Henri Cochet

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Henri Cochet
Henri Cochet 1922.jpg
Country  France
Born (1901-12-14)14 December 1901[1]
Villeurbanne, France[1]
Died 1 April 1987(1987-04-01) (aged 85)[1]
Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France[1]
Height 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)[2]
Turned pro 1933 (amateur tour from 1920)
Retired 1958 (as a reinstated amateur)
Plays Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HOF 1976 (member page)
Singles
Highest ranking No. 1 (1928, A. Wallis Myers)[3]
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open W (1926, 1928, 1930, 1932)
Wimbledon W (1927, 1929)
US Open W (1928)
Other tournaments
WHCC W (1922)
WCCC W (1922, 1923)
Olympic Games Silver medal.svg Silver Medal (1924)
Professional majors
Wembley Pro SF (1937)
French Pro W (1936)
Doubles
Grand Slam Doubles results
French Open W (1927, 1930, 1932)
Wimbledon W (1926, 1928)
Other Doubles tournaments
WHCC W (1922)
WCCC W (1922)
Olympic Games Silver medal.svg Silver Medal (1924)
Mixed Doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French Open W (1928, 1929)
Wimbledon SF (1930, 1932)
US Open W (1927)
Other Mixed Doubles tournaments
WHCC W (1922)
Team competitions
Davis Cup W (1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932)
Olympic medal record
Men's Tennis
Silver 1924 Paris Singles
Silver 1924 Paris Doubles

Henri Jean Cochet (French: [ɑ̃ʁi ʒɑ̃ ˈkəʊʃeɪ]); (14 December 1901 – 1 April 1987) was a champion tennis player, one of the famous "Four Musketeers" from France who dominated tennis in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Born in Villeurbanne, Rhône, Cochet won ten amateur Majors and one professional Major during his singles career (achieving victory on three different surfaces). He was ranked World No. 1 player for four consecutive years, 1928[4] through 1931 by A. Wallis Myers.[5][6] He turned professional in 1933 but, after a less than stellar pro career, he was reinstated as an amateur in 1946.[1]

The Four Musketeers were inducted simultaneously into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island in 1976. Cochet died at age 85 in Paris.

Early life and family[edit]

Henri Cochet was born on 14 December 1901 in Villeurbanne to Gustave Cochet and Antoinette Gailleton.[7] His father was a groundkeeper in a Lyonnese tennis club where Henri worked as a ball boy and thus had a chance to practise for free.[8][9] He began playing at the age of eight along with his sister.[10][11] The president of the club, a silk-factory owner and French-ranked player Georges Cozon, recognized his talent and volunteered to coach him.[8] He entered his first local tournament in 1920 where he met his mentor in the final.[10][11] He then moved on to win a series of matches at Aix-les-Bains mostly scratch and handicap matches.[11] In 1921 he decided to compete in Paris, which was the center of tennis life and registered for the French Covered Courts tournament second-class draw there, in which he reached the final where he beat Jean Borotra in five sets.[10][11] That qualified him to be featured in the 1921 French Closed Championships where he repeated his victory over Borotra and subsequently broke into the top ten French rankings at the end of the year.[10][11] Also in 1921 he won the military Championship of France.[12] Meanwhile his sister Aimée (Charpenel) Cochet also became a tennis player and later was on the main draw of the 1930 Wimbledon Championships.[13]

Tennis career[edit]

Rise to prominence (1922–1926)[edit]

Immediately after he entered the amateur scene Cochet won every possible major tournament of the era. In February 1922 he traveled to the World Covered Court Championships in Saint Moritz in Switzerland where he defeated Borotra in a five-set final and formed a team with him to gain the doubles trophy against Jacques Brugnon and Marcel Dupont.[11] He clinched a triple crown feat at the 1922 World Hard Court Championships in Brussels defeating Count Manuel de Gomar in the singles and triumphing in the doubles events partnering Jean Borotra and Suzanne Lenglen respectively.[10][11] After his success abroad he claimed the French Closed Championships when he defeated defending champion Jean Samazeuilh in the final.[10][11][14] Afterwards he topped the French rankings.[14] In June 1922 he debuted in the France Davis Cup team against Denmark and won both his singles and doubles match. The next round the team only composed of him and André Gobert and fell to the Australasian team.[14] He also found moderate success in the minor tournaments; at the South of France Championships he lost to Russian count Mikhail Sumarokov-Elston.[15] At the Côte d'Azur Championships he repelled the Englishman Morgan for his first Riviera title.[16]

In February 1923 he retained his World Covered Court Championships title, defeating John B. Gilbert in the final in straight sets.[17] On 1 April 1924 he metRené Lacoste in the championships match for the Beausite trophy of Cannes and beat his compatriot in straight sets.[18] At the 1924 Summer Olympics he won the silver medal in both the singles and doubles with his teammate Borotra, while Vincent Richards took the gold for the United States in both events pairing with Frank Hunter for the latter.[10][19] He was ranked the number one player of France alongside Lacoste and Borotra at the end of the year.[20] Due to his business affairs and injuries he missed most of the 1925 season,[19] while he kept his French first place shared with Borotra.[21] The French Internationals of that year marked the first instance of an all-Four Musketeers final in the doubles of the Championships where Brugnon and Lacoste finished ahead of Cochet–Borotra.[22] The January of next year he defeated Henry Mayes for the New Courts of Cannes Championships[23] and repeated this feat in the first day of February final of the Gallia L.T.C. of Cannes tournament.[24] In March for his first Menton crown he engaged in a five set battle against Hungarian champion Béla von Kehrling and prevailed.[25] Though he yet again came short to win a triple crown the following week at the Parc Impérial where despite he won both doubles with Julie Vlasto and Italian champion Umberto de Morpurgo he dropped the singles to his latter doubles partner.[26] A week later at the Côte d'Azur Championships he overcame Swiss champion Charles Aeschlimann in straights finishing the match with a love set. He also won the mixed title with Helen Wills.[27] In September the 1926 U.S. National Championships were invaded by the French top players and they each reached one of the quarterfinals.[28] Their opponents were Americans Bill Tilden, Vincent Richards, Bill Johnston and Norris Williams.[28] At the so-called "Black Thursday", three Americans yielded to the French, Cochet defeated Tilden, ending his six-year winning streak at Forest Hills and only lost to compatriot Lacoste who became the first foreign US champion since Laurence Doherty in 1903.[28][29] At the 1926 French Championships in June he dethroned René Lacoste as the titleholder and reached the top spot again in the French rankings.[19] A month later he clinched his first non-francophone title in the 1926 Wimbledon Championships doubles playing with Jacques Brugnon.[10][19]

