Tennis legends John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg recreate iconic image from 1981 Wimbledon final 


Anyone for doubles? Tennis legends Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe recreate iconic image from 1981 Wimbledon final

  • Bjorn Borg, 66, and John McEnroe, 63, have recreated their iconic 1981 photo
  • The former tennis players mirrored the tracksuits tops they wore 40 years ago  
  • The famous double act came head to head 14 times between 1978 and 1981 

You cannot be serious! One of the fiercest rivalries in sport appears to have become a love match. Bjorn Borg, 66, and John McEnroe, 63, got together to recreate the scene from a game that reversed their fortunes four decades ago. 

In tracksuit tops mirroring those they wore in 1981 when McEnroe, then 22, unseated 25-year-old five times Wimbledon champion Borg, they returned to Centre Court. 

McEnroe even donned a red sweat band to complete the image. 

The rivalry of ice-cool Swede Borg and loud-mouthed American McEnroe had as much to do with their personalities as their desire to win. 

But the contest between them isn’t quite over. 

They paired up while in London to captain rival sides in the Laver Cup at London’s O2 Arena. 

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Borg heads Team Europe, while McEnroe runs Team World in the three-day event, which starts today. 

The famous double act came head to head 14 times between 1978 and 1981.

In tracksuit tops mirroring those they wore in 1981 when John McEnroe (right), then 22, unseated 25-year-old five times Wimbledon champion Bjorn Borg (left), they returned to Centre Court.

Bjorn Borg of Sweden (left) and John McEnroe of the United States stand together on Centre Court prior to competing in the Men's Singles Final at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships in 1981

Bjorn Borg of Sweden (left) and John McEnroe of the United States stand together on Centre Court prior to competing in the Men’s Singles Final at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships in 1981

In the summer of 1980 Borg was 24 and dominated the tennis scene, enjoying a four year reign at the Championships.

But one thing stood in his way, 21-year-old McEnroe appearing for the first time in the SW19 final after having won his first Grand Slam at the US Open.

Tennis golden boy Bjorn’s winning streak was almost immediately thrown into doubt with McEnroe cruising through the first set.

But Borg managed to fight back and took control of the match by winning the next two sets In the fourth set, he saw McEnroe save two match points with diving volleys.

The final was already destined to be the most memorable for years, but what came next was the famous Borg-McEnroe fourth set tie-break which made history.

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It was to range over 22 minutes, produce 34 contested points – a record for a Wimbledon final – and from start to finish produced moment after moment of changing fortunes.

McEnroe saved five championship points before eventually taking it 18-16 but the exhausted young star couldn’t hold on in the fifth set.

Borg was eventually crowned Champion by 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7, 8-6 – his fifth and last Wimbledon title.

A year later McEnroe would celebrate his first SW19 singles triumph in defeating the Swede over four sets.

He ended the tennis hero’s 41 match-winning streak in the most memorable fashion.

Before play even began, McEnroe had criticised the weather, the grass courts, the officiating, and concluded: ‘There’s nothing championship about this tournament except its prestige.’ 

Turning the tables on his rival he produced 64 winners to Borg’s 47, 23 of them in one set, and came through 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4 to dethrone the mighty Swede.

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