Ruthless Björkman ends Arthurs’s Wimbledon swansong

Jonas Björkman brought Wayne Arthurs's Wimbledon swansong to an abrupt halt as he won a battle of the old timers on Monday.

Arthurs, 36, had been contemplating going back on his decision to retire at the end of the tournament if he reached the quarter-finals at the All-England Club.

But Björkman, 35, produced a ruthless display to inflict a 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 defeat that is likely to herald the end of the Australian’s career, as he set up a fourth round meeting with seventh seed Tomas Berdych.

With a combined age of 71 it would have been no surprise to hear a few creaking bones as Björkman and Arthurs battled it out.

But Björkman, the 19th seed, had no reason to fear that age would hinder him. After all in 2006 he had become Wimbledon’s oldest semi-finalist for 19 years and he was able to dismiss his fellow veteran with ease.

Arthurs was presented with a wheelchair by Wimbledon changing room assistants in joking tribute to his victory over world number seven Tommy Robredo in the previous round.

But the exertions of playing three qualifying matches and then going straight into a Grand Slam finally seemed to have caught up with him.

If he does hang up his racket he would have preferred to have gone out with a more dynamic display than this.

Björkman broke in the fourth game and raced away with the first set.

Arthurs struggled to find his usual serve and volley rhythm and was broken again early in the second set as the Swede moved in for the kill.

Rain early in the third set offered Arthurs a chance to regroup, but Björkman broke immediately after the re-start and easily held serve to close out the tie.


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