'Rafael Nadal would be the opponent in my dream Roland Garros match,' Borg recalls

“Rafael Nadal would be the opponent in my dream match in Roland Garros,” recalls Borg

Bjorn Borg was the first teenage star of modern tennis, bursting onto the scene in 1972 and winning his first major title at Roland Garros two years later. By the end of 1978, the 22-year-old had captured almost 40 ATP titles and six majors, making huge strides toward becoming a tennis immortal.

By the end of 1980, Bjorn was a walking legend and one of the greatest players of all time, despite only turning 24 in June. One could only wonder where his limits were and where he would be at 30. Bjorn was the dominant figure on clay and grass and one of the hardest players to beat on both outdoor and indoor hard courts.

He used incredible stamina and fitness to crumble rivals and follow through with his shots, delivering his best tennis when it mattered most. Sick and tired of traveling and competing, Bjorn took a break in 1982 and never fully returned, remaining with 11 Major trophies and over 60 ATP titles.

The Swede won six Roland Garros titles between 1974 and 1981 and was considered the ultimate legend in Paris before Rafael Nadal stole his records in style. When asked about his dream Roland Garros clash, Borg said he would love to share the Paris court with Nadal in their prime.

Bj√∂rn knows he’s likely to lose this one, but still wants to experience what it’s like to play on the other side of the net against the most successful clay-court player of all time.

Bjorn Borg would have loved to face Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros.

“I think tennis has changed a lot in the last few decades; players hit the ball a lot harder today.

Tennis is one of the most amazing sports in the world and I love it so much. I would have done it again because I’m happy with what I’ve achieved in tennis and what the game has given me; it is a great satisfaction. The most noticeable change I see in tennis today is the racquets and strings.

Today you can hit with more topspin, that was completely different in the past. It would be interesting to see what the future holds in these segments. Making a name for yourself requires moving well and understanding how to hit forehands, backhands, volleys and a good serve.

You have to have a big heart and motivation to be a tennis player. You can’t say how your career will develop, but you must always dream of big goals and play with determination and desire. I would have liked to have played against Rafa Nadal at Roland Garros.

He was the best clay-court player in history and my biggest wish would be to play him in Paris in our prime. I’m sure he would beat me, but it would be a challenge of my life,” said Bjorn Borg.

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