Saturday/ Wimbledon, 40 years ago

The first week of action is over at the world’s oldest, and arguably the most famous, tennis tournament: Wimbledon in London, England.

It’s hard to believe that I had taken this picture 40 years ago, on Thursday, July 2, 1981. Bjorn Borg (25 at the time, Sweden) was playing Jimmy Conners (28, USA) in the semi-final.
Regrettably, we had to leave early. We had dinner reservations, with a business associate of my dad’s. After dinner, we did not want to wait for the newspaper in the morning, and inquired from the hotel’s doorman if he knew who had won the match.  He did.

My 35 mm black & white picture, from where parents and my brother and I were sitting, watching the Borg-Conners semi-final match at Wimbledon 1981. That’s Borg on the far side. They are warming up, and have not started playing (Borg still has his jacket on, and there are loose tennis balls on the court). The scoreboard shows the time as 5.12 pm. The match went on for 3 hrs 18 mins, with Borg the victor. (John McEnroe defeated Borg in the final). Our tickets cost all of £11 each, an amazing bargain. (£11 in 1981 is worth £43 today. At this year’s Wimbledon, a ticket for the men’s semi-final goes for £170). 
Today the court has a high-tech retractable roof cover. There is a crowd, albeit a little thin due to Covid-19 restrictions. Here is Andy Murray (34, Scotland) serving against Denis Shapovalov (22, Canada) in a match played on Friday. Shapavalov won 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.
The tournament was first held in 1877. There was no tournament 1915-18 (during World War I), nor 1940-45 (during World War II), and not in 2020 (during the War against Covid-19). [Picture by AELTC/ Joe Toth]

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