Leo Borg makes his Wimbledon debut: the son of the tennis legend. He had a stint in the cinema and sought to continue his father's legacy.
The 18-year-old Swede appears in the junior men's draw at the London Grand Slam.
Carrying a surname like his on the international tennis circuit is not easy. However, Leo Borg manages to start making his mark on the discipline. This Monday, the 18-year-old Swede will make his debut in the junior category at Wimbledon, the event in which his father - Björn Borg - could expand his legend with five titles.
Leo, ranked 17th in the junior world rankings, hopes to make his way and shed the (apparent) comparisons with all eyes. His first stumbling block on the All England Club turf will be Serbian Marko Topo, on court 9.
It will be a new opportunity to show his tennis after the excellent performance a few days ago at Roland Garros. In the Parisian Grand Slam, the young Swede reached the third round, where he fell to the Chinese Juncheng Shang, who came as the first seed and the top candidate for the title.
It lost 7-6 (5), 3-6, and 7-6 (4) in two hours and 37 minutes, but the son of a tennis star left a perfect picture for the day. And in previous cycles.
He always gives me advice, although he wants to stay in the background when it comes to training. I have learned to organize my life better and, above all, to know how to manage everything that being a tennis player means and that my father is Björn Borg", Leo told the press during his time in Paris.
Leo was born in Stockholm. His mother is Patricia Östfeldt, the third wife who had the former number one in the ATP rankings. In interviews given a few years ago, the woman even admitted that she cried when her son, at the age of ten, told her that he wanted to be a tennis player like his father.
"He played perfect football and preferred to dedicate himself to another sport," said Patricia, who was afraid of being compared to the public and the press.
In fact, at some point, the future of Leo could be far from the courts. In 2017, he made his acting debut in the movie "Borg vs. McEnroe." There he played his father during his teens. "I saw in the eyes of that child that shy vulnerability and that kind of hellish willpower so special of Borg," the Danish Janus Metz, director of the film, told The Times.
But the passion for the sport was stronger. Leo - who has assured on more than one occasion that his father never influenced the decision he made for his future - continued forward in his dream of becoming a professional tennis player, something that his older brother Robin could never fulfill (he did not go beyond tournaments university students in the United States). Earlier this year, the youngster won the Brasil Juniors Cup, a tournament held in Porto Alegre.
I know I am compared to my father, but I do not care what is said, and I am completely different. I think about my future and my goals. I know I'm proud of what I'm doing, and I hope I have a better future. I will do my best to make it go well," Leo said some time ago in an interview with the Spanish newspaper Marca.
The Swede has his coach, but he usually accepts his father's advice. How not to do it, coming from the man who was number one globally and who won 66 ATP titles (11 of them Grand Slams). However, the young man of 1.83, who is right-handed and plays with a two-handed backhand, clarified: "We don't look alike. He was more of a defensive player, who was dedicated to passing balls to the other side. I, on the other hand, am aggressive. They are two completely different styles of play".
This year, Leo chose to train for a few weeks at the Rafael Nadal Academy in Mallorca. There he sought to perfect himself to achieve his goals this season, including participation in Grand Slam tournaments. After his excellent performance at Roland Garros, the Swede is now ready to face a new challenge at Wimbledon and begin to leave behind his father's constant mirror.