Bjorn Borg was the first teenage star of modern tennis, bursting onto the scene in 1972 and winning his first Major title at Roland Garros two years later. By the end of 1978, the 22-year-old had already conquered almost 40 ATP titles and six Majors, taking huge strides towards a place among the immortals of tennis.
By the late 1980s, Bjorn was a walking legend and one of the greatest players of all time despite turning just 24 in June, and one could only have wondered where his limits were and where he would rank at 30. Bjorn was the dominant figure on clay and turf and one of the toughest players to beat on indoor and outdoor hard courts, using incredible stamina and fitness to knock down his opponents and lay down his blows.
Sick and tired of traveling and racing, Bjorn decided to take a break in 1982 and never quite came back, taking home 11 Major trophies and more than 60 ATP titles. The Swede claimed six Roland Garros trophies between 1974-1981, establishing himself as the top legend in Paris before Rafael Nadal broke records in style for him.
When asked about the Roland Garros clash of his dreams, Borg said that he would love to share the Paris court with Nadal in his prime. Aware that he probably would have lost it, Bjorn would still like to experience what it's like to be on the other side of the net against the most successful clay court player of all time.
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"I've been better, but I'm fine. A little sore from the foot. It is a time that is a bit complicated on a personal and professional level, but, honestly, with the illusion of improving and facing a process that is going to be difficult and painful at some point but that I have to go through to put myself back in a position to fight for what I want.
I am determined to do it" - Rafael Nadal explained. "The script was playing at Wimbledon, the Olympics or the US Open. In the script was not being lame today (laughs). He has been lame for a few days. But the scripts are not to be followed to the letter.
You have to adapt and accept things as they come. I have had fantastic things, bigger things than I would have ever dreamed of, and also more complicated moments in the form of injuries, but within what is possible I have always had a way to get ahead.
Over the years, one must be realistic and things are more complicated because the clock is ticking, but I am positive and I appreciate how lucky I am to be able to experience this kind of thing" - Nadal concluded.