The Four Musketeers Era (1926–1933)[edit]

International success (1926–1927)[edit]

Although after winning the Hard and Clay Court World series in 1922 Cochet was ranked 6th by A Wallis Myers's World's best ten list[a],[30] and 9th in 1924,[31] it only came after his Wimbledon doubles victory that he finished the last of the top three in 1926[32] and world second in doubles with Jean Borotra.[33] He began his 1927 training in Cannes through January by collecting back-to-back series of French riviera cups, including a triple crown victory in Métropole Club [33] and Carlton Club,[34] and a doubles in New Courts L.T.C. .[35] He continued on with a triple crown at Gallia L.T.C. also in Cannes[36] and a second triple feat in Nice Lawn Tennis Club.[37] He triumphed at the doubles events op the Hotel Bristol of Beaulieu in mid-February.[38] In Marseilles he was upset by Christian Boussus in the semifinals.[12] In April in the Championnats de la Côte Basque of Pau he repelled Eduardo Flaquer in singles, he and Jacques Brugnon finished second behind the Spanish duo of Flaquer and Raimundo Morales-Marquez, while the mixed went also to Cochet and Germaine le Conte.[39] In June the Four Musketeers held their second all-French doubles final of the 1927 French Championships where Cochet and Brugnon beat Borotra and Lacoste.[22]

All these achievements were a prelude to the 1927 Wimbledon Championships where in successive rounds he defeated two leading Americans Frank Hunter and Bill Tilden and finally Jean Borotra in exceptional five set matches, all of whom had two sets advantage against him.[40][41] Tilden had to serve for the match as he was leading 5-1 in the third set and had a match ball.[40][42] In the final Borotra left six match point unconverted to open the route for Cochet's revival.[40] With the latter one Cochet set a Wimbledon final comeback record that stands up to this day.[43] He then again met the Hunter and Tilden in the final of the doubles this time he joined forces with Jacques Brugnon and lost the championship despite having a match point.[41] This was the first of three consecutive encounters between the French and American teams as in early September the 1927 Davis Cup final took place in the United States where the US Davis Cup team led by Tilden and Hunter faced the challenging team of the Musketeers.[41] France won three to two with Cochet victorious in the decider against Bill Johnston and reclaiming the Davis Cup for France the first time since 1920.[41] A couple of days later the French troupe went to compete in the U.S. National Championships. Cochet and Eileen Bennett became the mixed doubles champions.[41] When he returned home in October he took revenge on Christian Boussus in their second meeting in the final of the Coupe Porée of Paris.[44] The same day he was ranked third in the world for the second consecutive year although this time he finished ahead of compatriot Borotra.[45] In November he won the Swiss Covered Courts Internationals in a short twenty-five minute final against Donald Greig.[46]

Breakthrough season (1928–29)[edit]

1928 was the first year of Cochet's hegemony on the world rankings. He was listed the first followed by René Lacoste and Bill Tilden.[4][47] This was the result of his overall season, that commenced on the French Riviera as usual. Prior to that he was drafted into a Queen's Club - Sporting club de Paris warm-up team challenge.[48] He contributed to the Parisian victory with two mixed and a singles win.[48] The following month he swept almost all possible Riviera titles from February to March. He kicked off the tour by winning his first mixed New Courts L.T.C title with his US championships partner Eileen Bennett.[49] In February he successfully defended his Métropole Club and his Gallia L.T.C. singles titles by defeating Henry Mayes two times in a row.[50][51] In the Monaco Cup at the La Festa Country Club Cochet turn the tide again from two sets down against two-times reigning champion Béla von Kehrling, first meeting of a rivalry that continued onward into the year.[52][53] They also met in the mixed doubles final, which remained unplayed and the prize was divided.[52][53] The Cochet - Brugnon pair also won the Butler Cup there (reserved for doubles of the same nationality).[54] In the Nice Lawn Tennis Club they met again for the singles contest and Cochet won in straight sets.[55] Cochet completed his second triple crown there.[55] InMenton at the official Riviera Championships eventual singles victor Von Kehrling and former Danish Champion Erik Worm repulsed Cochet and Count Salm in the doubles final.[56] In the mixed Von Kehrling and Cilly Aussem beat the seasoned duo Cochet–Bennett.[57] His third Côte d'Azur trophy was granted to him after Otto Froitzheim traveled home before the final and gave him a walkover.[58] One week later at the 50th Cannes Championships he reached the final to face Henry Mayes again, but due to misunderstandings he was 10 minutes late and had been defaulted from the tournament.[59] Subsequently he lost the upcoming mixed match alongside Phyllis Satterthwaite and only found his form in the doubles with Jack Hillyard at the expense of their opponents Count Slam and Worm.[59] In April at the Biarritz tournament he routed compatriot Roger George in four sets.[60] He was victorious in Marseilles versus Emmanuel Du Plaix and in the mixed with Cilly Aussem.[61] The Miramar L.T.C. tournament in Juan-les-Pins resulted in a three set final between René Gallèpe of Monaco and Cochet and ended in favor of the Frenchman.[61]

