Tennis legend Bjorn Borg, who won a series of titles back to back at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in the late 1970s, picked Dominic Thiem and Roger Federer to win the respective titles this year.

The 24-year-old world No 8 Thiem, who lost to Alexander Zverev in the final of the Madrid Open last week, has long been pipped for success while Federer’s career has been on an upswing since last year. Federer is currently world No 1 and is aiming for his 9th Wimbledon singles title this summer.

The French Open starts on 27 May, while Wimbledon begins 2 July.

Borg, who remains associated with tennis through the newly-instituted Laver Cup with Team Europe and also as his soon-to-be 15 son Leo plays tennis, was a rare player who won the French Open and Wimbledon three years in a row—1978, 1979 and 1980.

“To come to Wimbledon after Paris is always difficult... from clay to grass is a big difference. Not as much today as during my days," he says. Over the years, since tennis balls have become heavier and courts slower, the contrast between clay and grass surfaces has reduced.

“Every tournament is difficult, but Wimbledon is the hardest one, with all of the traditions. It is the biggest tournament in the world to win," says Borg, who recently signed up again to become a Fila brand ambassador, through the company’s publicists.

In the years since Borg’s dominance of world tennis, Sweden produced an array of great and successful tennis players, including Mats Wilander and Stefan Edberg, but those numbers have come down greatly in recent times. Sweden’s highest ranked player currently is Elias Ymer at No 125.

“We have been struggling," adds Borg about his countrymen, “but now we all work hard together. I think in five years we will have some good tennis players, both boys and girls."

Borg’s 1980 final against John McEnroe at Wimbledon, considered one of the greatest tennis matches ever played, was inspiration for a feature film last year called Borg vs McEnroe. The film was also controversial because both players claimed inauthenticity in its portrayals.

“It was fiction, but the actors did a great job," says Borg.

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