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UNBJORN
Curry Kirkpatrick
May 06, 1991
After myriad personal setbacks, a changed Bjorn Borg made a sad return to tennis
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May 06, 1991

Unbjorn

After myriad personal setbacks, a changed Bjorn Borg made a sad return to tennis

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To Swedish radio, after his protégé had lost, Professor Binocs said, "Borg is not upset. He feels sorry for all of you."

To a British journalist who asked if he was a Brit, Honsai said, "I've forgotten."

To a German television commentator who had asked what to do about a bad back, he said, "Give up the wine."

To an American magazine writer who had heard that Ava Gardner and Ingrid Bergman had once been among his disciples, he said, "I have treated the most famous and most toughest and most greatest people in all the world. Who? I can't tell you."

Then, while walking away with a tournament official, the Professor seemed very worried. "Look, James Coburn called me," he said. "He can't do lunch, but can we get him two tickets?"

The sorrowful deeds of the next few days—a tennis player's efforts to find a life again, his wife's attempt to take hers—were yet to come, but doom was already in the salt air above the Mediterranean. Mourning, too. The return of Borg had turned into a tragicomic carnival act starring somebody named Tia Honsai, three or four or five women and one pair of binoculars. A phrase came to French lips: La mer s'est élevée avec les pleurs.

The sea has risen with tears.

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