Bjorn Borg became a tennis legend already in his early 20's, as a winner of 11 Grand Slam crowns and more than 60 ATP titles overall. Together with Jimmy Connors, he was the dominant figure of the tennis in the 1970's and he entered a new decade ready to fight against the new young challengers, John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl.
In 1981, he was still at the top of his game, winning the Roland Garros title and losing the finals at Wimbledon and US Open to McEnroe, but some dark clouds were gathering over his tennis career, as he was sick of everything after almost 10 years on the Tour. In September that year, Bjorn won his 64th ATP title in Geneva, still at the age of 25, and no one could have predicted it would be the last time he lifted an ATP trophy.
Borg already reduced his schedule that season but the ATP didn't like the idea of him playing an even smaller number of matches in 1982, and the dispute was about to begin. The officials warned Borg that he will have to qualify for big events if he decides to take a break and that was unacceptable for the biggest tennis star in the past 10 years, who raised the popularity of the game to another level.
Sick and tired of everything, Bjorn played only 3 tournaments in the following 3 seasons, twice in Monte Carlo and once in Stuttgart, scoring just 3 wins and losing to Yannick Noah and Henri Leconte. After July 1984, Swede stayed away from the tennis court until 1991, when he announced a surprising comeback in Monte Carlo, just before his 35th birthday.
Out of shape and with the long-forgotten wooden racquet, Bjorn lost to Jordi Arrese in straight sets, and 8 tournaments he played in 1992 also turned to be a disaster, as he failed to win a set in any of them! In November 1993 Bjorn came to Moscow, to what will be his last tournament in a career, losing to Alexander Volkov in the first round on November 10, in what will be remembered as his last match in the professional career. This was his third match of the season and he at least managed to win a set in all of them, but the Russian came from behind to beat the legend by 4-6 6-3 7-6 in an hour and 55 minutes, with 3 breaks on each side.
Bjorn had a match point in the tie break but Volkov saved it to celebrate by 9-7, sending Bjorn into a retirement after delivering his 14th consecutive loss in the span of 10 years, and it was really an extraordinary end of a career that threatened to be the greatest ever at one point.
37-year-old announced this was his last match on the Tour and that he is glad he played on a high level. ALSO READ: Next Gen ATP Finals: Andrey Rublev and Hyeon Chung set the title match