This Date in French Open History: June 7
Every morning of the French Open, we'll take a look back at a memorable match that occurred on that calendar day at Roland Garros.
June 7, 1981: Bjorn Borg d. Ivan Lendl, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1
Bjorn Borg won his 11th and final Grand Slam title in a five-setter to remember. A crossroads championship match concluded with Borg collecting his sixth French Open crown, while Ivan Lendl solidified his status as a future French Open king.
A sore shoulder sidelined Borg for nearly two months and limited him to just one clay-court warm-up match—a three-set loss to Victor Pecci in Monte Carlo—before launching defense of his Roland Garros title. The stoic Swede pronounced himself fit for the fortnight, declaring, “I can be out on the court for a long time if I have to.”
Indeed, Borg made quick work of opponents in cruising to the final without surrendering a set. In contrast, Lendl, who swept John McEnroe in the quarterfinals, rallied for a five-set win over the dangerous Jose-Luis Clerc in the semifinals, snapping the Argentine’s 16-match winning streak.
Extensive rallies made it one of the most physically-demanding French Open finals of Borg’s career (see a long backhand exchange on the first point of the video) as Lendl twice dug out of one-set deficits to level the match. Ultimately, Borg’s unerring consistency and patience to play rallies that spanned 20 shots or more proved to be pivotal, as he captured his fourth consecutive Roland Garros crown, extending his French Open winning streak to a then-men’s record of 28 matches.
May 27 (1992): Connors goes down swinging
May 28 (1983): Horvath spoils perfection
May 29 (1998): Safin shocks the champ
May 30 (1999): Agassi defeats Moya
May 31 (2003): Robredo's remarkable rally
June 1 (1993): Fernandez foils a friend
June 2 (1994): Pierce pummels Graf in semis
June 3 (2001): Kuerten's comeback vs. Russell
June 4 (2005): Henin, the Queen of Clay
June 5 (2010): Francesca wins the final
June 6 (1989): The underdog's underhanded serve
June 7 (1981): Borg's final final-round triumph
June 8 (1996): 10-8 in the third: Graf vs. A. S-V
June 9 (2001): Capriati's 12-10 win over Clijsters
June 10 (1990): Gomez denies flashy Agassi