It is always an honor to play at the Centre Court at Wimbledon. Over the years players have yearned for getting an opportunity to grace the most iconic court in tennis. The court is only reserved for the best matches or the best players. Unlike other slams, Wimbledon only has one main court and every other is an outside court. This makes it even more difficult for most players to play at the Centre Court.
The former Wimbledon champions have often weighed in on the importance of Centre Court. Jimmy Connors, two-time Wimbledon champion, has recently revealed how difficult it was for him to get a Centre Court match. But, there must be some reason behind Wimbledon snubbing its two-time winner, right?
In the latest episode of Advantage Connors Podcast, Jimmy Connors reflected back to his playing days when the Centre Court topic was brought up. He said, “I was never one of Wimbledon’s favorites, that’s no secret. Sometimes getting put on court three was a luxury for me. I’m such an a**. Okay, A lot of guys were playing, Bjorg was playing and Bjorn was more the Wimbledon favorite, the Wimbledon darling. They kind of looked more to keep him on the Centre Court and myself and McEnroe.”
Connors also brought John McEnroe into the discussion and said that they were never the ‘Wimbledon darlings’. However, the better player or the better crowd puller always gets the benefit of playing at the Centre Court and Borg tipped his rivals in that aspect. He won five Wimbledon titles on the bounce from 1976-1980 and became the fans’ favorite.
It required a monumental effort to stop the Borg Express at SW19 and that monumental effort came from John McEnroe, the fiercest competitor Borg faced.
The ultimate Borg-McEnroe rivalry
The duo faced each other 14 times which ended in a 7-7 head-to-head record. Two of the most iconic Wimbledon finals included Borg and McEnroe. The 1980 Wimbledon final is often considered to be the greatest match in men’s tennis history. Borg edged past the American in five sets to clinch his fifth Wimbledon title on the bounce.
McEnroe bounced back next year to avenge his defeat and won his first Wimbledon title in 1981 thereby ending Borg’s dominance on the Centre Court. The Swedish icon never played Wimbledon after the 1981 final. They also faced each other in two US Open finals where the American reigned supreme.