Watching son play from stands, you get more nervous: Bjorn Borg

Bjorn Borg, who won five straight Wimbledon titles from 1976-80, says watching his son Leo play matches makes him more nervous than himself playing as the Swedish tennis legend makes a trip to Chennai for the ATP Challenger tournament beginning on Monday.

“I am very happy to see him play, but not all the time. He has his team, he is doing things with his coach. Me and my wife, whenever we have time, we like to see him once in a while (on Tour),” Borg told reporters here on Sunday.

“I think that he does not want to see us all the time (laughs). I love to see him. It is worse to watch your son or daughter from the stands, because you get even more nervous. It is better when you play yourself, you have no control when sitting in the stands,” he said.

The 66-year-old Borg, who has also won six French Open titles, said his 19-year-old son Leo “is very motivated but long way to go”.

“He is working really hard on the court and off the court. I am very happy to see him, we have a really good relationship. He knows what to do and what not to do. He is hungry to improve his game and be a top player.” Borg, who won 11 Grand Slam titles during an illustrious career, spoke about the importance of a sports psychologist.

“I retired early from tennis, when I was 26. At that time, when I was travelling … at the airports, restaurants, hotels, I would never be by myself. If I stayed at a hotel, there were hundreds of people in the lobby. I could not do anything.

“I felt I was stuck in a way that I really did not have a life besides tennis. I mean, I love tennis. I could not have a private life, that is why I stepped away from tennis.” He said these days tennis has more security more than the players had during his playing days.

“We did not have that. People were after us all the time. Today, the players are more protected. That is important for the sport.

Psychologically, it is mentally difficult to play tennis. You are by yourself on court and you have to make decisions.

“It (having a chat with a psychologist) is important, but he is not going to tell you what you got to do at 30 all, 30-40 break point. That is your own decision. That is what makes tennis so difficult. But, it is one of the biggest sports.” He said personally speaking a tennis player should not need a coach and one should find out what to do and what not to do on the court.

“Personally, I do not think one needs coaching. No one is going to tell you ‘you have to do this, that’. I do not agree with coaching. You have to make your own decisions,” he said.

Borg said he was proud to be the captain of Team Europe in the Laver Cup.

“I hope that the tournament continues for many more years.” The tournament between Europe and a World team features most of the top players. The 2022 edition saw Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic taking part, among others.

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