Jean Borotra


Born: 13/8/1898 Died: 17/7/1994

Australian Open 1928

French Open 1931

Wimbledon 1924,1926

The Bounding Basque Jean Borotra was one of France's Four musketeers who dominated the game in the late 1920s. Borotra was the eldest of four children and played lots of sports, including rugby and the Basque game of pelota. When he was 14 he had a trip to England, where he was introduced to the game of tennis and he fell in love with the sport. During the First World War Borotra served as a Battery Commander and won the Croix de Guerre. After the war he gained a degree in engineering before concentrating on a tennis career. Charismatic and extrovert, Borotra was a master of gamesmanship. He would jump for a wide ball and end up on the lap of some young female spectator, look on the verge of collapse and suddenly find an extra burst of energy, stop in the middle of a game to put on one of his famous black berets and argue with the footfault judge. After making his debut at Wimbledon in 1922, Borotra took the title two years later beating fellow musketeer Rene Lacoste in the final. In the 1925 French championships Borotra lost in the final to Lacoste. At Wimbledon he beat Henri Cochet before losing to Lacoste in the final. At Wimbledon 1926 he beat Cochet in the semis and Howard Kinsey in the final to take his second title. At the US Open he lost in the final to Lacoste. At Wimbledon 1927, Borotra beat Lacoste in a five set semi final to set up a final against Cochet. Borotra served for the match in the fifth set but Cochet fought back and went on to win to deny Borotra a third Wimbledon title. In 1928 Borotra made the trip down under to play in the Australian Open. In the semis he faced 19 year old Jack Crawford. Crawford came within two points of victory in the fourth set before Borotra raised his game to win in five. Borotra had another five set epic with Jack Cummings in the final but came through to win his first Australian title. At the French in 1929, Borotra edged out Cochet in the semis before losing in five sets to Lacoste in the final. At Wimbledon he lost in the final to Cochet. Borotra finally triumphed at the French in 1931, beating Christian Boususs in the final. Borotra retired from singles in 1932, but played in the Wimbledon doubles until 1964. He died in 1994 aged 95.


HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: W.Allison 1-0, H.Cochet 3-3, J.Crawford 2-0, C.Gregory 1-0, R.Heath 1-0, H.Henkel 1-0, B.Johnston 1-0, R.Lacoste 2-5, G.Lowe 1-0, G.Patterson 0-1, B.Tilden 0-4, D.Williams 0-1

Jean Borotra's Grand Slam record