Jean Laurent Robert Borotra (French pronunciation: [ʒɑ̃ ʁɔbɛʁ bɔ.ʁotʁa], Basque pronunciation: [borotɾa]; 13 August 1898 – 17 July 1994) 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.
Jean Borotra in 1931
|Full name||Jean Laurent Robert Borotra|
|Born||13 August 1898|
|Died||17 July 1994 (aged 95)|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Turned pro||1920 (amateur tour)|
|Plays||Right-handed (one-handed backhand)|
|Int. Tennis HoF||1976 (member page)|
|Career record||654-127 (83.7%) |
|Career titles||69 |
|Highest ranking||No. 2 (1926, A. Wallis Myers)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||W (1928)|
|French Open||W (1931)|
|Wimbledon||W (1924, 1926)|
|US Open||F (1926)|
|Olympic Games||SF – 4th (1924)|
|Highest ranking||No. 1 (1925)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||W (1928)|
|French Open||W (1925, 1928, 1929, 1934, 1936)|
|Wimbledon||W (1925, 1932, 1933)|
|Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results|
|Australian Open||W (1928)|
|French Open||W (1927, 1934)|
|US Open||W (1926)|
|Davis Cup||W (1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932)|
Known as "the Bounding Basque", he won four Grand Slam singles titles in the French, Australian, and All England championships. The 1924 French Championship does not count towards his grand slam total as the French was only open to French nationals and members of French clubs. He only failed to win the U.S. Championships, as he was defeated in the final by his countryman René Lacoste in straight sets, thus missing a career Grand Slam. His 1924 Wimbledon victory made him the first player from outside the English-speaking world to win the tournament. His first appearance was in the French Davis Cup team of 1921. He also made the final of the World Covered Court Championships in 1922, losing to Henri Cochet, but won the doubles and mixed doubles. The other major he did well in was the World Hard Court Championships (played on clay) – he won the doubles with Henri Cochet there in 1922.
Borotra was ranked as high as World No. 2 by A. Wallis Myers of The Daily Telegraph in 1926. Borotra won his last major in 1936 when he teamed up with Marcel Bernard for the French Championship doubles at Roland Garros.
In 1974, Borotra was one of the last three people to be awarded the IOC's Olympic Diploma of Merit. And in 1976, he along with the three other Musketeers were inducted simultaneously into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island. In 1984, Borotra received a Distinguished Service award from the United States Sports Academy in recognition of his achievements. As the oldest living gentleman's singles champion, Borotra was invited to present the singles champion his trophy at the 100th Wimbledon Championship in 1986.
The International Fair Play Committee, which recognises achievements annually, awards a Jean Borotra World Fair Play Trophy.
A member of François de la Rocque's Parti social français (PSF), he became 1st General Commissioner for Education and Sports from August 1940 to April 1942 during Vichy France, leading the Révolution nationale's efforts in sports policy.
Arrested by the Gestapo in November 1942, Borotra was deported to a concentration camp in Germany and then Itter Castle in North Tyrol until May 1945. He was freed from the castle after the Battle for Castle Itter, in which he played a courageous role by vaulting from the fortress and running to a nearby town to summon reinforcements.
Grand Slam finalsEdit
Singles: 10 (4 titles, 6 runners-up)Edit
|Win||1924||Wimbledon||Grass||René Lacoste||6–1, 3–6, 6–1, 3–6, 6–4|
|Loss||1925||French Championships||Clay||René Lacoste||5–7, 1–6, 4–6|
|Loss||1925||Wimbledon||Grass||René Lacoste||3–6, 3–6, 6–4, 6–8|
|Win||1926||Wimbledon||Grass||Howard Kinsey||8–6, 6–1, 6–3|
|Loss||1926||U.S. National Championships||Grass||René Lacoste||4–6, 0–6, 4–6|
|Loss||1927||Wimbledon||Grass||Henri Cochet||6–4, 6–4, 3–6, 4–6, 5–7|
|Win||1928||Australian Championships||Grass||Jack Cummings||6–4, 6–1, 4–6, 5–7, 6–3|
|Loss||1929||French Championships||Clay||René Lacoste||3–6, 6–2, 0–6, 6–2, 6–8|
|Loss||1929||Wimbledon||Grass||Henri Cochet||4–6, 3–6, 4–6|
|Win||1931||French Championships||Clay||Christian Boussus||2–6, 6–4, 7–5, 6–4|
Doubles: 12 (9 titles – 3 runners-up)Edit
Mixed doubles: 5 titlesEdit
|Win||1925||Wimbledon||Grass||Suzanne Lenglen|| Elizabeth Ryan
Uberto de Morpurgo
|Win||1926||U.S. National Championships||Grass||Elizabeth Ryan|| Hazel Hotchkiss
|Win||1927||French Championships||Clay||Marguerite Broquedis|| Lilí Álvarez
|6–4, 2–6, 6–2|
|Win||1928||Australian Championships||Grass||Daphne Akhurst|| Esna Boyd
|Win||1934||French Championships||Clay||Colette Rosambert|| Elizabeth Ryan
- "Borotra, Jean: Career Match Records Main Tournaments". thetennisebase.com. The Tennisbase. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
- "Borotra, Jean: Career Match Records Main Tournaments". thetennisebase.com. The Tennisbase. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 424.
- Adam Doster (14 June 2012). "Jean Borotra, The Most Interesting Man In Tennis, Won 19 Grand Slams And Escaped A Nazi Prison". Deadspin.
- Olympic Review, Issues 89-96. International Olympic Committee. 1975. p. 162.
- Olympic Charter 1983. Comite International Olympique. 1983. pp. 142–143.
- Christopher Clarey (18 July 1994). "Jean Borotra Is Dead at 95; One of Tennis's '4 Musketeers'". The New York Times.
- "Borotra married". The Sydney Morning Herald (31, 065). New South Wales, Australia. 27 July 1937. p. 11 – via National Library of Australia.
- Laurie Pignon (17 July 1994). "Obituary: Jean Borotra". Independent.
- Atkin, Nicholas (2014). The French at War: 1934-1944. Abingdon: Routledge. p. 45. ISBN 978-0582368996.
- Mayer, John G. (26 May 1945). "12th Men Free French Big-Wigs". Hellcat News. 12th Armored Division.
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