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René Lacoste: Wikis


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René Lacoste
René Lacoste.jpg
Nickname(s) Le Crocodile
Country  France
Residence Paris, France
Date of birth July 2, 1904(1904-07-02)
Place of birth Paris, France
Date of death October 12, 1996 (aged 92)
Plays Right-handed; one-handed backhand
Career titles 7
Highest ranking No. 1 1926-1927
Grand Slam results
Australian Open DNP
French Open W (1925, 1927, 1929)
Wimbledon W (1925, 1928)
US Open W (1926, 1927)
Career titles 442
Highest ranking No. 45 (April 7, 2008)
Australian Open DNP
French Open W (1925), (1929)
Wimbledon W(1925)
US Open SF
Last updated on: May 31, 2009.
Olympic medal record
Men's Tennis
Bronze 1924 Paris Doubles

Jean René Lacoste (July 2, 1904 - October 12, 1996) was a French tennis player and businessman, nicknamed "the Crocodile" by fans because of his pugnacity on court; he is now known primarily as the namesake of the Lacoste tennis shirt, which he introduced in 1929.

Lacoste was one of The Four Musketeers, French tennis stars who dominated the game in the 1920s and early 1930s. He won seven Grand Slam singles titles in the French, American, and British championships but never made the long trip to Australia to play in their championships. He was the world number one player for both 1926 and 1927.

In 1933, Lacoste founded La Société Chemise Lacoste with André Gillier. The company produced the tennis shirt which Lacoste often wore when he was playing, which had an alligator (generally thought to be a crocodile) embroidered on the chest.

In 1963, Lacoste created a sensation in racquet technology by patenting the first tubular steel tennis racquet. Until then, racquets had almost always been made of wood. This new racquet's strings were attached to the frame by a series of wires, which wrapped around the racquet head. The racquet was marketed in Europe under the Lacoste brand, but in the United States it was marketed by Wilson Sporting Goods and achieved critical acclaim and huge popularity as the Wilson T-2000, used by American tennis great Jimmy Connors.

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.[1]

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.

The week of his death, French Advertising agency Publicis, who had been managing the 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.

He married the famous golfing champion, Simone de la Chaume. Their daughter Catherine Lacoste was a champion golfer.

The Four Musketeers were inducted simultaneously into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1976.


Grand Slam results

French Championships

  • Singles champion: 1925, 1927, 1929
  • Singles finalist: 1926, 1928
  • Doubles champion: 1925, 1929
  • Doubles finalist: 1927


  • Singles champion: 1925, 1928
  • Singles finalist: 1924
  • Doubles champion: 1925

U.S. Championships

  • Singles champion: 1926, 1927
  • Mixed finalist: 1926, 1927

Wins (7)

Year Championship Surface Opponent in final Score in final
1925 French Championships Clay France Jean Borotra 7-5, 6-1, 6-4
1925 Wimbledon Grass France Jean Borotra 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 8-6
1926 US Championships Grass France Jean Borotra 6-4, 6-0, 6-4
1927 French Championships (2) Clay United States William Tilden 6-4, 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 11-9
1927 US Championships (2) Grass United States William Tilden 11-9, 6-3, 11-9
1928 Wimbledon (2) Grass France Henri Cochet 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
1929 French Championships (3) Clay France Jean Borotra 6-3, 2-6, 6-0, 2-6, 8-6

Runner-ups (3)

Year Championship Surface Opponent in final Score in final
1924 Wimbledon Grass France Jean Borotra 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4
1926 French Championships Clay France Henri Cochet 6-2, 6-4, 6-3
1928 French Championships Clay France Henri Cochet 5-7, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3

See also


  1. ^ Writing in 1979, Kramer considered the best player ever to have been either Don Budge (for consistent play) or Ellsworth Vines (at the height of his game). The next four best were, chronologically, Bill Tilden, Fred Perry, Bobby Riggs, and Pancho Gonzales. After these six came the "second echelon" of Rod Laver, Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Gottfried von Cramm, Ted Schroeder, Jack Crawford, Pancho Segura, Frank Sedgman, Tony Trabert, John Newcombe, Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith, Björn Borg, and Jimmy Connors. He felt unable to rank Henri Cochet and René Lacoste accurately but felt they were among the very best.

External links


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