He then set to compete across Europe. As the reigning champions the France Davis Cup team had only one scheduled match for the season and could skip all other rounds.Lacoste and Cochet entered the British Hard Court Championships. Pat Spence eliminated Cochet in the semifinal stage but lost to Lacoste in the final.[62] Cochet and Bennett were awarded the mixed doubles title.[62] In May he accepted a one-on-one and a doubles challenge with Béla von Kehrling and the Hungary Davis Cup team in Budapest.[63] In front of a local crowd of 3000, Cochet won in four sets against the home favorite.[63] The doubles match between Von Kehrling - Jenő Péteri and Cochet - Roger Danet was indefinitely suspended due to bad light conditions at 6–2, 7–9, one set each.[63] The next stop was in Vienna where he won the Austrian International Championships.[54] Returning home he secured his French International Championships title by overcoming Lacoste in the final in four sets.[64] The doubles were won by Jean Borotra and Jacques Brugnon despite the efforts of Henri Cochet and René de Buzelet.[22] Cochet and recurring partner Bennett added the French hard courts mixed title to their set of accolades after defeating Helen Wills, women's world champion, and Frank Hunter, the No. 2 USTLA player in a three-set championship match.[65] On 6 July at the 1928 Wimbledon Championships Lacoste equalized with a victory over Cochet and deprived him of the title.[66][67] Cochet and Bennett lost in the mixed quarterfinals.[66][67] Cochet and Brugnon won the doubles again over Gerald Patterson and John Hawkes after their 1926 triumph.[67] At the end of July in the Challenge round of the Davis Cup at the Roland Garros the Musketeers with the absence of Brugnon defeated the United States to keep the trophy in French possession.[68] Cochet won all three of his rubbers.[68]

The oversees campaign of Cochet started at the U.S. National Championships, which he kept for France for the third straight time. His opponent in the final was Francis Hunter with whom he fought a five-set battle.[41][69] In October the French supremacy continued with him and Christian Boussus sharing the final Pacific Southwest tennis championships of Los Angeles, Cochet claimed that title as well.[70] In early December the Racing Club de Paris, Cochet's club, visited Hamburg and for an inter-club match.[71] The French team left with a landslide victory over the German top ranked players, the score was eleven to one.[71] He finished the year with the Coupe de Noël of Paris in the last days of December.[72] The final saw Jean Borotra forfeiting to Cochet.[72]

French dominance[edit]

The next season didn't begin as flawless as the previous one; on 20 January Jean Borotra beat Cochet in their first ever Belgian Covered Courts tournament final, which took five sets to decide.[73] He won the Gallia tournament for the fourth time and Monte Carlo Cup for the second time eliminating Italian aces Giorgio de Stefani in the semifinal and Umberto de Morpurgo for the former championships and de Morpurgo again for the latter.[74][75] He also defended his Monaco mixed title for the first time and the Butler Cup for the third.[54][76] But he lost in Roubaix and in Biarritz to Christian Boussus (5th on French rankings[b]) and Pierre Henri Landry (7th on French rankings[c]) respectively, which raised concerns about him and newspapers speculated a loss of form.[77] In Berlin in the Rot-Weiss Club Tournament he defeated Roderich Menzel for the singles and cliched the doubles with Jacques Brugnon.[78] His only loss came in the mixed doubles with Cilly Aussem against teammate Brugnon and Bobby Heine, which went to three sets.[78] He successfully defended the Austrian championships against Franz Wilhelm Matejka and claimed the doubles with Roger Danet.[78] He claimed the Czechoslovakian Championships from fellow countryman Christian Boussus.[79] They joined forces and together won the doubles.[79]

In May the 34th French Championships, the men's doubles tournament took place first.[80] With Lacoste - Borotra's victory over Tilden - Hunter and Cochet -Brugnon's easy override on Gregory - Collins in the semifinals secured the Four Musketeers their third doubles face-to-face final.[80] Unfortunately for Cochet in the fifth set they were serving for the set and had thirty-love within the game, when Brugnon missed an easy ball when three match points were at stake.[80] Lacoste and Borotra revived from that moment on and closed the final set 8-6.[80] In singles he was put out of the contest by Borotra in the semis and thus was unable to retain his title.[80] Although Cochet didn't leave without a trophy as the mixed championship was earned by him and Eileen Bennett.[80]

Then he set out for an exhibition tour through central Europe in June, playing in Budapest, Belgrade and Vienna.[81]

Rivalry with the United States team[edit]
the United States Davis Cup team

He was seeded the first in the 1929 Wimbledon Championships. He marched through the earlier rounds having only one five-set match against Irish champion George Lyttleton-Rogers. In the quarterfinals he beat Hendrik Timmer in straights, then Bill Tilden in the semis also in straights and second seeded compatriot Jean Borotra for the championship in his third straight sets victory in a row. Despite this he lost 63 games throughout the tournament, which was the most among the seeded players (third seeded semifinalist Tilden only lost 27). In doubles he reached the quarterfinals with Jacques Brugnon but was beaten by Wilmer Allison and John Van Ryn who later became champions. In the mixed doubles draw the titleholders Cochet and Eileen Bennett lost to eventual runner-ups Joan Fry and Ian Collins; 2-6, 6-4, 8-6.[82] The singles victory marked the sixth straight time that a French player won Wimbledon and the fifth time that the final was contested between two Frenchmen counting from the first French feat in 1924. Couple of days later in the Regent's Park the top players of Wimbledon participated in an exhibition event for raising funds for children of the British war cripples.[83]

In July The French team was challenged by the United States team in the 1929 Davis Cup three-day final. On 26 July 12,000 people watched the first day of the encounter at the Roland Garros stadium. The French squad took the lead when Borotra beat George Lott. The second match was scheduled between Cochet and Tilden. The American started off very poorly, he wasn't able to win one single point in the first game, hit many unforced errors especially in the longer rallies and Cochet drew away and took the set. In the second Tilden forced a backhand game but it didn't pay off and lost that set as well six to one. Tilden relied on his serves but was only capable of winning six games in the whole match when he lost the third set six to two. According to contemporary statistics Cochet didn't hit any unforced errors of faults during the match. The next day French captain Pierre Gillou sent Cochet and Borotra for the doubles rubber. Cochet was exhausted and showed exactly the opposite form compared to the previous day. Despite all efforts by his partner Borotra Cochet hit most of the balls to out and into the net. The American duo of Wilmer Allison and John Van Ryn took a three set win. The third day Tilden saved the hopes for his team when he beat Borotra in front of a full capacity crowd of 15,000. The deciding rubber was between Cochet and George Lott. Cochet won in four sets and claimed the Cup for France for the third time.[84]

