Tennis with Björn Borg at the Necker Cup

Björn Borg was heading to Berlin for the weekend with family and friends when he heard that Serena Williams unfortunately had a medical issue and had to cancel her Necker Cup entry before the tournament started. At the last minute, Björn and his wife kindly jumped on a plane to Necker to join us. 

Image of Richard and Bjorn

I had fallen in love with tennis watching his Wimbledon and French Open wins. In eight years between 1974 and 1981 he reached an incredible 16 Grand Slam finals, winning 11 titles. Then he disappeared from the sport and the public eye, retiring at 26.

Personally, I think Björn is arguably the greatest player of all time. That's saying something, considering we've previously welcomed all-time greats including Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Martina Navratilova and Boris Becker at the Necker Cup, and I've had the pleasure of watching the likes of Serena, Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Steffi Graf.

Image of Richard and Bjorn

Now, we had one of the greatest players of all time participating in the Necker Cup. But the day before the tournament started, he made the mistake of mentioning to me that he hadn’t played tennis for two years. I challenged him to a set and foolishly thought I had a chance.

At 7am were on out on court and half an hour later I found myself 4-2 up! 4-2 up! Have I mentioned against the greatest tennis players of all time?! And then I choked. Plus, his brilliance started flooding back. The picture tells the result. No comment! 

Richard and Bjorg

What an honour to play a set with him. I pinch myself every day but today a little harder! Afterwards I had the pleasure of taking Björn on at chess and got a little revenge.

Image of Richard and Bjorn

 What a wonderful start to the Manuka Doctor Necker Cup presented by Metal. I’ll keep sharing updates throughout the week.

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