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Reel Classics - 2003 schedule

McEnroe a menace and magician

Wednesday, November 19, 2003
McEnroe is Bjorn with first Wimbledon title

ESPN Classic's Game of the Week documentary is a comprehensive look at the classic games and moments in sports history. If you love great sports moments, then ESPN Classic is the place to be on Sunday nights.

This week, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of the more memorable Wimbledon finals between John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg from 1981 on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.

John McEnroe
It's a happy Independence Day for John McEnroe as he beats five-time defending Wimbledon Champion Bjorn Borg, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4, on July 4, 1981.
For five consecutive years, Borg owned Centre Court. Borg and the Wimbledon men's singles championship had become synonymous with one another. But as we have come to expect, McEnroe always had something to say. His flair for the dramatics on this day would be no different.

The top seed Borg was expected to capture his sixth consecutive Wimbledon singles title, and McEnroe, seeded second, was looking to avenge a loss in an epic five set match in the 1980 final.

Two tie breakers in the second and third sets would pay huge dividends as McEnroe defeated Borg 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4 to win his first of three Wimbledon singles titles. The victory ended Borg's amazing Wimbledon streaks at five championships and 41 matches. It also was Borg's last appearance at Wimbledon. He retired at the end of the season.

After joining the circuit in 1978, McEnroe would own 77 career singles titles and in only three years, he'd become the No. 1 player in the world. With 74 doubles championships and a combined 15 Grand Slam triumphs, McEnroe would be ranked No. 1 for a record 257 weeks in his illustrious career.

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