After the Davis Cup tie Cochet only played in minor tournament and doubles matches. He won the singles in La Baule against Raymond Rodel and the mixed doubles in Vals-les-Bains.[85] Rodel, Cochet, Jacques Brugnon and Pierre Henri Landry representing the Racing Club de Paris sailed to Japan for a series of friendly matches against the Japan Davis Cup team where Cochet suffered a surprise defeat from Takeichi Harada.[86] They then visited India to face the India Davis Cup team in a series of exhibitions. Cochet won all of his matches.[87] In 1929 Cochet was ranked number one by several journals and journalists most notably by A Wallis Myers,[5] Hungarian tennis magazine Tennisz és Golf edited by Béla von Kehrling[84] and on the list of rival Bill Tilden.[79] Evidently he led the French rankings as well.[87] In December he was inducted as Honorary Member to the U.S.L.T.A. in New York.[88]

In 1930 Cochet decided to rest and only compete in doubles contests. He won at Gallia L.T.C.,[89] Carlton L.T.C. (also in mixed doubles with Elizabeth Ryan),[89] Biarritz,[90] La Baule mixed doubles with Ryan.[91] His only singles loss came at the Belgian International Championship from Jean Borotra.[92] His most successful French Championships came in this year when he was close to win a triple crown after being victorious in singles over Bill Tilden, in doubles with Jacques Brugnon over Harry Hopman and James Willard and was a finalist in the mixed tournament as well.[93] In the 1930 Wimbledon Championships he made an early exit after his sudden loss to Wilmer Allison in the quarterfinals.[94] In the doubles Cochet—Brugnon lost in the semifinals as well as in mixed doubles with Eileen Bennett Whittingstall.[93]

While playing tennis he took up volunteer coaching as he trained the French children in Paris every Sunday.[94] In the sixth straight United States-France Davis Cup final the American troupe had a great start thanks to Bill Tilden who handed Borotra the first loss of the tie. Cochet equalized against George Lott. In the doubles Cochet—Brugnon were selected to compete against Wimbledon champions John van Ryn and Wilmer Allison. Contrary to the expectations it was Borotra who was the engine of the French pair. He won every service game except for the third set where Cochet made a lot of errors at the net. The French took the victory. Borotra compensated the French spectators by beating Lott and kept the Cup for France for one more year. The dead rubber between Cochet and Tilden was won by the former.[95] At the end of the year Cochet was ranked number one by Wallis Myers and Pierre Gillou but came second in the unofficial list of Bill Tilden.[5]

Health issues[edit]

In 1931 he retained the Carlton L.T.C. doubles with Brugnon.[96] In March he subdued George Lyttleton-Rogers for his thirdMonaco Cup.[97] With Eileen Bennett they were crowned the mixed victors.[97] For the first time he became Danish Covered Courts champion after defeating Danish national champion Einer Ulrich.[98] He won the mixed contest as well with Simone Barbier.[98] He was invited by his hometown club F.C. Lyon to an interclub match with German Uhlenhorster Klipper.[98] Cochet won all three of his matches.[98] In the Moncean Club of Paris he partnered Paul Féret and Colette Rosambert and swept the doubles and mixed doubles respectively.[98]

In mid-season Zurich newspaper Sport ranked the top 15 European players, and listed Cochet the first (Borotra second, Brugnon ninth).[98] At that time Cochet was struggling with a shoulder injury.[99] For the 50th anniversary of the Wiener Park Club of Vienna a tournament was organized with an international line-up.[100] The two biggest contenders Cochet and Roderich Menzel met in the final, Cochet made a comeback from one set down to lift the trophy.[100] He then toured Europe to give exhibitions in Cluj-Napoca, Budapest and Prague.[100] Because of fever and sore throat Cochet missed the French Championships.[101] He couldn't recover from his illness to the Second Italian International Championships although it couldn't halt Cochet to sign up for the competition.[101] With titleholder Tilden having turned professional and Cochet's condition the championships went easily to George Patrick Hughes.[101] Cochet entered the finals of the doubles too, but his partner André Merlin couldn't make up for Cochet's bad shape and the two of them lost to Alberto Del Bono and singles victor Hughes.[101]

After these losses Cochet took two weeks off to recover. Despite the rest in the 1931 Wimbledon Championships he shocked the tennis world by losing in the very first round to Nigel Sharpe. In the mixed doubles Cochet and Eileen Whittingstall (formerly Bennett) weren't much luckier falling in the fourth round in the second week. The doubles final remained fruitless for Brugnon and Cochet as the team of George Lott and John Van Ryn came back from 3-2 setback in the fifth set to win the match.[102] In July the Four Musketeers were ready to be challenged for the fifth time in the Davis Cup final. This time the opponents were the Great Britain Davis Cup team. In the first rubber Cochet was facing two set points for a two sets-love lead by Bunny Austin but fought back to claim the set and the next two for the match. Fred Perry battled through Borotra while the doubles were won by Cochet and Brugnon. Austin brought back the British hopes after a four set victory over the exhausted Borotra. The match was suspended multiple times due to rain, which made the court almost unsuitable for playing, which left its mark on the deciding rubber between Cochet and Perry. The recurring slight rain in the first set forced Perry to drop the set from a 4-1 advantage. The second set went to Perry after he utilized passing shots as a counter for Cochet net play. The third and fourth set were taken by Cochet as well as the final and the Cup.[99]

Despite his turbulent year Cochet was ranked number one by A Wallis Myers, Sport magazine of Zurich (both European and World rankings) and Pierre Gillou.[6][103]

Rivalry with Vines and turning professional[edit]

