The highly anticipated film about Swedish tennis legend Björn Borg and his rivalry with American John McEnroe will be the first Swedish film ever to open the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival, kicking off its 42nd year, on September 7.

The film, starring newcomer Sverrir Gudnason as Björn Borg and Shia LaBeouf as John McEnroe, details Borg’s life from his start in Södertälje, Sweden to his rise to the top of the tennis world, while portraying one of the greatest professional sports rivalries of all time, a long-running battle for supremacy in tennis in the 1970s and 1980s. The cool, unemotional Borg and the outspoken, temperamental McEnroe faced each other 22 times on the court between 1978 and 1981, each winning seven of their matches. Their two Wimbledon finals, in 1980 and 1981, are considered among the greatest ever in the sport.

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"Our goal with the film has been to honor Björn Borg and John McEnroe in a respectful way with a story that will move and engage the audience, not only in Sweden, but also across the world. Being given the chance to start the journey by opening the Toronto Film Festival is really brilliant. Now it's up to the audience to decide if we succeeded," producers Jon Nohrstedt and Fredrik Wikström Nicastro said.

"Borg/McEnroe" is actually one of two tennis-themed films coming to the festival — Emma Stone and Steve Carell star in “Battle of the Sexes,” about Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

Borg/McEnroe is due to be released in Europe in September, starting with Sweden on September 6, then headlines TIFF as the opening night gala film at Roy Thomson Hall on September 7. It is currently the only showing slated for North America.
www.tiff.net