When John McEnroe stepped on the court against Bjorn Borg at Wimbledon in 1980, it was only his second grand slam final and his first at Wimbledon. Borg was seeking his fifth consecutive Wimbledon title and 10th grand slam win.
The two played what is considered by many to be the or one of the greatest tennis matches ever, with the highlight being McEnroe’s holding off Borg in a 34-point tie-breaker to force a final set which Borg ultimately won. Borg won the match 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7 (16), 8-6.
McEnroe scored revenge at the U.S. Open in September and then again in Wimbledon and the U.S. Open the next year in Borg’s last two grand slam finals.
The match and the rivalry between tennis’ reigning king and its rising star are credited with continuing to fuel tennis rise in popularity in the U.S.
The Borg-McEnroe rivalry is the subject of an HBO Documentary: Fire & Ice.