|Born||2 July 1904|
|Died||12 October 1996 92) (aged|
|Plays||Right-handed (one-handed backhand)|
|Int. Tennis HoF||1976 (member page)|
|Career record||262–43 (85.9%)|
|Highest ranking||No. 1 (1926, A. Wallis Myers )|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|French Open||W (1925, 1927, 1929)|
|Wimbledon||W (1925, 1928)|
|US Open||W (1926, 1927)|
|Olympic Games||QF (1924)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|French Open||W (1925, 1929)|
|Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results|
|US Open||F (1926, 1927)|
|Davis Cup||W (1927, 1928)|
Jean René Lacoste (French pronunciation: [ʒɑ̃ ʁəne lakɔst] ; 2 July 1904 – 12 October 1996) was a French tennis player and businessman. He was nicknamed "the Crocodile" because of how he dealt with his opponents; he is also known worldwide as the creator of the Lacoste tennis shirt, which he introduced in 1929.
Lacoste was one of The Four Musketeers with Jean Borotra, Jacques Brugnon, and Henri Cochet, French tennis stars who dominated the game in the late 1920s and early 1930s. He won seven Grand Slam singles titles at the French, American, and British championships and was an eminent baseline player and tactician of the pre-war period. As a member of the French team, Lacoste won the Davis Cup in 1927 and 1928. Lacoste was the World No. 1 player for both 1926 and 1927.
Lacoste started playing tennis at age 15 when he accompanied his father on a trip to England.His first participation in a Grand Slam tournament was the 1922 Wimbledon Championships in which he lost in the first round to Pat O'Hara Wood. The following year, 1923, he reached the fourth round at Wimbledon to be narrowly defeated by Cecil Campbell, and he competed for the first time in the U.S. Championships.
His breakthrough came in 1925 when he won the singles title at the French Championships and at Wimbledon, in both cases after a victory in the final against compatriot Jean Borotra. The following year, 1926, Lacoste lost his French title after a straight-sets defeat in the final to Henri Cochet. He did not compete at Wimbledon that year, but in September he won the U.S. National Championships title against Borotra. He was ranked No.1 for 1926 by A. Wallis Myers, tennis correspondent of The Daily Telegraph.
In 1927, dubbed 'The finest year in tennis history' by E. Digby Baltzell, Lacoste was part of the French team that captured the Davis Cup from the United States, ending the latter's 6-year title run. The final was played at the Germantown Cricket Club in Philadelphia and Lacoste won both his singles matches against Bill Johnston and Bill Tilden.He played Tilden in two Grand Slam tournament finals that year and won both of them. At the French Championships he was victorious in five sets; at the U.S. National Championships he defended his title and denied Tilden his seventh U.S. title by winning in straight sets, although he survived setpoints in the first and third set and was down a break in the second. At Wimbledon, Lacoste lost a five-set semifinal to Borotra. For the second successive year he was ranked No. 1.
In 1928 Lacoste lost his French title after a four-set loss in the final against Cochet. He took revenge by beating Cochet in the final of the Wimbledon Championships after having defeated Tilden in a five-set semifinal. The Challenge Round of the 1928 Davis Cup against the United States was played at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris on 27–29 July. The stadium was specifically constructed to host France's first defense of the Davis Cup.Lacoste lost the first rubber in a five-set match to Tilden but France won the remaining rubbers to defeat the challengers 4–1 and retain the cup. Lacoste did not participate in the 1928 U.S. Championships.
Between 1923 and 1928 Lacoste played 51 Davis Cup matches for France in 26 ties and compiled a record of 32–8 in singles and 8–3 in doubles.
The only major championship he played in 1929 was the French and he won his seventh, and last, Grand Slam singles title after a tight five-set final against Jean Borotra.Failing health, including respiratory disease, led to his withdrawal from competitive tennis in 1929 although he would make a brief comeback at the 1932 French Championships, where he defeated reigning Wimbledon champion Sidney Wood in the third round, but lost in the fourth to Harry Lee. He was the non-playing captain of the French Davis Cup team in 1932 and 1933.
The Four Musketeers were inducted simultaneously into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1976. In his 1979 autobiography, Jack Kramer, the long-time tennis promoter and great player himself, included Lacoste in his list of the 21 greatest players of all time.
In 1928 Lacoste wrote a book which he titled 'Lacoste on Tennis.'
There are numerous explanations of why Lacoste was originally nicknamed "The Crocodile." A 2006 New York Times obituary about Lacoste's son, Bernard, provides an apparently authoritative one. In the 1920s, supposedly, Lacoste made a bet with his team captain about whether he would win a certain match. The stakes were a suitcase he had seen in a Boston store; it was made of crocodile (or alligator) skin. Later, René Lacoste's friend Robert George embroidered a crocodile onto a blazer that Lacoste wore for his matches.
