At 25, Bjorn Borg had already conquered 11 Major titles and over 60 ATP crowns, taking most of those on clay and carpet. The great Swede was the player to beat on grass, too. He won five straight Wimbledon titles between 1976 and1980 and stood as one of the most successful players at the All England Club. Borg’s hard-court results were not as good as on the other three surfaces. However, he still reached three US Open finals on that surface between 1978 and 1981 and lifted the Canada Open title, one of four on hard. The most successful season in this outstanding player’s career came in 1979 when he claimed 13 ATP titles and grabbed 84 out of 90 wins, including Major crowns in Paris and London. Also, Bjorn achieved an extraordinary feat that summer. The Swede conquered back-to-back titles on three different surfaces after going all the way at Wimbledon, Bastad and Toronto, keeping that record for the next 25 years!
The Swede was two sets to one down in two Wimbledon matches that year against Vijay Amritraj and again in the final versus Roscoe Tanner. He overcame all the obstacles to pick up the fourth consecutive crown in the cathedral of tennis and become the first player since 1913 and Anthony Wilding to achieve that! Bjorn returned to Sweden to play Bastad on clay and dropped just 17 games in ten sets to celebrate another title in an already notable season. Carried by this momentum, Borg headed to Toronto, where we witnessed one of his most excellent performances on hard. The Swede lost ten games in the semi-final and final against the upcoming youngsters Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe to win the fourth consecutive tournament and the third on different surfaces.
Roger Federer won consecutive titles on three different surfaces in 2004.
Twenty-five years later, Roger Federer was the dominant figure on the Tour in 2004. The Swiss scored 74 wins in 80 matches, delivering 11 titles and becoming the first player with three Major crowns in a single year since Mats Wilander in 1988! Tim Henman, Rafael Nadal, Albert Costa and Gustavo Kuerten were the only players who had beaten Roger before Canada. Federer defended his Wimbledon title after beating Andy Roddick in four sets and had no time to celebrate. The Swiss traveled back home to Gstaad in what probably was his last attempt to win the event where he made an ATP debut back in 1998.
Roger survived a scare against Ivo Karlovic in the second round to avoid an early exit. After two hours, he overpowered Igor Andreev in the title match for his first crown on the home ground and the fourth on clay. After taking two well-deserved weeks off, Roger was back on the court in Toronto. He went all the way again, lifting his fourth Masters 1000 trophy following another triumph over Roddick. Thus, Federer proved his class on different surfaces within a couple of weeks. We are yet to see a player who would join Borg and Federer on this exclusive list.