The game of tennis demands exceptional agility, technique and strength out of its players. It involves high levels of concentration and the ability to keep one’s emotions in check. Given these requirements, it’s understandable why there are so few who can rightly boast the claim of being “the world’s best”. Ultimately, every year, it comes down to one man. Throughout the years of the game, there have been many intense rivalries leading up to who would be declared the current greatest male tennis player in the world.
One rivalry worth noting is Bjorn Borg vs. John McEnroe. The primary reason for the intrigue involved in watching their rivalry was the fact that they were very different in their emotions while playing the game. McEnroe was more temperamental, showing his emotions intensely, whether they be good or bad. Borg, on the other hand, was very cool and collected. The rivals met 14 times between the years of 1978 and 1981, each gaining 7 victories. Among their most famous matches were those that took place at Wimbledon. In 1980, Borg beat McEnroe in a nail-biting 20 minute long tiebreaker. The next year, however, McEnroe returned and defeated Borg in a high energy five set game.
Another rivalry, which stands forever the history of tennis, is that between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Federer had dominated the game for five years before Nadal defeated him at Wimbledon in 2008. That game was a thrilling spectacle, which ran for 4 hours and 48 minutes. Federer had the skills needed to do the basics of tennis perfectly. He had a powerful forehand and an unpredictable serve. He also was very quick around the court. Nadal performed best on clay courts and preferred them to grass and hard courts. Thus, his forehand wasn’t as strong as Federer’s, but he had a powerful backhand and an exceptional talent to put top spin on the ball when needed, along with speed and agility. Ultimately, Nadal’s skills proved to be what it took to beat the current reigning champ.