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"Rafael Nadal was always my idol since I was little" - Leo Borg

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 01 Apr 2021
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Leo Borg, son of Swedish tennis legend Bjorn Borg, recently revealed that 20-time Major winner Rafael Nadal has been his idol since his childhood.

Borg is currently ranked 15th in the ITF junior world rankings. The 18-year-old has won two titles this year, including the J1 Porto Alegre event last month.

In an interview with Spanish daily Marca, Leo Borg talked about meeting his idol Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup tournament.

"I met Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup because my father is the captain of the European team. He was always my idol since I was little," Borg said.
Rafael Nadal and Bjorn Borg at the Laver Cup in 2019
Rafael Nadal and Bjorn Borg at the Laver Cup in 2019

The Swede, who plans to play all the junior Slams in 2021, received a wild card entry into this week's ATP Challenger in Spain. However, he was beaten in straight sets in the first round by 118th-ranked Taro Daniel.

Borg has trained at Rafael Nadal's academy in the past, and he hopes to go back there again soon.

"I am living and training in Stockholm and I have my coach in Sweden," Borg responded when asked if he plans to set up base at Rafael Nadal's academy. "I go to Mallorca from time to time. In fact, I will be back when I finish in Marbella."

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My father never pushed me to be a tennis player, nor did I ask him about it: Leo Borg

Leo Borg (Image Credit - ITF Tennis Twitter handle)
Leo Borg (Image Credit - ITF Tennis Twitter handle)

Given that Bjorn Borg won 11 Grand Slam titles and is considered among the greatest players in the sport, Leo Borg knows that comparisons with his father are inevitable. However, the 18-year-old is focused on his own goals right now.

"I am aware that I am being compared to my father, but I do not care what is said and I live quite on the sidelines," Leo Borg said. "I think about my future and about my own goals."

The Swede further clarified that while his father never forced him into the sport, he has always supported his career choices.

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"He never pushed me to be a tennis player nor did I ask him about it," Leo continued. "It is evident that my father has been everything in this sport. The truth is that I have always wanted to play tennis on my own initiative. I know that he is proud of me, of what I am doing, and I hope I have a good future."

While many other juniors his age dream of winning Slams and becoming World No. 1, Leo Borg has modest goals at the moment.

"First, I want to be a professional and make a living from tennis," he said. "In the future. I would like to reach the Top 10."
Published 01 Apr 2021, 00:02 IST
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