Vines (left), who pushed Cochet (right) off the world number one rank in 1932 (Pictured: Davis Cup, same year)

Cochet spent the year 1932 by restricting his schedule to appearances at Monaco Cups, the French Championships, Wimbledon, US National Championships and the Davis Cup and a minor tournament in Toussaint.[104] In Monaco the Butler Trophy were won by Cochet and Jacques Brugnon over the Czechoslovakian duo of Roderich Menzel and Ferenc Marsalek.[104] The mixed doubles was granted to Cochet and Colette Rosambert following the retirement of Béla von Kehrling and Elizabeth Ryan prior to the match due to the leg pain of Ryan.[104] After that good start Cochet was ranked number one by Pierre Gillou right ahead of Ellsworth Vines and Bunny Austin.[104]

In early June he retrieved his fifth and last French Championships beating Giorgio de Stefani in the final.[105] He also won his third doubles French Championships that time with Jacques Brugnon.[9] In mixed he reached the last four partnering Eileen Whittingstall and came short against Fred Perry and Betty Nuthall.[106] His combined record-breaking ten French titles of the 17 title matches are the most possessed by a male player.[9]

Then a couple of weeks later in late June in the Wimbledon singles he once again suffered a surprise loss to Ian Collins in the second round.[107] In mixed Cochet and Whittingstall lost in semifinal stage this time to Enrique Maier and Elizabeth Ryan.[108] The singles was won by Ellsworth Vines his first non-American title.[109] The American Davis Cup team traveled back to France to challenge the Davis Cup defenders at the Roland Garros. The French Musketeers needed four rubbers to secure the cup only losing the doubles match. Cochet and Vines met at the dead fifth rubber.[110] The face-off between the two was one of the few encounters that later had a decisive effect on the rankings. Vines extenuate his team's result by defeating Cochet in five sets.[110] The two European major champion then met in the overseas final of the U.S. National Championships final in September.[111] Vines kept the national title home with his second, this time straight six-four victory over Cochet.[111] Vines and Keith Gledhill beat Cochet and Marcel Bernard in the doubles final too.[112] Cochet and Virginia Rice were dropped out in the mixed semifinal while Vines reached the finals.[112][113] These losses sealed the fate of the year-end rankings.

In November he only performed at the Toussaint tournament alongside Colette Rosambert with whom he lost to Jean Borotra and his more skilled female partner Helen Wills.[114] The year 1932 marked the first time Cochet slipped off the top of the charts after switching places with Ellsworth Vines.[115] In 1933 Cochet ceded the French Championships to Australian Jack Crawford, who overwhelmed him in only three sets for the title thus becoming the first non-French player to possess it.[116] In July the French lost the Davis Cup for the first time since 1927, Cochet lost to Fred Perry and won over Bunny Austin.[117] In the 1933 Wimbledon Championships Vines repulsed Cochet in straight sets from getting into final, which in the end was won by Crawford. This was the third time in a row that Vines beat Cochet.[118] These events marked the end of the Four Musketeers Era.[119]

Professional career (1933–1939)[edit]

On 9 September 1933 Cochet turned professional for a guaranteed payment of £25.000 and joined the team of Bill Tilden and Martin Plaa.[120][121] Although he was still featured on the amateur world rankings published on the 20th inst., where he was one spot behind Ellsworth Vines at number six.[122] He was also on Pierre Gillou's list at the fourth place also right after Vines.[123] He debuted in a Franco-American match on 22 September and defeated Bruce Barnes.[124] Three days later he lost to Tilden in straight sets.[125] He also made appearances at the French riviera with Plaa with back and forth matches across France.[2] On 10 October Tilden signed Vines to the pro tour and from then Cochet's archrival and him competed within the same league again.[2]

In early 1934 Plaa and Cochet went on to showcase in Rio de Janeiro where they were challenged by the Pilo Facondi and Perico Facondi Chile's leading professionals but subsequently lost to Henri.[2][126] They then returned in February to the Madison Square Garden where Vines and Tilden were already practising and waiting for them.[126] In a three-day round robin indoors tournament Vines and Tilden outclassed Cochet in a four and five-set match respectively and the American closed out the doubles over the Frechmen as well.[126] They then set out to a ten-city tour across the United States all of which were highlighted by a Tilden-Cochet match finished by an eight to two overall head to head in favor of Tilden.[126] In April in Providence Cochet was drawn to play Vincent Richards in singles and with Plaa they played Barnes and Richards, both match were resulted in a French two staright sets victory.[126] In the first official knock-out tournament began in May at Park Avenue Tennis Club, New York and was called the Eastern Pro Championships where Cochet was eliminated in the semis.[126] In late May Philadelphia hosted the Middle States tournament at its Germantown Cricket Club; Cochet advanced to the semifinal where Tilden's superiority proved to be Cochet's undoing.[126] Cochet then sailed home to France and consequently missed the US Pro Tennis Championships.[126] He chose instead chose to gather money in eyhibition matches in Havana, Haiti, and Martinique on his way home.[126] In France the official tour continued in Bayonne in August, where Cochet was dropped his two singles matches to Tilden and Keith Gledhill in front of a home crowd.[126] A Marseilles team event was scheduled in September whereas Cochet lost to Tilden, equalized on Gledhill, lost again in the doubles with Plaa to the Americans, who took the final victory as well.[126] Two week later in an single-elimination tournament at the Cochet's native Lyon Football Club he almost rejoiced the birthtown crowd with home victory but Tilden stole the second and third set to spoil the feat.[126] Cochet suffered from an illness then on and missed the upcoling events.[126] Throughout the season Cochet earned a total of $17.381.[127]

The year 1935 was spent mostly with a promotional tour across the globe and sponsored by the French government, which included Egypt, India, East Indies, the Philippines, China and its final destination Australia In November.[128] His invited opponent was recently turned professional Jack Cummings who he battled in Brisbane two times in a row, they finished in a one-all tie. The next opponent was James Willard and the match set up in Rushcutters Bay of Sydney, which served as a less-hard victory than that over Cummings.[128]

