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TENNIS

Career over for tennis veteran Björkman

Swedish tennis star Jonas Björkman's glittering career came to an end on Friday as he and partner Kevin Ullyett were eliminated from the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai.

Career over for tennis veteran Björkman

Björkman’s 17-year on court career earned him nine Grand Slam doubles titles.

The Swede was treated to a special ceremony at Qi Zhong Stadium after he and Ullyett were knocked out of the Tennis Masters Cup doubles.

“They reminded me a little bit that this is obviously maybe my last match,” said Björkman, who noticed preparations for the farewell ceremony during the match.

“You know, I was trying to do everything possible to stay alive one more day, or maybe two.”

Björkman won all four doubles Grand Slams as well as the 1998 Davis Cup with Sweden and also reached the 1997 US Open singles semi-final and the last four at Wimbledon just two years ago.

Björkman and Ullyett fell to Poland’s Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski as the Swede failed in his bid for a third year-end title.

“I still think it’s great to end my career in the biggest event of the year, even if I would have gone further. But you can’t have everything,” he said.

“I’ve been mentally prepared for this because I’m mentally very ready to retire. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to play for so long.”

Björkman, who will now concentrate on editing a Swedish tennis magazine, cited the 1997 US Open loss to Britain’s Greg Rusesdski as his biggest regret.

“Obviously losing to Greg Rusedski in the semi-final was a tough loss because I think that was a chance for me maybe to go all the way,” he said.

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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