Swedish tennis legend, who lived by his rules, refuses to be part of a felicitation ceremony that was delayed by two hours
Before Rafael Nadal became synonymous with Roland Garros, it was Sweden’s Bjorn Bjorg who ruled the red courts of Paris.
But it was not only in the red that Bjorg thrived. He ruled on grass as well. His six consecutive French Open titles also coincide with his five consecutive Wimbledon titles.
He called time on his illustrious career as a 26-year-old, much to the shock of the tennis world. One of his rivals, the mercurial John McEnroe, tried to persuade him out of his shocking decision. But Bjorg was clear. He lived by his rules.
It was this rule of Bjorg that India experienced first-hand as the 66-year-old politely walked out of a felicitation function that was organised in his honour.
Bjorg was in India to watch his son Leo play at the Bengaluru Open on Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA) courts.
With the legendary tennis player in town, KSLTA decided to felicitate the 11-time Grand Slam winner along with Indian legend Vijay Amritraj.
According to media reports, Bjorg had to walk out as the function got delayed due to the late arrival of Karnataka Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai, who was caught up with official engagements.
The program was originally scheduled for 9.30 am but was postponed to 10.15 am to accommodate CM Bommai. However, with his son Leo’s first round match starting at 11 am, and no sign of CM Bommai, Bjorg excused himself from the ceremony so that he could be with his son.
By the time CM Bommai arrived, at around 11.15 am, the match was already on. CM Bommai watched the match for some time before leaving the venue.
“The Chief Minister was delayed due to some of his other commitments,” an official from the organising committee told the media. “We did inform him (CM) that Borg would be watching his son play and thus would be unable to attend the felicitation. But the CM was upbeat about the situation and decided to come to the courts and watch some action.”