Björn Borg on Rafael Nadal: ”Best player on clay ever”
EXCLUSIVE: Swedish tennis legend impressed by the Spaniards amazing record
Swedish tennis legend Björn Borg couldn’t believe his eyes watching Nadal demolish Wawrinka and winning French Open for the tenth time.
”I have never seen anyone play such a good final in Paris. He is the best ever player on clay”, Borg says, speaking exclusively to Sportbladet.
In 1981 Swedish tennis legend Björn Borg set a record people said would be impossible to beat when winning his sixth French Open victory.
But the record wasn’t unbeatable.
King of clay Rafael Nadal demolished Stan Wawrinka 6–2, 6–3, 6–1 in the title match of the year and has now won the tournament an incredible ten times.
Björn Borg, as everyone, is full of admiration.
”I watched the game on tv”, says the legend, speaking to Sportbladet exclusively.
”Just the fact that ’Rafa’ can play like this is absolutely incredible. No one has ever performed better in Paris, and his opponent is not a bad player”.
Last year Rafael Nadal had to pull out of French Open due to a wrist injury giving Marcel Granollers a walkover in round four, and 61-year-old Borg was one on many doubting Nadal would be able to return.
But Nadal defied the odds, making it to the finals in Australian Open, dominating the clay season and ending it with another title at Roland Garros.
Borg: ”so impressed”
”No one believed he would be able to make a comeback” says Björn Borg. ”But what a comeback he did. Winning this way after being injured on and off for some years, it is amazing!”
The Swedish legend continues: ”You can’t play more perfect tennis. It would be impossible. I am so impressed by Nadal! He is 31 years old and has still improved his backhand, performing better than in years. I’m aware of how hard he has been practicing, working that backhand seven eight hours a day.”
The ’old men’ are back
And Björn Borg has a particular reason to be happy about Nadal’s success. The Spanish player is a part of the European team led by the Swedish legend in Rod Laver Cup in Prague later this year.
What is it that makes Rafael Nadal the greatest player on clay ever?
”He has no weaknesses and to him every ball is a match point. That’s what I like about Nadal. Who ever plays against him is aware Nadal will always give it a 110 percent and never ever give the ball away”, says Borg.
35-year-old Roger Federer won Australian Open and 31-year-old Nadal won French Open. What is it that motivates these players, already having all the money they need and nothing to prove?
”Yeah just imagine, these ”old men” are back! They will be really dangerous contenders at Wimbledon. They want to win the titles and raise those cups. Being a tennis player there is nothing better or more wonderful. Not many people get the opportunity to lift those cups, but those who do are very proud, that I can promise”, says Björn Borg.