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Tennis legends John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg recreate iconic image from 1981 Wimbledon final 

Anyone for doubles? Tennis legends Bjørn Borg and John McEnroe recreate an iconic image from the 1981 Wimbledon final

  • Bjørn Borg, 66, and John McEnroe, 63, have recreated their iconic photo from 1981
  • The former tennis players mirrored the tracksuits they wore 40 years ago
  • The famous double act came head-to-head 14 times between 1978 and 1981
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You can not be serious! One of the fiercest rivalries in sports appears to have become a love match. Bjørn Borg, 66, and John McEnroe, 63, teamed up to recreate the scene from a game that turned their fortunes four decades ago.

In tracksuit tops that mirrored those they wore in 1981 when McEnroe, then 22, ousted 25-year-old five-time Wimbledon champion Borg, they returned to Center Court.

McEnroe even donned a red sweatband to complete the look.

The rivalry between the icy Swede Borg and the loud American McEnroe had as much to do with their personalities as their desire to win.

But the competition between them is not quite over.

They paired up while in London to captain rival sides in the Laver Cup at London’s O2 Arena.

Borg leads Team Europe while McEnroe runs Team World in the three-day event, which starts today.

The famous double act came head-to-head 14 times between 1978 and 1981.

In tracksuit tops that mirrored those they wore in 1981, when John McEnroe (right), then 22, dethroned 25-year-old five-time Wimbledon champion Bjørn Borg (left), they returned to Center Court.
In tracksuit tops that mirrored those they wore in 1981, when John McEnroe (right), then 22, dethroned 25-year-old five-time Wimbledon champion Bjørn Borg (left), they returned to Center Court.

In tracksuit tops that mirrored those they wore in 1981, when John McEnroe (right), then 22, dethroned 25-year-old five-time Wimbledon champion Bjørn Borg (left), they returned to Center Court.

Bjørn Borg of Sweden (left) and John McEnroe of the United States stand together on Center Court before competing in the men's singles final at the 1981 Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships
Bjørn Borg of Sweden (left) and John McEnroe of the United States stand together on Center Court before competing in the men's singles final at the 1981 Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships

Bjørn Borg of Sweden (left) and John McEnroe of the United States stand together on Center Court before competing in the men’s singles final at the 1981 Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships

By the summer of 1980, Borg was 24 and dominating the tennis scene, enjoying a four-year reign at the championships.

But one thing stood in his way, 21-year-old McEnroe was making his first appearance in the SW19 final after winning his first Grand Slam at the US Open.

Tennis golden boy Bjørn’s winning streak was thrown into doubt almost immediately when McEnroe cruised through the first set.

But Borg managed to fight back and took control of the match by winning the next two sets. In the fourth set, he saw McEnroe save two match points with diving volleys.

The final was already destined to be the most memorable for years, but what came next was the famous Borg-McEnroe fourth set tie-break, which made history.

It was to last 22 minutes, produce 34 contested points – a record for a Wimbledon final – and from start to finish produced moment after moment of fluctuating fortunes.

McEnroe saved five championship points before eventually taking it 18-16, but the exhausted young star could not hold on in the fifth set.

Borg was eventually crowned Champion by 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7, 8-6 – his fifth and final Wimbledon title.

A year later, McEnroe was to celebrate his first SW19 singles triumph by defeating the Swede over four sets.

He ended the tennis hero’s 41 match winning streak in the most memorable way.

Before play even began, McEnroe had criticized the weather, the grass courts, the umpires, concluding: ‘There is no championship to this tournament except its prestige.’

Turning the tables on his rival, he produced 64 winners to Borg’s 47, 23 of them in one set, and came through 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4 to dethrone the mighty Swede.

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