3. Bjorn Borg (5 Wins, 1 Runner-Up)
Borg is tired of being relegated from the #1 spot on these lists. He held the #1 spot at the French Open, but Rafa kicked him to #2. At Wimbledon, he has been pushed down to #3. He doesn’t appreciate it. Perhaps if he hadn’t ended his career at 25, he might have been a lot higher on this list.
Borg redefined Wimbledon. Until he walked in, it was an extremely classy place where players played classical tennis and almost never ran laterally on court, only forward to the net. Borg ditched the serve-and-volley style that was rampant in those days, developed one of the first double-handed backhands, added a ton of topspin to his forehand and ran around the court like a hare, his wild locks swinging amok.
Untamed like a beast, Borg never spoke, he never twitched, he never broke concentration. He looked like an ice sculpture on court, a sublime, fast-moving one. He waged his wars from the baseline and triumphed like no one else. He still holds the highest-ever winning percentage at Wimbledon, 50 -4 (92.5%). Borg won 5 consecutive Wimbledon titles, not because of his futuristic style of play, but because of his mentality.
He won three tight five-setters, beating Connors, Tanner and then McEnroe, each time winning simply because he had ice water in his veins and refused to budge, refused to give up his trophy. He compensated for his lack of grass-court skills with the mentality of a warrior. The trophy truly was his. Bjorn Borg could have been the greatest, and maybe he is.