Borg to sell Wimbledon trophies

Björn Borg, the Swedish tennis player who became the first man to win five consecutive singles titles at Wimbledon, is to auction the trophies and the wooden-headed racket from his most famous match.

A number of British newspapers reported Friday that the player, famous for his headband, flowing locks and steely nerve on court, was putting the items up for sale with the racket with which he beat John McEnroe in the 1980 final.

They will go under the hammer at London auction house Bonhams’ in June, The Times said.

The trophies, from the championships between 1976 and 1980, are expected to sell for between 200,000 and 300,000 pounds, a Bonhams’ spokeswoman was quoted as saying.

Borg, 49, was quoted as saying it was not easy to part with the trophies but accepted he needed “some long-term financial security” for himself and family.

The ideal buyer would be either a tennis collector or “suitable institution where they can be appreciated by a wider number of people”, he said.

“Even though the symbols of my victories are being sold, what I will always retain is the knowledge that for such a long period I was the supreme world champion,” he added.

Borg won 11 Grand Slam titles between 1973 and 1981. After retiring, he went on to lose money to a number of business ventures and divorces.

His 1980 clash with McEnroe has been seen by many to be one of tennis’ greatest games after a nailbiting fourth-set tiebreak went to 18-16 before Borg took the fifth set.

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