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COCHET'S STORY

Tilden Defeated Cup Goal in Sight

m m NUI cocui r

iForincr World s lennis Chamnlonl

Cochet describes the steads I rench advance tonirds the capture of the Mavis Cup. With HIL defeat of Tilden, Hie Americans licúan (o recog- nise the I rcncli menace to their tennis

stiprcin.it).

AltTICLK III

(Copj light)

Our performances in tile« United States lind aroused the greatest enthusiniin in France, nnrt on our return a great tennis wave swept over the country, which

lltHnntin.^ Mllmiiî *,,,en wc captured a little lato the Davis Cup But theie IZC "miy lnI1!e,b m,ti eames befoie that

nÄPwdT l dld "^ ",ln> VLr> m-«* in 1323 for I was not in the best ol health and I was too Intent upon mj huslncs., at Lions where I was connected with the

sporting goods trade

The following vear I was selected to lcpiesent Trance in the Olympic Games tournament when your great swimmer Boy Charlton astonished the vvoild I was not in the best of foi m but managed to reach the final to be beiten 0 4 in tht filial set by the young American Vlnnlc

Richaids

."9wlmi U)_the demands of business and ill-health I did not play much In 1925 But I entered for the riench champion- ships only to be bcUen in the semi final by W T Tilden We had a Meat tussle two of the sets going to 11 9 and 7 5 but Bill prevailed only to be defeated by Rene Lacoste In the final That was the j tai when outside entries were peimltted

But in the following year I vvas at the top of my form I staited mj campaign by winning the riench championship Rene Lacoste was my opponent in the semi final but I beat him in straight sets Vinnie Richards though had still to be bec ten if I was to win the title He had you will remember beaten me in the Oljmpie Games two years befoie On this occasion however my severity and general courtcraft liad impioved to sucli an extent that I won in straight sets That win put me back as Trance s No 1 again and ensured my selection in the Tiench Davis Cup team We beat the Danes again at Copenhagen Czechoslovakia at Pragut to enter the Inter zone final

Our successes caused a wonderful stir In France To that time I had not lost a match in the sei les but I dropped n rubber to 1 Haroda In the inter-rone final against Japan I was not selected foi the final singles against the United States We lost that match bv four rubbers to one Lacoste beating Tilden by machine like play That was when the Americans began to realise that Trance would be a serious contender for the Davis cup befoie

many sears

Tilden Dethioned

This menace to Ameiican supiemacy was furthei emphasised by a win I had at the expense of W T Tilden He was champion of the United Status at the time having held sway for six j cars I will nevei forget that match It was pla} ed before a gallery of 10 000 and not one person gave me n chance of winning Tilden was a veij hard man to beat He had a remarkable game at lils command while his physical resouices weie magnfi cent But I was at the top of my form and adapted my tame to the occasion Tilden was always veiy clever in the waj he mixed his game Ile would suddenly switch fiom a hard game to a soft game then vnry his shots change his length and try lo lure an opponent into uiois But I did so also puzzling him by the sti eugth and tunnlngncss of mj resist-

ance

You have all heard of Tilden s cannon- ball sei vice It is a terrific affair and îaiclv produced unless the position is seil cus foi Tilden Then bang! and the ball Is past lou unless you possess an instinc- tive sense that wains you of its mi hal I knew therefoic that when Tilden resoited to his cannon ball sei vice he was tit- ling anxious and this was most heal ton- ing to me Tor some jeais I had plajed the Using ball and when Tilden hurled down his thunderbolts I was foi túnate enough to be in a position literally to nash them back at him with such speed that they often taught him unpiepared und unbnlantcd nflei winding up for this servite which calls foi a severe plrjsical

strain

So we battled hard for neaily two and a half hours until the boaid showed five all In the fifth set and the crowd critically watching every stroke My team mates were watching me and I knew that the> weie playing every stroke Tilden wai scrvinc and before I could Quite realise the position I had taken his service to

love

That gave me the lead G ?> with my ser- vite to follow That last servi« gime of mine was never vci> clear to mc I was told aiteiwards that I won it to love thus win- ning eight vital points In succession It was a drnmtlc ending to a match which made possible the first All-French final in the hlstoiy of American t-ennls Lacoste w is my nett opponent and although I won the Hist two sets he won the other three and then beat Borotra In the final

Tht Trench tenm had covered itself with gloii Boiotra bent W M Johnston Lacoste beat the Spintsh plajer Manuel Alonro nnd I beat Tilden Three Trench men had contested th" -emi-finals

Brugnon and I won the doubles at Wimbledon that yeai while my old rival 7 Borotra won the singles Thus in the one vear Lncoste and Boiotra had won at Forest Hills nnd Wimbledon lCKpectlvelv and a Trench pair had won the doubles at Wimbledon It was evident that Trance was lapldly becoming the tennis nation of tile world We four Lacoste Boiotra Brugnon and I had sot our hearts on the Davis Cup-a feat never before achieved by our nation

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