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Borg backs Federer to smash the mark

Legendary tennis player Bjorn Borg hopes that Roger Federer will level his record of five successive Wimbledon titles this year.

india Updated: Jun 26, 2007 04:12 IST
Borg backs Federer to smash Wimbledon mark

Bjorn Borg will be rooting for Roger Federer to level his record of five successive Wimbledon titles.

The Swede won five-in-a-row at the All England Club from 1976-1980 and Federer, already with four under his belt, is the overwhelming favourite to equal the mark and eventually better Pete Sampras's all-time best of seven.

"I think and hope that Roger will equal my record this year - it could not happen to a better person," said Borg.

"He has achieved so many great things in tennis and if he stays clear of injuries, stays motivated and continues at the same pace as he is doing, he will definitely be the greatest player of all time."

"This year is going to mean a lot to Roger to equal my record to win for the fifth time so he's going to be more even more focused and concentrated to try to defend his title."

Borg was 25, the same age as Federer, when he quit tennis but the Swiss world number one is nowhere near leaving behind the sport that, with the glaring exception of the French Open, he has dominated with 10 Grand Slam titles already collected.

Borg's personal and professional life went into a tailspin after he walked away from the game 26 years ago.

"I lost my motivation a little bit in 1981," he told the BBC on Monday.

"I still played good tennis but I didn't have the same focus that I had for many years. I always gave 100 percent and loved to win and hated to lose but if you lose that little bit of an edge it is very difficult to do well."

"Something was missing and for me as a person that is not right."

Federer was due to start his 2007 campaign later Monday against Russia's Teimuraz Gabashvili.

First Published: Jun 25, 2007 18:25 IST