HOW TWO teenagers changed tennis. In 1974, Evert and Borg won in Paris with the two-handed backhand.

It has been more than a half century since Borg and Evert first played the French Open, but this year marks the 50th anniversary of their winning their first major championships in Paris.

Evert went on to capture 18 Grand Slam singles titles, including a record seven at the French Open, six at the United States Open,  three at the Wimbledon and two at the Australian Open.

Borg won six French Opens from 1974 to 1981 and five consecutive Wimbledons from 1976 to 1980.

'' When I started to play tennis at 8, 9, years old, I had three dreams,'' Borg, who will turn 68 in June, said from his home outside Stockholm. '' One was to play Davis Cup for Sweden, one was to walk on Central Court at Wimbledon and the third dream was to win a Grand Slam tournament.

Evert has no recollection of whom she played along the way to capturing her first French Open in 1974. She doesn't recall ousting Virginia Ruzici, who would go on to win the 1978 French Open and then lose to Evert in finals in 1980.

Or that she didn't lose a set en route to the title, which she won 6-1, 6-2 over her friend and doubles partner Olga Morozova. She does, however, remember having a vastly different attitude that year.

Evert won again in 1975 and, after skipping the tournament for three years to play World Team Tennis, she won back-to-back championships again in 1979 and 1980.

Her greatest victory came in 1985, when she upset top-seeded Martina Navratilova 6-3, 6-7 [4], 7-5 in a nearly three hour final that enabled her to reclaim the world No. 1 ranking.

She beat Navratilova again in the 1985 final for her last victory at a major.

The World Students Society thanks author  Cindy Shmerler.


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