Bjorn Borg still rules.
For the second consecutive year, the phlegmatic (I’ve always wanted to write that) Swede saw a modern-day challenger to his Grand Slams records swatted away.
Rafael Nadal, the heretofore undefeated king of Roland Garros with 31 consecutive match victories, went out in four sets to Borg’s unheralded countryman, Robin Soderling. Seeded 23rd, Roderling prevented Rafa’s reign from surpassing Borg’s record of four consecutive French Open crowns.
That follows last July’s Wimbledon final — in what was arguably the greatest match ever — when Rafa put out the lights on Roger Federer’s attempt to break Borg’s mark of five straight titles on the famed lawn.
Now, it’s left to be seen whether Federer can capitalize on his rival’s absence — as well as the defeat of No. 4 Novak Djokovic — and complete the career Grand Slam and tie Pete Sampras with 14 majors.
NBC, no doubt, will chronicle the upset with its afternoon coverage May 31. However, its hope for yet another order of cafe and croissant final next Sunday, featuring Mssrs. Nadal and Federer, c’est finis.
Borg still rules.