Broadsheet Trailer Park: Borg/McEnroe


What you may need to know:

1. With Wimbledon currently taking place, no better time to serve this trailer for Borg/McEnroe, a Swedish-made drama exploring the rivalry between two of the greats of the game, John McEnroe (Shia LeBeouf) and Bjorn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason).

2. Their match in the 1980 Wimbledon final has been touted as one of the greatest games of tennis ever played. It was not, however, the one in which McEnroe heckled the umpire with his immortal “You cannot be serious” line. Some of his many on-court tantrums can be seen here.

3. Petulant spoilsport or perfectionist genius? That appears to the thrust of the film is about for LaBeouf’s character, contrasted with Borg’s lifetime in the game in Sweden under the tutelage of coach Lennart Bergelin, played by the always-great Stellan Skarsgård.

4. Naturally, Shia LaBeouf states he was attracted to the role of John McEnroe due a similarity between the pair: both misunderstood in their passion for what they do. Not sure McEnroe was ever on camera racially abusing a police officer, but there you go.

5. McEnroe did get in a bit of bother recently with his comments about Serena Williams though. While they were slightly taken out of context, the jist of it (which he did decline to walk back on even after getting all the stick) was while she’s probably the greatest female player of all time, she’d probably rank around the 700s in the men’s game. If ever there was a sweeping statement that proves why feminism exists, it’s that. “Look, she’s amazing, but there’s probably like 700 men better than her and that’s that.”

6. Which leads us nicely to the other tennis movie we’re getting this year….

That’s right, as is so often the case, Borg/McEnroe isn’t the only fact-based tennis movie we’re getting in 2017. Steve Carrell and Emma Stone will star later this year in Oscar-bait Battle of the Sexes. It tells the high-stakes 1973 exhibition match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King, a milestone in the mainstream acceptance of women’s professional sport.

8. Until then, smouldering Bjorn Borg and over-excited McEnroe will have to do.

Doug’s Verdict: Advantage Stone

Release: September (both)

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24 thoughts on “Broadsheet Trailer Park: Borg/McEnroe

    1. Listrade

      In the spirit of accuracy, Serena was 16 years old when she played this match. She only moved into the top 10 rankings in 1999. Since 2002 she has been world No1 for over 300 weeks, most periods outside of the No 1 have been as a result of long term injury.

      Let’s just say she may not have been at her peak aged 16 as demonstrated the last 15 years.

      1. Rob_G

        Don’t want to get all ‘manplaining’ or anything, but the best male athletes tend to be better than the best female athletes. Compare the men’s vs women’s world records side by side for any sport.

        1. Tony

          That’s a bit mansplainy in fairness there Robbo. Like saying because heavyweight boxers hit harder than bantamweight boxers they are superior boxers. They’re not really though are they? Can’t compare different weight categories like for like. Sorry if that’s a bit mansplainy ;)

          1. Rob_G

            True – but you could probably predict with reasonable accuracy that the top bantamweight boxer in the world, talented though they are, would lose in a fight with one of the 700 top heavyweights.

          2. Tony

            You could but why would you even bother? Sure it would be meaningless. They are not like for like so there can be no comparison and no ‘winner’. Do you get me?

        2. Hawkeyed

          You can’t compare given the difference in biolgical makeup. Women have to put up with periods and pregnancy. Men whine at the mere hint of a sniffle.

      2. rotide

        Fully aware of that Listrade.

        She’s come on well and is now probably good enough to beat a 55 year old man like King ;)

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      Only the Grand Slams are 5 sets for men. The rest are over 3 sets, same as the women.

  1. jusayinlike

    MacEnroe really out for Tatum O Neal especially after she was abused by her father Ryan..

  2. Shayna

    I kinda dig the whole USA v Sweden, the entitled brat comes across a guy with long hair and a beard, who actually plays nice ‘Tennis. Borg would have played long hand crosses, whilst his bratish opponent would have favoured heading towards the net.

    1. Boj

      No this is a joke:
      Why are there fences around a graveyard?
      Because people are dying to get in.

    2. Shayna

      No, I actually play tennis – sometimes Squash (not the same) I do the thing in a squash court which is a tennis stroke, back-hand high stroke, after flipping off the wall. I promise you, no-one sees it coming.

  3. Shayna

    I do so love Wimbledon, my company a bit up the road was Autocue, we supplied all the network news, well, with Autocue. (Teleprompter) What is interesting is that Andy Murray, British 2 time Wimbledon Champion, defeated in the semi-final this year is now Scottish?

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      They always give him back to Scotchland when he loses. When Konta inevitably “crashes out” to Venus, she’ll be Aussie born to Hungarian parents. She’s the CJ Stander of tennis.

  4. Andrew

    Hard to believe Borg quit at 26. Just walked off the court after losing the US Open to McEnroe. didn’t wait around. That was it.
    Cool customer.
    developed a booze problem later I believe.
    I always liked McEnroe

    1. Shayna

      I lived for a bit in the South of Spain – Borg had a store in Puerto de San Banus (Yikes, Porto Banus) There were a couple of likely lads from Dublin who had leased a pub there. It turns out, both the Dublin guys and Borg couldn’t afford it. They closed. – Jesus, I was in Dublin for a couple of nights, admittedly, it was Temple Bar – I had a gin and tonic and it was 10 yoyos and 40 whatever? That’s why I don’t live in Dublin.

      1. mildred st. meadowlark

        Did you enjoy your jaunt down to Dublin Shay?

        Saw some pics of the bonfires this year, and for all that it was reportedly the most peaceful 12 July March in years, the sight of all those fires put the fear of god in me. And I’m not religious at all.

        1. Shayna

          Jaunt was good, blessed with sunshine. Walked around Trinity and did the whole Temple Bar thing. Gave money to paupers, you know – the usual. Thank you for asking.

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