Defeats Bjorn Borg 7-6, 6-1, 6-7, 5-7, 6-4.
Ali and Frazier had their trilogy which culminated with the “Thrilla in Manilla” in 1975. Five years later John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg staged their own epic battles. Granted, it was tennis not boxing; but arguably just exciting, and well, maybe more athletic as well.
The first time they faced each other in a Grand Slam final was at Wiimbledon. The “Gentlemen’s Singles” (I said it wasn’t as bloody.) was played on July 5, 1980. Borg won it, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6. The 18-16 fourth set tie breaker is considered to be one of, if not the greatest moments in the history of tennis.
Borg was the undisputed King of the tennis world, at least in terms of the French Open and Wimbledon. He won the French in 1974, 1975, 1977, 1979 and in 1980. 1980 also marked the fifth straight year that Borg won at Wimbledon.
The U.S. open was another story. He lost in the finals to Connors in 1976, and again in 1978.
In 1981 Borg defended his French Open title. It was Borg’s last Grand Slam victory. McEnroe finally ended Borg’s streak at Wimbledon, and then he beat him again at the U.S. Open.
John McEnroe, First Player Ever Ejected from an Australian Open Match, January 21, 1990
John McEnroe was playing the Swedish born Mikael Pernfors in the fourth round of the Australian Open. Pernfors was winning the third set of the match, 4 games to 2, but McEnroe was still ahead in the match, having won the first two out three sets. Then McEnroe missed a few shots, got the short end of a some close calls, and worst of all, got set off by crying baby. McEnroe yelled into the stands “Give him a drink, the boy’s hungry.”
One baby is asked to leave, then another
Umpire Gerry Armstrong asked the parents to take the baby out of the stadium, and the mother complied. Down 3-2 in the fourth set, McEnroe bounced his racket. He managed to get back to deuce, but then he smashed his racket again after hitting a forehand wide. This time he broke the head of the racket. Armstrong then hit McEnroe with a code violation. McEnroe answered with several expletives and asked to speak with Kevin Farrar, the chief of supervisors. McEnroe began swearing at Farrar and then with Farrar’s approval, Armstrong called out “Code violation, continued abuse. Default Mr. McEnroe. Game, set, match. And with that, McEnroe was in the record books as the first player ever ejected from an Australian Open match.