In 1936 Cochet had a second chance to regain his spotlight when he was first seeded French Pro Championship after Bill Tilden and Bruce Barnesfailed to show up due to travel issues.[129] Cochet had a clean march to the final beating Martin Plaa on the way and faced Robert Ramillon for the title.[129] In the end he celebrated his first Pro Major triumph since leaving the amateur class.[129] He and his Irish partner Albert Burke were also the doubles champions with a win over the said French professionals.[129] Next came the International Pro Championship of Britain where the round robin format resulted in a decider between Cochet and Hans Nusslein.[129] The German proved to be unstoppable as he scored a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 upset over Cochet.[129] Cochet found consolation in the doubles, where he completed a round robin flawless streak with his teammate Ramillon especially the last match over the American pair Lester Stoefen and Bill Tilden.[129] He then held tennis shows across the Soviet Union including Moscow, Leningrad, and Kiev.[129]

In 1937 he did not succeed in defending his French Pro title and Hans Nusslein took it from him in three sets.[130] The doubles final was played betweenStoefen-Tilden and Cochet-Ramillon with the former team crowned champions in the end.[130] Cochet then repeated the Soviet tour and missed the German Pro and the Bonnardel Cup.[130] He returned to the tour at the Wembley Pro where he only won one match before having been knocked out in the semifinal stage.[130] Cochet then was a part of a rather fruitless Italian tour, his only notably victory came in the Foro Italico against Tilden.[130] The next year was spent mostly with Cochet-Tilden headlined trips to India and Ireland.[131] He also returned to the Soviet Union for the third straight time to accept a coaching venture, which turned out to be a short-term assignment as the Soviet government accused him of espionage and expelled him.[132]

In the last pre-World War II year Cochet's pro status allowed him to accept the request of the Hungary Davis Cup team to become its trainer.[133] He was then invited to the inaugural World Pro Championships, which was held at the Roland Garros in June–July.[134] Cochet and Tilden were pulled on the same half of the draw and it set up a semifinal clash between the two.[134] Cochet was forced out of the tournament in five sets.[134] He and Ramillon had a shot at the doubles title, but they had been quashed by pro newcomer Don Budge and veteran Ellsworth Vines.[134]

During Second World War (1939–45)[edit]

In 1940 France was overrun by Nazi Germany and for a brief period of time Cochet fell into war captivity.[135] After his release he wasn't allowed to leave the country.[136] He launched his own sporting goods store in Paris and lived on a farm in the outskirts.[136] He gave tennis broadcasts, and accepted the Vichy government's offer to head its youth tennis program and after that to become a Sport Commissioner, who organized sport programmes for the deported French armaments workers.[136][137] In December 1940 the first open tennis tournament was organized in Paris where Cochet lost to Paul Féret.[136][138] In December 1941 he regained his amateur status granted by the French Tennis Association.[138] In 1942 a Closed French Championships was announced and the doubles was won by Cochet and Bernard Destremau.[136] In 1943 he reached the singles finals in the same nationals losing it to Yvon Petra.[136] He also participated in charity matches to raise funds for the prisoners of the Axis powers.[139] The next year Cochet met Petra for the title and lost for the second consecutive time.[136] In the last wartime championships of France he won the doubles title alongside Pierre Pellizza.[140] Despite being a reinstated amateur he was still ranked 9th in the first official pro rankings published by the World's Professional Tennis Association in 1945.[141] After the End of World War II in Europe he played his first international match in Paris against Bill Sidwell, which he easily won.[142]

Last amateur years (1945–1958)[edit]

Post-war tennis life resumed at the 1945–46 International Christmas Tournament of Barcelona where Yvon Petra dismissed Cochet in four sets.[143] They reunited for the doubles title, which went to the home favorite duo of Jaime Bartroli and Pedro Masip.[143] At the time Cochet was the coach of Petra.[144] In January the following year he reached the doubles final of the Estoril International Tournament partnering Robert Abdesselam.[145] They met in singles competition in March at the Egypt International Championships where Cochet outplayed Abdesselam in straight sets.[146] In July he celebrated his first Dutch championships title at Noordwijk with an overwhelming victory over Eustace Fannin.[147] In 1948 a rivalry emerged between him and Spaniard Masip. They met at the French Covered Court Championship final where it took five sets to decide the outcome, the final set and thus the Championships was taken by Masip.[148] Also in Paris in April Cochet failed to capture the International Championships title dropping it to Marcel Bernard.[149] In the 1948-1949 International Christmas Tournament of Barcelona Cochet met Masip in the doubles final, where the Spanish team of Masip-Carles granted a walkover to Cochet and Australian Jack Harper.[150] In April Cochet knocked out Masip from the Paris International Tournament. in the quarterfinals.[151] They joined forces for the doubles contest, which they subsequently won.[151] In May he faced Masip again in the championships match of the British Hard Court Championships, and lost to him in four sets.[152] In August he was a singles and doubles finalist in the International Championships of Istanbul. In singles he was vanquished by Gottfried von Cramm and in doubles by von Cramm and Harper.[153][154] In December he finally acquired the Barcelona title by beating Harper in five sets.[155]

He played one of his final matches at the Swizz covered courts championships in St. Moritz after a 36-year hiatus, former scene of his very first tennis triumph.[156] At the age of 56 with his coeval partner Bernard Destremau he managed to pass the first round of the doubles contest with a significant 6–2, 6–1 win over locals D. Wegs and H. Flury.[156] He retired from tennis later that year.[157]

Personal life[edit]

Cochet married Germaine Desthieux on 16 April 1926.[158] He taught her how to play tennis and later entered minor tournaments together.[85][158] Apart from playing tennis Cochet was an amateur ice-hockey player.[159] He ran a sporting goods store in Paris.[160] Cochet was an occasional coach as well and in 1930 he coached the French junior tennis team once a week for free including his brother-in-law Georges Desthieux who won the New Malden tournament that year.[94][160][161] He was awarded the Red Ribbon of the Legion of Honour for his sport merits in 1951.[162]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles (10)[edit]

