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ATP Heritage: Bjorn Borg, 1979-80

On 23 August, ATP celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Emirates ATP Rankings. We continue our countdown with a look at Bjorn Borg, the 1970-80 year-end No. 1. #ATPHeritage

Bjorn Borg was the first European tennis superstar and the greatest of all clay-courters, until the emergence of Rafael Nadal, who was raised in the small Swedish town of Södertälje.

Borg first became No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, for one week, on 23 August 1977 at the age of 21 years, two months. He had already been a travelling pro for seven years. "I pushed myself,” said Borg. “It came from my heart, I wanted it for myself."

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Starting in 1976 he won six Roland Garros crowns and five consecutive titles at The Championships, Wimbledon. He spent six periods at the summit of men's professional tennis for 109 weeks in total.

Read ATP Heritage: Borg At The Championships

Borg was the year-end No. 1 in 1979 and 1980. "When you are a kid you have dreams, like winning Wimbledon, but to be No. 1, that's something different," said Borg. "I remember when I was there it was a great feeling. It is a terrific achievement; it is just so difficult to do. It was tough – very tough."

Borg quit the sport in 1981, not long after he turned 25.

Read more about Borg in "No. 1", our special commemorative coffee table book, celebrating all year-end ATP World Tour No. 1s over the past 40 years. Buy Online Through Tennis Warehouse: Europe | Outside Europe

This year, the ATP pays special tribute to 25 former World No. 1s as part of the ATP Heritage programme, marking 40 years since the ranking system was introduced in 1973.


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