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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Borg Over Nastase As Rivalry Renewed

The first round of the Moscow's Peter's Cup tournament got underway at the Druzhba facility at the Luzhniki sports complex with a delightful display of tennis from the living legends of the past two decades.


The highlight of Thursday evening's opening matches was Bjorn Borg's straight-set victory over friendly rival Ilie Nastase, 6-4, 6-2. Just two months shy of 49, Nastase is the eldest of statesmen on the seniors' tour, but without a doubt continues to be tennis' most colorful character.


Trading quips in Russian throughout the match with spectators and ballboys, the Romanian showed glimpses of the precise shot-making and anticipation which -- if erratic even in his prime -- are nothing short of brilliant when executed.


It is still worth watching Nastase play if only to see him roll his heavy "buggy-whip" crosscourt forehand.


When asked what his main problem in the match was, he said: "Well, I had to play Borg in the first round."


It is not the first time Borg has cost Nastase a tournament. "The same thing happened to me at the finals of Wimbledon in 1976," he said.


Borg, currently second on the legends tour behind Jimmy Connors, is clearly playing to win. Having wrapped up an unsuccessful comeback attempt on the regular professional tour only 18 months ago, Borg remains in top shape.


In Thursday's opening match, two-time Australian Open champion Johan Kriek of South Africa beat Guillermo Vilas of Argentina, 6-4, 6-3.


On Friday, Connors, 42, faces England's John Lloyd, and John McEnroe, 36, a newcomer to the senior's tour, confronts Jose-Luis Clerc. Play continues at noon Saturday and Sunday.


Doubles also begins Friday, featuring Connors and Nastase, who won both the Wimbledon and U.S. doubles titles playing together.