Tennis is a sport that is known to instill a gladiatorial spirit in players like no other. It is perhaps for this reason that we have seen a number of great rivalries. One of the most prominent ones was between John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg. The two have, between them, won the 18 Grand Slam titles.
McEnroe and Bjorg were players with contrasting approaches to the game and personalities. Where McEnroe was known for his short temper and the court-side tantrums that he threw, Bjorg possessed a famously calm demeanor and remained almost emotionless for better parts of matches. Bjorg was also the superstar of his time and is widely credited with increasing the popularity of the sport. Their contrasting personalities and public image meant that the rivalry was often described as “Fire and Ice.”
The most famous match-up between the two was the men’s singles final at the 1980 Wimbledon, widely rated as the greatest Tennis match of all time. McEnroe came into the match as the heel and was booed by the crowd, mainly due to the heated exchanges he had with the officials during his semi-finals against Jimmy Connors. The match was played accross five sets with the fourth set tie breaker lasting 20 minutes. McEnroe was the man who won at the end of the 20 minutes but he was unable to break Bjorg’s serve in the fifth set and thus, the latter won the grass-court Grand Slam.
The movie ‘Bjorg vs McEnroe’ is centred around that match. It stars Shia LaBeouf as McEnroe and Swedish actor Sverrir Gudnason as Borg. The movie is set for a release later in 2017. The film is mixed with English and Swedish being the two dominant spoken languages, in accordance with that of the two characters.