Bjorn Borg Was a Better Clay Courter Than Roger Federer, Believes Tennis Legend and Federer Fan

Published 05/17/2021, 9:30 AM EDT
Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts during his Men’s Singles first round match against Steve Johnson of the United States on day one of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 20, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)


Rafael Nadal emerged as the champion of the Italian Open 2021 last night. It was the tenth title for the Spaniard in Rome and with this, he also won the 36th ATP Masters title of his career. Rafa has been brilliant on clay and no one in the sport has come even close to defeating him there, not even Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer.

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In a recent tweet, American tennis player Mardy Fish revealed his top five clay-court ATP players. Undoubtedly, Rafael Nadal is at the top of his list and Novak Djokovic is second on the list. Following these two are Roger Federer, Bjorn Borg, and Guillermo Vilas.

However, 18-time Grand Slam champion and a Roger Federer fan, Chris Evert, had some issues with Fish’s rankings. In another tweet, she stated that according to her, Borg should be ahead of Federer.

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“Hmmmm, I would put Borg ahead of Roger…” tweeted Evert.

Former World No. 1 Bjorn Borg won six French Open titles in his prolific career. Interestingly, in 1980, he managed to win the Roland Garros title without losing a single set, a record Rafa equalized at the French Open many years later in 2010. On the other hand, Federer and Djokovic only have one French Open title each in their careers so far.

Bjorn Borg’s stats on clay as compared to Roger Federer

Borg enjoyed a phenomenal record on clay throughout his career. Out of the 64 titles that Borg won in his career, 30 of them came on clay. He had an astonishing 86% win percentage on clay with a 281-45 win-loss record. In addition to this, the 11-time Grand Slam champion also maintained a 46-match win streak on clay from 1977 to 1979.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Roger Federer of Switzerland plays a forehand in his third-round match against Taylor Fritz of the United States during day five of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Federer has won only 11 clay-court titles in his professional career so far. His winning percentage is also not as high as Borg as the Swiss Maestro has won 76.2% of the matches he has played on clay.

The stats clearly point out that Borg is ahead of Federer when it comes to playing on clay. However, one must admit that both the legends played during different times and conditions, and thus, it is not a fair comparison to make.

Roger Federer will begin his ATP Geneva Open 2021 campaign tomorrow. He is the top-seeded player there and will hope to gain some momentum on clay ahead of the French Open 2021. Will Federer be able to conquer Paris this year?

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Anshul Singh

957 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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