Laver Cup 2019: Borg and McEnroe to extend Laver Cup rivalry to 2020
Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe will continue in their role as Laver Cup team captains in 2020
Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe, great rivals as professionals when they ruled the tennis stage in the 1970s and ‘80s, and now great friends, will continue in their role as Laver Cup team captains in 2020.
The two greats have imprinted their distinctive style on the competition—Borg famed for his ice cool demeanour in contrast with the mercurial McEnroe—pursuit of the coveted Laver Cup trophy, named in honour of tennis legend Rod Laver, whom they both revere.
Borg, who won 11 Major singles titles, said:
“I just love this event and all that it represents, it’s the best week of the year.
“It’s been an absolute privilege to captain Team Europe with such dedicated champions in my fold. This weekend we are all doing everything we can to ensure that we keep the trophy in Europe.”
McEnroe, winner of seven Major singles titles and another 10 in doubles, and world No1 for 170 weeks at the height of his career, concurred:
“The Laver Cup is a highlight of my year. It encapsulates everything that is great about tennis: the best players, striving to win for their team in a format that has fans jumping out of their seats.
“We’ve always been the underdogs, but we have come close to upsetting the blue team, and are giving everything we’ve got to take the prize this year.”
Borg and McEnroe met 22 times on the pro tour, winning 11 times each. With a rivalry described as ‘fire and ice’, they competed for tennis supremacy three decades ago. They will be remembered by many for their epic 18-16 tiebreaker in the fourth set of the Wimbledon 1980 final, which Borg eventually won. McEnroe won the following year, ending the cool Swede’s five-year run at the event.
Now good friends, McEnroe and Borg said they are keen to continue the legacy of the Laver Cup, a celebration of Rod Laver, who won the calendar Grand Slam in 1962 and 1969.
“Laver is one of the most loved people in tennis,” said Borg. “It is an honour to take part in this event, which celebrates everything he stood for.”
“There is no greater champion than Rod,” added McEnroe. “He won 11 majors and dominated as an amateur player in the ‘60s and as a pro. He is a hero of the sport.”
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BIOGRAPHY: Daniel Sturridge