in New York changed from grass to clay that year, and despite keeping the green color, Laver liked nothing about it.

The veteran disliked the high bounce after Borg's tops-spin strokes that forced him to hit from awkward positions and spray a lot of errors against his doubles partner. Making a debut at Forest Hills almost two decades ago, this was also the last US Open encounter for a two-time champion.

Laver never returned to New York, staying on 44 victories at a Major that produced some incredible moments for him, especially in 1962 and 1969.

Bjorn Borg Rod Laver Us Open