Lacoste was primarily a baseline player who relied on control, accuracy, and deeply-placed groundstrokes to put pressure on his opponents. In addition he possessed an excellent passing shot and backhand slice. Nicknamed the 'Tennis Machine' for his methodical game and ability to avoid errors, he was known as a devoted and hard-working player, rather than a player with a great amount of natural talent.His style was a complete contrast to that of his fellow Musketeer Henri Cochet. Lacoste was a studious tactician who meticulously analysed his opponents and kept detailed notes on their strengths and weaknesses.
In 1933, Lacoste founded La Société Chemise Lacoste with André Gillier. The company produced the tennis shirt, also known as a "polo shirt," which Lacoste often wore when he was playing; this had a crocodile (often thought to be an alligator) embroidered on the chest. In 1963, Lacoste's son Bernard took over the management of the company.
In 1961, Lacoste created an innovation in racket technology by unveiling and patenting the first tubular steel tennis racket.At that time, wood rackets were the norm; the new version's strings were attached to the frame by a series of wires, which wrapped around the racket head. The steel-tube racket was stiffer, and imparted a greater force to the ball during a stroke. It was marketed in Europe under the Lacoste brand, but in the United States it was marketed by Wilson Sporting Goods. Pierre Darmon debuted the racket at Wimbledon in 1963, but it achieved critical acclaim and huge popularity as the Wilson T-2000, used by American tennis greats Billie Jean King and Jimmy Connors.
When Lacoste died, the French Advertising agency Publicis, which had been managing his company's account for decades, published a print ad with the Lacoste logo and the English words "See you later...," reinforcing the idea that the animal was perhaps an alligator.
Rene Lacoste was born to Jeanne-Marie Magdeleine Larrieu-Let and Jean-Jules Lacoste.His maternal family is from Monein, in SW France, the genealogy dating back to the 1700s.
On 30 June 1930 he married golfing champion Simone de la Chaume.Their daughter Catherine Lacoste was a champion golfer and president of the Golf Club Chantaco, founded by her mother, at a few kilometres from Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France.
|Loss||1924||Wimbledon||Grass||Jean Borotra||1–6, 6–3, 1–6, 6–3, 4–6|
|Win||1925||French Championships||Clay||Jean Borotra||7–5, 6–1, 6–4|
|Win||1925||Wimbledon||Grass||Jean Borotra||6–3, 6–3, 4–6, 8–6|
|Loss||1926||French Championships||Clay||Henri Cochet||2–6, 4–6, 3–6|
|Win||1926||US National Championships||Grass||Jean Borotra||6–4, 6–0, 6–4|
|Win||1927||French Championships||Clay||Bill Tilden||6–4, 4–6, 5–7, 6–3, 11–9|
|Win||1927||US National Championships||Grass||Bill Tilden||11–9, 6–3, 11–9|
|Loss||1928||French Championships||Clay||Henri Cochet||7–5, 3–6, 1–6, 3–6|
|Win||1928||Wimbledon||Grass||Henri Cochet||6–1, 4–6, 6–4, 6–2|
|Win||1929||French Championships||Clay||Jean Borotra||6–3, 2–6, 6–0, 2–6, 8–6|
|Win||1925||French Championships||Clay||Jean Borotra|| Jacques Brugnon |
|7–5, 4–6, 6–3, 2–6, 6–3|
|Win||1925||Wimbledon||Grass||Jean Borotra|| John Hennessey |
|6–4, 11–9, 4–6, 1–6, 6–3|
|Loss||1927||French Championships||Clay||Jean Borotra|| Jacques Brugnon |
|6–2, 2–6, 0–6, 6–1, 4–6|
|Win||1929||French Championships||Clay||Jean Borotra|| Jacques Brugnon |
|6–3, 3–6, 6–3, 3–6, 8–6|
|Loss||1926||US Championships||Grass||Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman|| Elizabeth Ryan |
|Loss||1927||US Championships||Grass||Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman|| Eileen Bennett |
|2–6, 6–0, 3–6|
(OF) only for French club members
|Grand Slam tournament||1922||1923||1924||1925||1926||1927||1928||1929||1930||1931||1932||SR||W–L||Win %|
|Australian Championships||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||0 / 0||0–0||–|
|French Championships||OF||W||F||W||F||W||A||A||4R||3 / 6||29–3||90.6|
|Wimbledon||1R||4R||F||W||A||SF||W||A||A||A||A||2 / 6||28–4||87.5|
|U.S. Championships||A||2R||QF||QF||W||W||A||A||A||A||A||2 / 5||19–3||86.4|
|Win–Loss||0–1||4–2||9–2||16–1||10–1||17–1||12–1||5–0||3–1||7 / 17||76–10||88.4|
|Olympics||NH||QF||Not held||0 / 1||3–1||75.0|
|Tournament||Since||Record accomplished||Players matched|
|Grand Slam||1877||Youngest player to win 2 titles at 3 Grand Slams||Stands alone|
The Four Musketeers, after a popular 1920's film adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' classic, were French tennis players who were top competitors of the game during the second half of the 1920's and early 1930's, winning 20 Grand Slam titles and 23 Grand Slam doubles. They also led France to six straight Davis Cup wins, 1927–32, in an era when Cup matches enjoyed a prestige similar to today's FIFA World Cup finals. At its creation in 1927, the tournament that would later be known as French Open's trophy was named the Coupe des Mousquetaires in honour of the quartet.