Result Year Tournament Opponent Score
Winner 1926 French Championships France René Lacoste 6–2, 6–4, 6–3
Winner 1927 Wimbledon France Jean Borotra 4–6, 4–6, 6–3, 6–4, 7–5
Winner 1928 French Championships France René Lacoste 5–7, 6–3, 6–1, 6–3
Runner-up 1928 Wimbledon France René Lacoste 1–6, 6–4, 4–6, 2–6
Winner 1928 US Championships United States Frank Hunter 4–6, 6–4, 3–6, 7–5, 6–3
Winner 1929 Wimbledon France Jean Borotra 6–4, 6–3, 6–4
Winner 1930 French Championships United States Bill Tilden 3–6, 8–6, 6–3, 6–1
Winner 1932 French Championships Italy Giorgio De Stefani 6–0, 6–4, 4–6, 6–3
Runner-up 1932 US Championships United States Ellsworth Vines 4–6, 4–6, 4–6
Runner-up 1933 French Championships Australia Jack Crawford 6–8, 1–6, 3–6

Doubles (11)[edit]

Result Year Tournament Partner Opponent Score
Runner-up 1925 French Championships France Jacques Brugnon France Jean Borotra
France René Lacoste
5–7, 6–4, 3–6, 6–2, 3–6
Runner-up 1926 French Championships France Jacques Brugnon United States Vincent Richards
United StatesHoward Kinsey
4–6, 1–6, 6–4, 4–6
Winner 1926 Wimbledon France Jacques Brugnon United States Howard Kinsey
United States Vincent Richards
7–5, 4–6, 6–3, 6–2
Winner 1927 French Championships France Jacques Brugnon France Jean Borotra
France René Lacoste
2–6, 6–2, 6–0, 1–6, 6–4
Runner-up 1927 Wimbledon France Jacques Brugnon United States Frank Hunter
United States Bill Tilden
6–1, 6–4, 6–8, 3–6, 4–6
Runner-up 1928 French Championships France René De Buzelet France Jean Borotra
France Jacques Brugnon
4–6, 6–3, 2–6, 6–3, 4–6
Winner 1928 Wimbledon France Jacques Brugnon Australia Gerald Patterson
Australia John Hawkes
13–11, 6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 1929 French Championships France Jacques Brugnon France Jean Borotra
France René Lacoste
3–6, 6–3, 3–6, 6–3, 6–8
Winner 1930 French Championships France Jacques Brugnon Australia Harry Hopman
Australia Jim Willard
6–3, 9–7, 6–3
Runner-up 1931 Wimbledon France Jacques Brugnon United States George Lott
United States John Van Ryn
2–6, 8–10, 11–9, 6–3, 3–6
Winner 1932 French Championships France Jacques Brugnon France Christian Boussus
France Marcel Bernard
6–4, 3–6, 7–5, 6–3

Other major tournaments[edit]

World Hard Court Championships (played on Clay)

  • Singles champion: 1922
  • Doubles champion: 1922
  • Mixed Doubles champion: 1922, 1923

World Covered Court Championships (played indoors)

  • Singles champion: 1922, 1923
  • Doubles champion: 1922, 1923

§: the French Championship was a non-international event in 1922 and didn't become a major until 1925 when the tournament opened up its doors to players who weren't members of French tennis clubs.

Pro Slam tournament record[edit]

