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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)
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF1976 (member page)
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)
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)

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.


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 life

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 finals

Borotra at the 1924 French Championships.
Borotra at the 1924 French Championships.

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

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Win 1924 Wimbledon Grass France René Lacoste 6–1, 3–6, 6–1, 3–6, 6–4
Loss 1925 French Championships Clay France René Lacoste 5–7, 1–6, 4–6
Loss 1925 Wimbledon Grass France René Lacoste 3–6, 3–6, 6–4, 6–8
Win 1926 Wimbledon Grass United States Howard Kinsey 8–6, 6–1, 6–3
Loss 1926 U.S. National Championships Grass France René Lacoste 4–6, 0–6, 4–6
Loss 1927 Wimbledon Grass France Henri Cochet 6–4, 6–4, 3–6, 4–6, 5–7
Win 1928 Australian Championships Grass Australia Jack Cummings 6–4, 6–1, 4–6, 5–7, 6–3
Loss 1929 French Championships Clay France René Lacoste 3–6, 6–2, 0–6, 6–2, 6–8
Loss 1929 Wimbledon Grass France Henri Cochet 4–6, 3–6, 4–6
Win 1931 French Championships Clay France Christian Boussus 2–6, 6–4, 7–5, 6–4

Doubles: 12 (9 titles – 3 runners-up)

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

Mixed doubles: 5 titles

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

Performance timeline

(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)

(OF) only for French club members

1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 SR W–L Win %
Grand Slam tournaments 4 / 26 103–22 82.4
Australian A A A A A A W A A A A A A A A 1 / 1 6–0 100
French OF F SF 4R SF F SF W A A A A A 1 / 7 29–6 82.9
Wimbledon 3R 4R W F W F QF F SF SF 4R A A 2R A 2 / 12 55–10 84.6
U.S. A A 3R 1R F QF 3R A 1R A A A A A A 0 / 6 13–6 68.4
Win–Loss 2–1 3–1 9–1 13–3 16–2 11–3 14–3 11–2 9–3 11–1 3–1 1–1
National representation
Olympics NH SF Not held 0 / 1 5–2 71.4


  1. ^ "Borotra, Jean: Career Match Records Main Tournaments". The Tennisbase. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Borotra, Jean: Career Match Records Main Tournaments". 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 links

This page was last edited on 23 November 2019, at 13:42
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