Updated: Jul 19
5 July, 2020. In any assessment of great sporting moments of the 20th Century, the 1980 Wimbledon Gentlemen's Singles Final between the defending champion Bjorn Borg of Sweden and John McEnroe of the USA has earned an unopposed place in history. Played on July 5th 1980, Borg was then at the ripe age of 24 and was playing in his fifth consecutive Wimbledon Final. Borg had successfully won the previous four championships. McEnroe, on the other hand, this was his first appearance in the final at the age of 21. A backhand passing shot with extreme precision would end the historical match and Borg was Champion by 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7, 8-6.
Millions of fans watched anxiously on television. Watching also on this special day were the grandparents of the Ukrainian painter Anna Berezovskaya. The passion for tennis has been passed through the generations for the Berezovskayas just as it has for The Berlin Tennis Gallery founder, Andreas Fixemer. After almost 40 years to the day, this combined enthusiasm of Anna and Andreas would fuel the fire to immortalize on canvas what is recognized as one of the most memorable matches in tennis history.
The origins of “THE DRAMA OF WIMBLEDON 1980“
The concept phase
In the beginning, it was necessary to determine the components and the structure of the painting. It quickly became apparent that in addition to the protagonists` Borg and McEnroe, the center court and the trophy had to be portrayed. Inspired by this, the first templates were created.
Building on this first step, it was essential to find the perfect positions with which the two opponents are reminisced by the tennis fans worldwide. It was clear that Borg`s famous knee fall should be a key feature. And so, it was decided that Borg`s supreme legendary two-handed backhand and John McEnroe`s unique technical attributes should be displayed on the painting.
Now all that was left was to arrange the components. Anna and Andreas created 3 concepts, each with a different main messages. A public vote would determine the final structure.
The second concept focused more on the protagonists themselves and the associated rivalry of the two at the time. Borg`s and McEnroe`s faces and profiles were displayed in oversize. The court was just partially hinted.
Concept number 3 was a kind of mixture of variant 1 highlighting the story of the match and the more art-oriented variant 2. The player`s profiles were shown back to back not facing each other. The grass court was not considered at all.
Ultimately, the decision clearly fell on concept 1, and so “THE DRAMA OF WIMBLEDON 1980” was conceived and the work could be started.
The implementation process Firstly, the specific outlines were created. In their typical playing position, both players should observe Borg, who would fall on his knees in front of the trophy.
The colours should be the typical Wimbledon-green, and Borg and McEnroe in their playing clothing, as well as the Wimbledon golden trophy.
Back then, a match was not just a match of two opponents, but very often the rivalry between their nations. And so, it was decided to display the national colours of the United States and Sweden in the painting.
Now, the way to path to the final result was paved. And finally, 40 years after one of the most memorable matches in tennis, Ukrainian Anna Berezovskaya managed to create one of the most outstanding works of art in the history of tennis.
Borg and McEnroe inspired millions of fans and inspired many to play the sport. This unique piece of sports artistry is exhibited at The Berlin Tennis Gallery as an original painting. It is also available in Limited Edition Art Print Giclée of 165 pieces. Available at berlintennisgallery.com/men. Inquiries via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mail to the editor