BJORN AGAIN, YES, BUT HOW 'BOUT JOHN?
Borg vs. McEnroe is building into one of the greatest matchups in tennis history. In July, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe played the best of Wimbledon's 94 finals. The highlight was a fourth-set tiebreaker, in which McEnroe denied Borg five championship points before winning the 22-minute thriller 18-16. Though badly shaken—"I'm going to lose," he'd thought at the end of the tiebreaker—Borg settled down to win the fifth set 8-6 and the match. Two months later it was McEnroe's turn to settle down, as he successfully defended his U.S. open title after blowing a two-set lead to Borg in the finals. Other cool customers were Ivan Lendl, 20, who led Czechoslovakia to its first Davis Cup championship, and Evonne Goolagong Cawley, winner at Wimbledon.
Hair-raising debut: Andrea Jaeger, 15, was Wimbledon's youngest seed ever.
Jimmy Connors, the WCT titlist, failed to reach a Grand Slam final for the second year in a row.
February 12, 1981
Borg made history by winning his fifth straight Wimbledon and fifth French titles, but he's still without a U.S. Open.
The McEnroe dichotomy: they loved him as a Wimbledon loser, hated him as a U.S. Open winner.
U.S. Open finalist Hana Mandlikova, 18, of Prague beat Evert Lloyd once and Jaeger thrice, and even whipped her idol, Martina Navratilova.
After a three-month rest, Evert Lloyd won the Italian, French and U.S. Opens.
No wonder Martina is unhappy: Evert Lloyd displaced her as No. 1.
Tracy Austin won the Wimbledon mixed doubles with her brother John; 11 singles championships, including the indoor tour, brought smiles as well.