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TENNIS

McEnroe win draws crowds to Stockholm

The Superbrat is finally back playing tennis in Sweden after a lengthy absence. John McEnroe hooked up with Jonas Björkman in the Stockholm Open doubles tournament yesterday and showed no signs of having lost his touch.

McEnroe and Björkman needed just two short sets to see off Johan Landsberg and Andreas Vinciguerra, the latter coming on court immediately after a draining singles defeat.

The ageing star is the tournament’s main attraction by quite some distance. Rafael Nadal may be one of the world’s current top players but it was McEnroe who drew the largest crowd ever for a Stockholm Open game when he appeared on court late yesterday evening.

The Swedish tennis fraternity remembers well the heady days, twenty years ago and more, when McEnroe and local boy Björn Borg fought endless battles for supremacy tennis courts all over the world.

In two weeks’ time Borg and McEnroe will meet up in Dubai for one last match.

“There is an incredible excitement every time he and I meet on a tennis court. There is a tradition there and it is a classic encounter that audiences come to see with Wimbledon finals in mind. It is always very enjoyable, and not just for us,” Borg told TT.

McEnroe’s famous temperament once flared to boiling point in this very arena. Speaking to Biofile, the player recalls his reaction to a questionable line call in 1984:

“I went ballistic. Called the umpire a jerk. Whacked a ball into the stands. Then smacked a soda can with my racquet, and got soda all over the King of Sweden who was sitting in the front row.”

Scenes like these are not likely when McEnroe and his partner meet Todd Perry and Simon Aspelin in the next round.

SPORT

Björn Borg’s son Leo set to make his Wimbledon debut

Four decades after Swedish tennis legend Björn Borg won a fifth consecutive Wimbledon title, his 16-year-old son Leo Borg is reportedly set to make his debut at the tournament.

Björn Borg's son Leo set to make his Wimbledon debut
Leo Borg's Wimbledon debut is yet to be officially confirmed. Photo: Hanna Franzén/TT

According to reports in British tabloid The Sun and Swedish tabloid Expressen, Borg will be awarded a wildcard to play in the Wimbledon junior event.

“Leo is very grateful about getting a wildcard for the qualifiers to junior Wimbledon,” Björn Borg told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet.

“It will be an incredible experience and useful practice for the future,” he added.

A spokeswoman for the Wimbledon tournament did not want to confirm the decision, only saying that wildcard announcements and the main draw for the Juniors tournament would be made next week.

If confirmed, Leo Borg’s Wimbledon debut comes 39 years after Björn Borg defeated American rival John McEnroe, winning him his fifth consecutive Wimbledon title.

The iconic match has been called one of the greatest matches of all time and the story was adapted for the screen in the 2017 feature film Borg vs McEnroe, where Leo, bearing a striking resemblance to his fatther, played a younger version of Björn Borg.

During the 1970s and early 1980s Björn Borg won a total of 11 Grand Slam titles, five Wimbledons and six French Opens.


Björn Borg after winning his fifth consecutive Wimbledon title in 1980. Photo: Scanpix/TT

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