Tennis legend Borg auctioning Wimbledon trophies

Updated: March 3, 2006, 9:22 AM ET
Associated Press

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Swedish tennis great Bjorn Borg will auction off his five Wimbledon trophies and two of his rackets to achieve "financial security," an auction house said Friday.

Borg, the only player to win five consecutive Wimbledon titles, will put his trophies on the block at the Bonhams auction house in London on June 21.

The trophies, which will be sold together, are expected to fetch between $350,000 and $525,000, Bonhams said.

Borg, who was voted Sweden's greatest athlete of the 20th century in his home country, said he is selling the memorabilia to improve his personal economics.

"Obviously, it is not easy to part with the trophies that symbolize all the tremendous effort, both physically and emotionally, that it took to win Wimbledon on five occasions," he said in a statement. "However, I do need to have some long-term financial security for those close to me."

Borg won his five titles between 1976 and 1980, including a grueling five-set victory over John McEnroe in his last final. The racket he used in that game and the one he used to win his first title in 1976 are up for bid.

Each racket is expected to sell anywhere from $17,500 to $26,200.

Borg also won six French Open titles before retiring at the age of 26.

Since his career ended, Borg has been beleaguered by several failed financial ventures. A company that marketed clothing under his name ran into deep financial trouble in 1990 and was restructured.

According to the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, the legal battle stemming from the failed company is still ongoing. The newspaper reported Friday that a creditor is planning to sue Borg for $1.4 million next month.

"Even though the symbols of my victories are being sold, what I will always retain is the knowledge that for such a long period I was the supreme world tennis champion," Borg said.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press