I wanted to be Ringo Starr one year for Halloween. Long hair, girls screaming, rock star. A few years later I wanted to be Borg. Long hair, headband, topspin, rock star. No one burned as brightly for five or six years. The Angelic Assassin, beatific like the beats, then simply beat, burned out, retired at 26. Five consecutive Wimbledon titles. Four consecutive French Opens, six overall. The best on grass like Sampras or Federer, the best on clay like Nadal. Best on the fastest surface: serve and volley, attack. Best on the slowest surface: patience, long rallies, endurance, ground strokes. Never before a human being like that. “They should send Borg away to another planet,” said Nastase. “We play tennis. He plays something else.” Racquets strung so tight the strings break, ping like guitars or violins in the middle of the night. Is I magen (Ice in the stomach). Pulse rate in the 30s, a myth, of course, like the stories of Odin, Frigg, Thor, Balder . . .
The fantastic painting of Bjorn Borg is by Scott Kish (bio below.)
The written portion of “Bjorn Borg” first appeared in Tennis Players as Works of Art with the National Senior Men’s Tennis Association.
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