John McEnroe Regrets Rival Borg's Early Retirement - UBITENNIS
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John McEnroe Regrets Rival Borg’s Early Retirement

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Bjorn Borg (L) and John McEnroe (zimbio.com)

John McEnroe wished his rivalry with Sweden’s Bjorn Borg could have been extended during their competitive careers.

 

The former world No.1 faced off against Borg 14 times between 1978-1981 with their head-to-head level at 7-7. Together they contested in four grand slam finals with McEnroe triumphing in three of those. At the age of 26 Bjog stunned the world in 1983 when he announced his retirement from the sport. The Swede did stage a few comeback attempts, but all of those proved unsuccessful.

“I always wished we had played more. I know he made me a better player and I hope I made him better at some stage.” McEnroe said about Bjorg.
“It would have been fantastic. I tried to talk him out of stopping many, many moons ago. Even if I had lost my No. 1 ranking, I would have preferred he kept playing.”

Unlike his former rival, McEnroe kept regularly playing on the tour until the age of 33. He played his last match at the 1994 Rotterdam Open. During his career, he won 77 ATP titles of which seven occurred in a grand slam event.

“There was a saying by an old basketball player which used to be true, I guess it’s not with Roger, he said, ‘The older I get, the better I used to be.’ That was definitely holding true for me.” He reflected about the end of his career.
“I was going down the wrong way. If I thought that I could have won — I kept going and hoping and praying I could win another major and it didn’t happen. So that’s the way it went.”

McEnroe and Borg remain influential figures in the world of tennis, but in a different format. McEnroe works as a sports commentator and briefly mentored Milos Raonic in 2016. Borg never went into coaching, but managed to establish a highly successful clothing brand in 1984.

This weekend the two are the Laver Cup captains, with McEnroe leading team world and Bjorg in charge of team Europe. The first day saw Europe take a 3-1 lead at the packed O2 Arena in Prague.

“I think the event is first class. I think anyone that’s been here sees that. It’s great when there is so much energy, guys rooting for each other.” McEnroe explained.
“I think it has the potential and probably — I’m hopeful, just as a tennis fan and an ex-tennis player and now alleged coach, that it’s going to be a great event in the future.”

The second day of the Laver Cup will see Federer and Rafael Nadal team up in the doubles match.

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Barbora Krejcikova reaches both singles and doubles final at Roland Garros

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Barbora Krejcikova has qualified for the singles and doubles finals at Roland Garros this weekend, as she and Katerina Siniakova claimed a 6-1 6-2 win over Magda Linette and Bernarda Pera. 

 

Krejcikova has the chance to become the first player to win both the women’s singles and doubles titles at Roland Garros since Mary Pierce claimed both tournaments in 2000. Serena Williams is the most recently player to win both the singles and doubles titles at any Grand Slam tournament, at Wimbledon 2016.

The Czech team will take on Bethanie Mattek Sands froand last year’s Roland Garros singles champion Iga Swiatek, who beat Irina Camelia Begu and Nadia Podoroska 6-3 6-4. Swiatek reached the quarter final this year in the singles tournament. Krejcikova and Siniakova have qualified for both Grand Slam women’s doubles finals this season. They lost to Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka at the 2021 Australian Open last February. 

Krejcikova and Siniakova are bidding to win their second Roland Garros women’s doubles title. 

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Felix Auger Aliassime and Marin Cilic reach the semifinals in Stuttgart

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Felix Auger Aliassime needed two tie-breaks in his 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) win over Frenchman Ugo Humbert to move into the semifinals of the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart. 

 

Auger Aliassime did not convert three match points in the tie-break of the second set and had to fend off a set point before winning three consecutive points to secure his spot in the quarter finals. 

Auger Aliassime set up a semifinal clash against US qualifier Sam Querrey, who saved a match point at 4-5 in the second set in his 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 win over Swiss wild-card Dominic Stephan Sricker. 

Marin Cilic edged past Denis Shapovalov 7-5 7-6 ((7-3). The Croatian star beat Rudolf Molleker and Nikoloz Basilashvili without dropping a set this week. 

Shapovalov was playing for the second time on Friday after beating Feliciano Lopez 6-2 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 in a second-match delayed from Thursday because of rain. 

Cilic set up a semifinal clash against Austria’s Juri Rodionov, who came back from one set down to beat Alex De Minaur 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-4). 

“I felt I was applying a little more pressure during that first set and I capitalised on the on the couple of break points, which was definitely big. I also had the two match points at the end of the second set, did not convert them, but played a really good tie-break. You always have to expect tough battles against top guys like Denis Shapovalov and it was like that today”, said Cilic.

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Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicholas Mahut save three match points to reach the doubles final at Roland Garros

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Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut saved three match points in their 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 win over Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the semifinals of the Roland Garros doubles tournament. 

 

Herbert and Mahut are playing for the sixth time at Roland Garros together. They have claimed all four Grand Slam titles as a team and have a chance to win their second Roland Garros titles. 

Cabal and Farah held three match points when Herbert and Mahut and Herbert were serving at 3-5 in the second set. The Frenchmen broke serve in the next game, when Cabal and Farah were serving for a spot in the final. 

Herbert and Mahut will face Alexander Bublik and Andrey Golubev in the final. Bublik and Goubev came back from one set down to beat Pablo Andujar and Pedro Martinez 1-6 6-4 6-4. 

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