Mention Björn Borg in the context of Wimbledon and most people will think back to 1980 and his epic battle with John McEnroe. The sheer contrast in personalities between the fiery American and the cool Swede nicknamed The Ice Borg ensured that this would be a duel that would live long in the memory. Indeed they made a film about it!
But in fact that memorable clash was the fifth and final victory for Borg at Wimbledon before his unexpected retirement from the game at the age of just 25. Long before it took place, Borg began his astonishing run of five consecutive tournament wins in 1976, with a straight-sets victory over the temperamental Romanian Ilie Năstase. In doing so he became the first man ever to win at Wimbledon without dropping a set in any round.
He was also at the time the youngest ever male winner, having just turned twenty. Despite his youth he was blessed with great muscularity, allowing him to put real power into his delivery. Even as a teenager, when he was still learning his trade, he was frequently beating older opponents.
The Men’s Singles at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in 1976 was the beginning of an exciting, if somewhat fleeting era in the history of the sport and in its way was every bit as significant as the clash with McEnroe, which was to come four years later.
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