Henri Jean Cochet was a French tennis player. He was a world No. 1 ranked player, and a member of the famous "Four Musketeers" from France who dominated tennis in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
Jean Laurent Robert Borotra was a French tennis champion. He was one of the famous "Four Musketeers" from his country who dominated tennis in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Borotra was imprisoned in Itter Castle during the latter years of World War II and subsequently fought in the Battle for Castle Itter.
John Herbert Crawford, was an Australian tennis player during the 1930s. He was the World No. 1 player for 1933, during which year he won the Australian Open, the French Open, and Wimbledon, and was runner-up at the U.S. Open in five sets, thus missing the Grand Slam by one set that year. He also won the Australian Open in 1931, 1932, and 1935. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1979.
Vincent "Vinnie" Richards was an American tennis player. He was active in the early decades of the 20th century, particularly known as being a superlative volleyer. He was ranked World No. 2 both as an amateur in 1924 by A. Wallis Myers, and as a pro by American Lawn Tennis magazine in 1930.
John Francis Hennessey was a top American tennis player of the 1920s.
The 1927 Wimbledon Championships took place on the outdoor grass courts at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom. The tournament was held from Monday 20 June until Saturday 2 July 1927. It was the 47th staging of the Wimbledon Championships, and the third Grand Slam tennis event of 1927.
Henri Cochet defeated the defending champion Jean Borotra in the final, 4–6, 4–6, 6–3, 6–4, 7–5 to win the Gentlemen's Singles tennis title at the 1927 Wimbledon Championships. Cochet became the first player to win three consecutive Grand Slam matches from two sets down, a record that was not matched until Tommy Robredo did the same at the French Open in 2013.
René Lacoste defeated the defending champion Henri Cochet 6–1, 4–6, 6–4, 6–2 in the final to win the Gentlemen's Singles tennis title at the 1928 Wimbledon Championships.
Henri Cochet defeated Jean Borotra 6–4, 6–3, 6–4 in the final to win the Gentlemen's Singles tennis title at the 1929 Wimbledon Championships. René Lacoste was the defending champion, but did not participate.
First-seeded René Lacoste defeated Bill Tilden 6–4, 4–6, 5–7, 6–3, 11–9 in the final to win the Men's Singles tennis title at the 1927 French Championships. The draw consisted of 75 player of which 16 were seeded.
The second seed, René Lacoste, defeated Jean Borotra 6–3, 2–6, 6–0, 2–6, 8–6 in the final to win the Men's Singles tennis title at the 1929 French Championships.
The 1927 French Championships was a tennis tournament that took place on the outdoor clay courts at the Stade Francais in Saint-Cloud, France. The tournament ran from 27 May until 5 June. It was the 32nd staging of the French Championships and the second Grand Slam tournament of the year.
The 1929 French Championships was a tennis tournament that took place on the outdoor clay courts at the Stade Roland-Garros in Paris, France. The tournament ran from 20 May until 3 June. It was the 34th staging of the French Championships and the second Grand Slam tournament of the year.
John Joseph 'Jack' Condon was a former male tennis player from South Africa.
Ivie John Richardson was a former male tennis player from South Africa.
René Lacoste defeated Jean Borotra 6–4, 6–0, 6–4 in the final to win the Men's Singles tennis title at the 1926 U.S. National Championships. It was Lacoste's first U.S. Championships title and his third Grand Slam title overall. Bill Tilden was the six-time defending champion, but was upset in the quarterfinals by that year's French Championships winner Henri Cochet.
René de Buzelet was a French tennis player who was active during the 1920s and 30s.
Frank Hunter and Bill Tilden defeated defending champions Jacques Brugnon and Henri Cochet in the final, 1–6, 4–6, 8–6, 6–3, 6–4 to win the Gentlemen' Doubles tennis title at the 1927 Wimbledon Championship.
This was a tennis rivalry played between the French player Henri Cochet, and the American player Bill Tilden. In their respective careers the met each other on the court 35 times from 1926 until 1939 it ended with Tilden leading in head to head matches 23-12. In Major championship matches their rivalry ended with Cochet leading Tilden 4-3.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to René Lacoste .|