John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg faced each other just 14 times in less than three years, but their rivalry today ranks among sports’ most unforgettable.
It’s about to get a worthy tribute.
On Wednesday, HBO Sports will announce McEnroe/Borg: Fire & Ice, a documentary about the rivals slated to premiere in mid-May. The title, a reference made famous by a 1981 Time magazine story on the pair, evokes the elemental contrasts in style and demeanor that made McEnroe and Borg such compelling theater from 1978 through ’81.
Chronicling their personal backstories and decorated pro careers through archival footage and contemporary interviews, the film will explore some of McEnroe and Borg’s most memorable showdowns, including the 1980 Wimbledon final and the 1981 U.S. Open final.
Tennis fans will be pleased to know Mary Carillo has been intimately involved with the project as an interviewer and story editor. The veteran journalist is one-third of the team, along with producer Margaret Grossi and writer Aaron Cohen, behind the HBO Sports docs Barbaro, Ted Williams and Back Nine at Cherry Hills: The Legends of the 1960 U.S. Open. Liev Schreiber will narrate.
Among those interviewed for the film — in addition to McEnroe and Borg themselves — are Patrick McEnroe, Peter Fleming, Peter Bodo, Percy Rosberg, Tony Palafox, Ingrid Bentzer, George Grime, journalists Mike Lupica, Malcolm Folley, Tim Adams and Lennart Eriksson.