Bjorn Borg locked up the No. 1 rating for 1979 by winning the traditional season-ending Grand Prix Masters Championship in New York. The Wimbledon and French champion actually settled any possible doubts about top honors when he defeated US Open champion John McEnroe, his only serious challenger, in a 6-7, 6 -3, 7-6 semifinal sizzler. Borg lost the first point of the decisive tiebreaker to a McEnroe ace, then reeled off seven straight points for a convincing finish. In an anti-climactic final the next day the Swedish marvel crushed Vitas Gerulaitis (who had upset Jimmy Connors in the other semifinal) 6-2, 6-2.
In the year's first women's tournament at Cincinnati, Tracy Austin took up where she left off in last fall's US Open, routing Chris Evert 6-2, 6-1 in the final.