French Pro

  • Singles champion: 1936
  • Singles runner-up: 1933, 1937

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Collins, Bud. "Let's Salute Henri Cochet". Retrieved August 6, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Ray Bowers (October 5, 2002). "History of the Pro Tennis Wars Chapter IV: Tilden and Nusslein, 1932-1933". tennisserver.com. Houston, United States: Adastro Incorporated. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 424.
  4. ^ a b Béla Kehrling, ed. (October 10, 1929). "Wallis Meyers a világ legjobb tenniszezőiről" [Wallis Myers on the best players of the world] (pdf). Tennisz és Golf (in Hungarian) (Budapest, Hungary: Bethlen Gábor irod. és Nyomdai Rt.) I (11): 262–263. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Béla Kehrling, ed. (November 20, 1930). "A világ legjobb tíz férfijátékosa" [The best 10 male players of the world] (PDF). Tennisz és Golf (in Hungarian) (Budapest, Hungary: Bethlen Gábor irod. és Nyomdai RT) II (21): 398. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Béla Kehrling, ed. (November 1, 1931). "Külföldi hírek" [International news] (PDF). Tennisz és Golf (in Hungarian) (Budapest, Hungary: Egyesült Kő-, Könyvnyomda. Könyv- és Lapkiadó Rt.) III (20): 16–17. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Henri Cochet". geneanet.org. Paris, France: GeneaNet. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Henri Cochet". tenniscampania.net (in Italian). Naples, Italy: Roberto Fortunati, Bernardo Cavallino. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c John Grasso (2011). Historical Dictionary of Tennis. Lanham, Maryland United States: Scarecrow Press. p. 66. ISBN 9780810872370. Retrieved March 28, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h "Henri Cochet". universalis.fr (in French). Paris, France: Encyclopædia Universalis. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Henri Cochet (November 23, 1935). "Confidence an Asset". The Argus (Melbourne, Australia: Argus Office) (27,851): 29. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Cochet to feature program". Oakland Tribune (Oakland, United States: Joseph R. Knowland): 158. September 30, 1928. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Historique du Tennis Club de Meximieux" [History of the Tennis Club Meximieux]. club.fft.fr (in French). Meximieux, France: Tennis Club Meximieux. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c Henri Cochet (November 25, 1935). The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, Australia: John Fairfax and Sons) 105 (30,544): 8 http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/17218342 |url= missing title (help). Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  15. ^ Albert Lejeune, ed. (March 20, 1922). "Tennis sur la Cote D'Azur" [Tennis at the Cote D'Azur]. Le Petit Niçois (in French) (Nice, France: Borriglione) 43 (79): 2. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  16. ^ Albert Lejeune, ed. (March 26, 1922). "Tennis sur la Cote D'Azur" [Tennis at the Cote D'Azur]. Le Petit Niçois (in French) (Nice, France: Borriglione) 43 (85): 3. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Cochet Retains the World's Covered Court Tennis Title". The New York Times (New York, United States: Ochs-Sulzberger family). February 1923. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  18. ^ Albert Lejeune, ed. (April 1, 1924). "Tennis sur la Cote D'Azur" [Tennis at the Cote D'Azur]. Le Petit Niçois (in French) (Nice, France: Borriglione) 45 (92): 2. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  19. ^ a b c d Henri Cochet (November 27, 1935). "Tilden's Defeat". The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, Australia: John Fairfax and Sons) 105 (30,546): 12. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Three players are bracketed at top of French tennis" (PDF). The Citizen-Advertiser (Auburn, New York, United States: Lee Enterprises) 13 (1,901): 2. December 18, 1924. ISSN 0738-7520. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  21. ^ Reuters (December 18, 1925). "French tennis players graded on the year's play". The Barrier miner (Broken Hill, Australia: Henry Fenton) 38 (11,559): 4. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
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  23. ^ Albert Lejeune, ed. (January 18, 1926). "Tennis sur la Cote D'Azur" [Tennis at the Cote D'Azur]. Le Petit Niçois (in French) (Nice, France: Borriglione) 47 (18): 5. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  24. ^ Albert Lejeune, ed. (February 1, 1926). "Le Tennis" [Tennis]. Le Petit Niçois (in French) (Nice, France: Borriglione) 47 (33): 5. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
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  28. ^ a b c Michael K. Bohn (2009). Heroes & Ballyhoo: How the Golden Age of the 1920s Transformed American Sports. Washington D.C. United States: Potomac Books. p. 78. ISBN 9781597974127. Retrieved March 28, 2013. 
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  33. ^ a b Albert Lejeune, ed. (January 17, 1927). "Tennis sur la Cote D'Azur" [Tennis at the Cote D'Azur]. Le Petit Niçois (in French) (Nice, France: Borriglione) 48 (17): 2. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  34. ^ Albert Lejeune, ed. (January 24, 1927). "Tennis sur la Cote D'Azur" [Tennis at the Cote D'Azur]. Le Petit Niçois (in French) (Nice, France: Borriglione) 48 (24): 2. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  35. ^ Albert Lejeune, ed. (January 31, 1927). "Tennis sur la Cote D'Azur" [Tennis at the Cote D'Azur]. Le Petit Niçois (in French) (Nice, France: Borriglione) 48 (31): 2. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  36. ^ Albert Lejeune, ed. (February 7, 1927). "Tennis sur la Cote D'Azur" [Tennis at the Cote D'Azur]. Le Petit Niçois (in French) (Nice, France: Borriglione) 48 (38): 2. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  37. ^ Albert Lejeune, ed. (February 14, 1927). "Tennis sur la Cote D'Azur" [Tennis at the Cote D'Azur]. Le Petit Niçois (in French) (Nice, France: Borriglione) 48 (45): 3. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  38. ^ Albert Lejeune, ed. (February 21, 1927). "Tennis sur la Cote D'Azur" [Tennis at the Cote D'Azur]. Le Petit Niçois (in French) (Nice, France: Borriglione) 48 (52): 2. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  39. ^ "Lawn Tennis" (PDF). Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish) (Barcelona, Spain): 3. April 24, 1927. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  40. ^ a b c Jon Henderson (October 7, 2001). "The 10 greatest comebacks of all time". The Observer (London, United Kingdom: Guardian Media Group). Retrieved March 28, 2013. 
  41. ^ a b c d e f Henri Cochet (November 30, 1935). "Confidence an Asset". The Argus (Melbourne, Australia: Argus Office) (27,858): 30. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  42. ^ "Zip in tennis". Life (New York City, United States: Time Inc.) 27 (10): 30. September 5, 1949. ISSN 0024-3019. Retrieved March 28, 2013. 
  43. ^ Karen Crouse (July 3, 2011). "Djokovic Overwhelms Nadal for Wimbledon Title". Straight Sets. New York, United States: The New York Times, Ochs-Sulzberger family. Retrieved March 28, 2013. 
  44. ^ "Henri Cochet gagne la coupe Porée malgré la belle défense de "L'espoir" Christian Boussus" [Henri Cochet won the Cup Porée despite the brave defense of "Hope" Christian Boussus]. Le Journal (in French) (Paris, France: Henri Letellier) (12,769): 1. October 3, 1927. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  45. ^ Arthur Wallis Myers (October 5, 1927). "Tennis players; world's leading ten". The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, Australia: John Fairfax and Sons) 98 (28,003): 15. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  46. ^ A. Heldring, ed. (November 27, 1927). "Kampioenschap overdekte baan" [Covered court championships] (PDF). Algemeen Handelsblad (in Dutch) (Amsterdam, Netherlands: Mr. J. Kalff Jr.) 100 (32,597): 14. Retrieved December 14, 2012. 
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  48. ^ a b A. Heldring, ed. (January 10, 1928). "Queen's Club - Sporting club de Paris" (PDF). Algemeen Handelsblad (in Dutch) (Amsterdam, Netherlands: Mr. J. Kalff Jr.) 101 (32,640): 8. Retrieved December 14, 2012. 
  49. ^ Albert Lejeune, ed. (January 23, 1928). "Tennis sur la Cote D'Azur" [Tennis at the Cote D'Azur]. Le Petit Niçois (in French) (Nice, France: Borriglione) 49 (23): 2. Retrieved December 13, 2012. 
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  51. ^ Albert Lejeune, ed. (February 6, 1928). "Le Tennis á Cannes" [Tennis at Cannes]. Le Petit Niçois (in French) (Nice, France: Borriglione) 49 (37): 2. Retrieved December 13, 2012. 
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