It is an unusually giant gaggle of snappers for this degree, however that is as a result of the 16-year-old Swede isn’t any atypical tennis participant.
He’s the son of the legendary Bjorn Borg, the 11-time grand slam winner who turned a world famous person within the 1970s courtesy of his movie-star appears, lengthy blonde hair and gorgeous performances on the courtroom.
An hour or so later, Leo’s Wimbledon hopes evaporate by the hands of the ninth-seeded Frenchman Loris Pourroy, who wins 6-1 6-Four.
“In the present day was not my day,” a dissatisfied Borg informed CNN Sport after his match.
Regardless of hailing from tennis royalty, the younger Borg solely performed on grass for the primary time every week in the past.
“It’s totally completely different from different surfaces,” he added.
“It goes very quick, and serves are very completely different. It’s important to get down with the legs and need to focus on a regular basis.”
Leo’s first foray on the grass got here 47 years after his father received the boys’ title on the All England Membership on the age of 16.
4 years later, Bjorn Borg received the primary of 5 consecutive Wimbledon titles. He additionally clinched six straight French Open championships on clay, earlier than his shock retirement in 1981, on the age of 26.
His rivalry with American John McEnroe was legendary: the ice-cool Swede towards the unhealthy boy American. Their epic 1980 Wimbledon remaining conflict – received by Borg in 5 units – is commonly cited as one in every of tennis’ biggest matches, alongside the 2008 remaining between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
The resemblance between Leo and his dad, each in taking part in model and look, is hanging.
Similar to his well-known father, Borg junior is a robust athlete, with extensive, muscular shoulders. Leo hits his backhand double-handed, virtually the identical method as his father, who modeled the stroke on the slap shot in ice hockey, which he performed as a toddler.
Not like some mother and father of budding tennis stars, Borg senior — now 63 — is not closely concerned together with his son’s tennis profession.
He wasn’t current on the qualifying occasion at Roehampton, a 20-minute drive from Wimbledon in southwest London, however he did give his son some recommendation.
“Simply play my sport and have enjoyable,” mentioned Leo, who’s softly spoken and well mannered, with lengthy blonde locks and silver chains round his neck.
Leo’s coach Rickard Billing mentioned of Bjorn’s involvement: “He is palms off, he principally desires him to play tennis and have enjoyable.”
Earlier within the week, Borg junior informed the ITF web site he tried to “block out” the additional consideration he receives because the son of a tennis legend.
However his well-known final title has already opened a couple of doorways.
In 2017, he portrayed his pre-teen father within the film “Borg vs McEnroe,” a biopic about his dad’s intense rivalry with the American.
A 12 months in the past, Leo Borg signed a sponsorship contract with Fila, an Italian sports activities model that reached iconic standing within the 1970s due to his father, who famously wore the model’s headband to maintain his lengthy hair in verify.
Though there are 4 Swedish boys forward of him within the junior rankings, Wimbledon’s All England Membership handed a wild card into its junior qualifying occasion to Borg.
Receiving the wild card was “a really particular second,” mentioned Leo, including he was “very grateful to play right here.”
‘Good and unhealthy’
The hyperlink together with his father is a double-edged sword, based on Billing.
“Days like this, after all, it will get to him, as a result of he has to reply [questions from reporters],” mentioned Billing, an affable Swede who has guided Leo since he was 10.
“It is extra photographers, when he’s warming up, or when he’s strolling to the courtroom, however I feel he’s dealing with it fairly nicely.
“However, he bought the wild card right here, so it is good and unhealthy.
“We did not plan this event in any respect.”
Having simply completed faculty in Sweden, Leo Borg is placing all his efforts into forging a profession as a tennis participant.
“He actually desires this, it is not due to the title, or reducing corners or no matter,” mentioned Billing. “He likes the tennis.”
Leo’s first time on the grass has been an excellent studying expertise, based on Billing.
“It’s good for him to see the extent, to see the competitors, as a result of while you play within the decrease grades, possibly you do not get that like, ‘Oh, I must work more durable, or I want to do that,'” he mentioned.
“So I really feel that that is good for him. He will get to see the excessive degree and hopefully, this can be a massive inspiration to return again for the approaching years.”