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Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal are two of the strongest players ever, and are great people even outside of tennis: Bjorn Borg

Bjorn Borg, Rafael Nadal & Roger Federer
Bjorn Borg, Rafael Nadal & Roger Federer
ANALYST
Modified 03 Mar 2021
News

Bjorn Borg recently appeared in an interview where he gave his thoughts on the usual suspects of men’s tennis - Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Like Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, Borg is one of the few men to have won both the French Open and Wimbledon. The Swede's feat of winning the French Open and Wimbledon five times each (he finished with six titles at Roland Garros) is one of the greatest records in tennis, and one that is likely to stand the test of time.

While speaking with La Stampa, Bjorn Borg was asked if he had ever given Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal advice. The Swede replied that individuals of their caliber usually do not require advice, before going on to marvel at their on-court and off-court personalities.

“Hey, they're two of the strongest ever, they know what to do,” Borg said. “I am rather impressed with how motivated and focused they are on the pitch. And they are great people even outside of tennis.”
Bjorn Borg with Rafael Nadal
Bjorn Borg with Rafael Nadal

Bjorn Borg was then asked if Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal had ever been intimidated by him, to which the Swede gave a diplomatic response. According to the 64-year-old, the fact that he went through similar experiences as Federer and Nadal during his playing days has helped him connect with the duo.

“Well, if you put it this way let's say they know what I did, and I know what they are doing,” Borg continued. “I'm much older, but I've been through their own experiences, that's why we understand each other perfectly.”

Bjorn Borg also claimed that Roger Federer may have missed a trick by pulling out of the 2021 Australian Open, since he believes the Swiss had a shot at the title. The Swede then listed what he feels would be Federer’s main objectives for the upcoming season.

“It's a pity that Roger decided not to play in Australia, he had a chance,” Borg said. “But for 2021 he has five goals: the first is to stay fit, the others are Wimbledon, the Olympics, the US Open, and the Laver Cup.”
Roger Federer
Roger Federer
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Borg marked Rafael Nadal as the favorite for the French Open, while also mentioning that Novak Djokovic would be keen on winning as many Majors as possible.

“Nadal in Melbourne has won once, but he could have done it two or three more times," the Swede went on. "In Paris he will certainly be the favorite, but let's not forget Tsitsipas, Medvedev, Shapovalov, Zverev who can do well in all the big tournaments. And then Djokovic: he wants to win as many Slams as possible to overtake Federer and Nadal.”

Bjorn Borg was then asked if there is any current player who reminds him of himself, in response to which the Swede mentioned the names of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

“Well, there are Nadal and Djokovic, but also many young people,” Borg said.

Laver Cup with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal is a great experience: Bjorn Borg

Bjorn Borg with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the 2019 Laver Cup
Bjorn Borg with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the 2019 Laver Cup

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal both play for Team Europe, under Bjorn Borg's captaincy, during the Laver Cup.

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Borg revealed that he enjoys spending time with Federer and Nadal both on and off the court during the star-studded event. That, he believes, helps him understand the duo better.

“I am proud to be the captain of Europe,” said Borg. “I've been three times already, the next will be in Boston in the fall. It's a great experience because it allows me to spend a lot of time with champions like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, go out to dinner with them and understand what they think about sport, how they are still trying to improve themselves."
Published 03 Mar 2021, 00:20 IST
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