In a particularly starless field, one star stands out this week at the Blackrock Tour of Champions ATP senior tour stop in Algarve, Portugal — Bjorn Borg.
The ATP says, “The former World No. 1, who won six French Open and five Wimbledon titles, will join a wealth of Grand Slam winners such as John McEnroe, Goran Ivanisevic, Pat Cash and Boris Becker on the Tour, which culminates at the BlackRock Masters Tennis at London’s Royal Albert Hall, 4-9 December.”
Unfortunately the “wealth of Grand Slam winners” forgot to show in Algarve, whose field is comprised of Fernando Meligeni, Nuno Marques, Andres Gomez, Thomas Muster, Cedric Pioline, Michael Stich, and Sergi Bruguera in addition to the Swedish legend.
Borg, who has been in training for a run at the senior tour, will likely appear in more events later this year.
“It’s going to be fun,” Borg told the BlackRock Tennis Champions Podcast. “I’ve been playing a lot of tennis lately to get ready for this and physically I feel great. I’m looking forward to taking on the guys and particularly it would be nice to get the chance to play John McEnroe again.”
Basically, if Borg has been keeping track of the senior tour, it’s not going to be all that fun — he doesn’t want any part of McEnroe, or Marcelo Rios, or Goran Ivanisevic, or any of a handful of top senior players who are still playing so close to their tour-level game that they will likely bagel the Swede. Borg’s game hasn’t aged well, but the attraction — or curiosity — is still there.
“It’s fantastic that he’s coming out and playing again,” Pat Cash told the BlackRock Tennis Champions Podcast. “He still looks super-fit and the way he can run and move the ball around will be a challenge for the guys. To have a legend like him on the tour will be really special. He’s the original rock star of tennis. It’ll be great to see him.”
But will it be great to see him go 0-3 in Algarve? Or can the 51-year-old legend reach deep (deep, deep) down for some Borg magic? Bjorn-again on the senior tour — in a pro tennis world that needs more “stunts” and comebacks, maybe Bjorn can grab a Wimbledon wildcard next year when Pete Sampras will likely also be ready to re-take the All England Club.
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