“Met Him at Laver Cup”: Bjorn Borg’s Son Leo Names Rafael Nadal as His Idol

Published 04/01/2021, 1:44 PM EDT
ROME, ITALY – MAY 16: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates against Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia in their Men’s Singles Round of 16 match during Day Five of the International BNL d’Italia at Foro Italico on May 16, 2019 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


Leo Borg chose to follow in the footsteps of his legendary father but grew up idolizing Rafael Nadal. Revealing as much in an interview with Spanish publication Marca, the 17-year-old son of tennis great Bjorn Borg said it wasn’t his father but the 13-time French Open champion that he modeled his tennis after.

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Far from a finished product, Leo is currently playing Futures events, hoping to graduate to the senior level before long. However, his recent run of results in the ITF circuit doesn’t hold the promise of him making the grade and turning professional anytime soon.

But then again, he is only four-Futures-events-old and still has plenty of time to hone his skills, with his father always at hand to help him with advice and inputs.

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – SEPTEMBER 20: Rafael Nadal of Team Europe and teammate Roger Federer celebrate during the singles match between Stefanos Tsitsipas of Team Europe and Taylor Fritz of Team World during Day One of the Laver Cup 2019 at Palexpo on September 20, 2019, in Geneva, Switzerland. The Laver Cup will see six players from the rest of the World competing against their counterparts from Europe. Team World is captained by John McEnroe, and Team Europe is captained by Bjorn Borg. The tournament runs from September 20-22. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images for Laver Cup)

He reached the round-of-32 of two ITF Futures events in Egypt, but couldn’t clear the qualifying rounds in the third, which was also hosted by the African city.

Leo followed that up with another round-of-32 appearance at a Challengers event in Marbella, Spain. However, the 17-year-old couldn’t progress any further as he bowed out of the event after losing to Taro Daniel of Japan.

Leo Bjorg says he’s idolized Rafael Nadal since he was little

Leo revealed that he had an opportunity to meet his idol on the sidelines of the Laver Cup that his father is involved in. He added that he keeps visiting Nadal’s tennis academy in Mallorca from time to time to polish his skills and pick up more lessons in the game.

A team event that pits the top stars of Europe against those in the US, Laver Cup was conceived by 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer.

Federer, Nadal and current World Number 1 Novak Djokovic are regulars in the tournament, representing Team Europe, Borg senior is the non-playing captain.

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“I met him (Nadal) at the Laver Cup because my father is the captain of the European team. He was always my idol since I was little,” Leo said.

(Quotes have been translated via Google)

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The 17-year-old bears a close resemblance to his father’s appearance in his youth – long blonde hair, albeit minus the latter’s signature headband.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

863 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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