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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
Bundesarchiv Bild 102-10990, Jean Borotra.jpg
Jean Borotra in 1931
Full nameJean Laurent Robert Borotra
Country (sports) France
Born(1898-08-13)13 August 1898
Biarritz, France
Died17 July 1994(1994-07-17) (aged 95)
Arbonne, France
Height1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Turned pro1920 (amateur tour)
Retired1956
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF1976 (member page)
Singles
Career record654-127 (83.7%) [1]
Career titles69 [2]
Highest rankingNo. 2 (1926, A. Wallis Myers)[3]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenW (1928)
French OpenW (1931)
WimbledonW (1924, 1926)
US OpenF (1926)
Other tournaments
WHCCSF (1922)
WCCCF (1922)
Olympic GamesSF – 4th (1924)
Doubles
Career record0–1
Highest rankingNo. 1 (1925)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenW (1928)
French OpenW (1925, 1928, 1929, 1934, 1936)
WimbledonW (1925, 1932, 1933)
Mixed doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian OpenW (1928)
French OpenW (1927, 1934)
WimbledonW (1925)
US OpenW (1926)
Team competitions
Davis CupW (1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932)

Contents

CareerEdit

Borotra was born in Domaine du Pouy, Biarritz, Aquitaine, the oldest of four children.[4]

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.[3] 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.[5][6] 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.[citation needed]

On 17 July 1994, Borotra, founder and president of honour of the CIFP (International Committee for Fair Play) died at the age of 95, after a short illness. He was buried at Arbonne.[7]

The International Fair Play Committee, which recognises achievements annually, awards a Jean Borotra World Fair Play Trophy.

Personal lifeEdit

In 1938 Borotra married Mabel de Forest and they had one son.[8] The couple divorced in 1947. In 1988 he married Janine Bourdin.[9]

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.[10]

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.[11]

Grand Slam finalsEdit

 
Borotra at the 1924 French Championships.

Singles: 10 (4 titles, 6 runners-up)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
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

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1925 French Championships Clay   René Lacoste   Henri Cochet
  Jacques Brugnon
7–5, 4–6, 6–3, 2–6, 6–3
Win 1925 Wimbledon Grass   René Lacoste   John Hennesey
  Raymond Casey
6–4, 11–9, 4–6, 1–6, 6–3
Win 1928 Australian Championships Grass   Jacques Brugnon   Gar Moon
  Jim Willard
6–2, 4–6, 6–4, 6–4
Loss 1927 French Championships Clay   René Lacoste   Henri Cochet
  Jacques Brugnon
6–2, 2–6, 0–6, 6–1, 4–6
Win 1928 French Championships Clay   Jacques Brugnon   Henri Cochet
  René de Buzelet
6–4, 3–6, 6–2, 3–6, 6–4
Win 1929 French Championships Clay   René Lacoste   Henri Cochet
  Jacques Brugnon
6–3, 3–6, 6–3, 3–6, 8–6
Win 1932 Wimbledon Grass   Jacques Brugnon   Pat Hughes
  Fred Perry
6–0, 4–6, 3–6, 7–5, 7–5
Win 1933 Wimbledon Grass   Jacques Brugnon   Ryosuki Nunoi
  Jiro Satoh
4–6, 6–3, 6–3, 7–5
Win 1934 French Championships Clay   Jacques Brugnon   Jack Crawford
  Vivian McGrath
11–9, 6–3, 2–6, 4–6, 9–7
Loss 1934 Wimbledon Grass   Jacques Brugnon   George Lott
  Lester Stoefen
2–6, 3–6, 4–6
Win 1936 French Championships Clay   Marcel Bernard   Pat Hughes
  Charles Tuckey
6–2, 3–6, 9–7, 6–1
Loss 1939 French Championships Clay   Jacques Brugnon   Don McNeill
  Charles Harris
6–4, 4–6, 0–6, 6–2, 8–10

Mixed doubles: 5 titlesEdit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1925 Wimbledon Grass   Suzanne Lenglen   Elizabeth Ryan
  Uberto de Morpurgo
6–3, 6–3
Win 1926 U.S. National Championships Grass   Elizabeth Ryan   Hazel Hotchkiss
  René Lacoste
6–4, 7–5
Win 1927 French Championships Clay   Marguerite Broquedis   Lilí Álvarez
  Bill Tilden
6–4, 2–6, 6–2
Win 1928 Australian Championships Grass   Daphne Akhurst   Esna Boyd
  Jack Hawkes
default
Win 1934 French Championships Clay   Colette Rosambert   Elizabeth Ryan
  Adrian Quist
6–2, 6–4

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Borotra, Jean: Career Match Records Main Tournaments". thetennisebase.com. The Tennisbase. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Borotra, Jean: Career Match Records Main Tournaments". thetennisebase.com. The Tennisbase. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  3. ^ a b United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 424.
  4. ^ Adam Doster (14 June 2012). "Jean Borotra, The Most Interesting Man In Tennis, Won 19 Grand Slams And Escaped A Nazi Prison". Deadspin.
  5. ^ Olympic Review, Issues 89-96. International Olympic Committee. 1975. p. 162.
  6. ^ Olympic Charter 1983. Comite International Olympique. 1983. pp. 142–143.
  7. ^ Christopher Clarey (18 July 1994). "Jean Borotra Is Dead at 95; One of Tennis's '4 Musketeers'". The New York Times.
  8. ^ "Borotra married". The Sydney Morning Herald (31, 065). New South Wales, Australia. 27 July 1937. p. 11 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ Laurie Pignon (17 July 1994). "Obituary: Jean Borotra". Independent.
  10. ^ Atkin, Nicholas (2014). The French at War: 1934-1944. Abingdon: Routledge. p. 45. ISBN 978-0582368996.
  11. ^ Mayer, John G. (26 May 1945). "12th Men Free French Big-Wigs". Hellcat News. 12th Armored Division.

External linksEdit