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FRANCE'S WIN

DAVIS CUP AT LAST Great Season Recalled

By HENRI COCHET,

Former World's Tennis Champion.

rrancc'h first ticlorj in (he Davis Cup final is described bj Cochet in this article. The win was rccehed \\ ¡Hi remarkable enthusiasm in Paris.

IV

(Cop> right)

THE season of 1927 was a glorious one In

French tennis, for in that year we Four Musketeers-Lacoste, Borotra, Brug- non, and myself-successfully completed

an invasion oí tile United states anti

took the Da\is Cup from the American plavers The cup had tcmained in American hands for se\en vears the Aus trillans having lost it to that nation in

1920

The victor} created the utmost en thusiasm In rrance particulnrlj in Palis W«. started our seasons. campai_n at Wimbledon where I won th» singles de featlng r T Hunter W T Tilden and J Borotra although in each mitlth I lobt the ii st two set- In the doubles I had Brugnon as mj pal tner but w e lost to Tilden although we hid a match point Those performance"! gave us e\erj conli

dence for the appro tching Da\ls Cup matches

We won all our Dai is Cup matches and qualified to meei, the United States in the final round Líeoste beat V M Johnston on the first daj but I lost to Tilden at 8 6 in the fourth set though he had to work hard for the fouith set We lud hopes of Borotra and Brugnon boating Tilden and Hunter especlallv when ifter losing Hit fust set the} won the next two But the Americans were irresistible in the fifth set taking it to loie That t.a\e the defendéis a 2 1 lead On the third day I acosté s machine like tame pro\cd too much for Tilden the veteran being perhaps a little tired and jaded alter his third successive dij of

tennis

The match between Johnston and mj

self was therefore the vital one of the series as the winner would gi\c his team the cup We had based our cup píos

pects on Johnston for we knew thal he had lost a lot of keenness for the game and was not hi the best phvslcal condition for a hard match He started well but I held hini taking the first set fi 4 losing the next 4 6 and then winning the last two for the match Trance had won Its first Davis Cup

A few dajs after the Davis Cup final the French plajers were routed hi the United States championships We did not seem able to concentrate And well if jon do not concentrate j ou cannot play tennis However with Miss Eileen Bennett as my partner we won the niKed doubles chain plonship

Glorious Dajo

The next six j cats were gloiious In our tennis history We repelled America on four occasions and Britain twice But then some of the four musketeers began to show signs of being past their best Lacoste w ithdrew from the side and Jean Boiotra considered himself too old to play singles while Brugnons hand lost some of its cunning and he was not able to cover the court as quickly as he desired We realised that our tennis supremacy was graduallj drawing to a close for we did not have the men to take the places of older players

The year following our Davis Cup victory was one of the best In my career I won tile French championship bcatin_ Hunter and Lacoste hi the concluding rounds Hunter was a big man with a peculiarly uneven style but got speed into his shots and was developing into a player difficult to defeat

It was always hard work against Lacoste who won this game on his opponents errors Rene could keep returning the ball for hours and rarely attacked But on thLs occasion my game was too severe for him and I took the net to beat him Borotra and myself won the doubles at Wimbledon and then we visited America again

For tlie third j ear Iii succession a Frenchman won the national singles championship of America Lacoste had won it in 1926 and 1927 and it was my lum in 1928 In between helping to de fend the cup I won at Wimbledon in 1929 beating Borotra in straight set But mv best performance was to beat TU

den after he had won the first two sets and led 5 1 in the third The position seemed hopeless for me and Tilden thought the match was all over He had plaved beautiful tennis scoring points with wonderful shots and placements But he had tired himself while I was still fresh as although he had such a big lead his play had been so decisive and the rallies so short that I had not been bustled But then he faltered and I won 17 points in succession to lovel the scores I won that set and tile last two for he was very tired

We had some great battles to retain the cup first against America and then later Great Britain We had resisted several strong challenges from the United States The British pair Ferry and Austin were beginning to give us some concern and when your own Jack Craw- ford beat me for the French champion ship in 1933 we knew that we had not much longer to hold the cup We beat Great Britain in 1031 by three matches to two and as it was one of mv last years as an amateur I am pleased to say I won both my singles and with Brugnon the doubles The following j ear we beat the United States Borotra being superb for France but I lost to Vines who was too severe and speedy for me

But hi 1934 Me cup was won by Great Britain France was not dlsmaved and perhaps In the not very distant futuie we will have that cup back again Winning the cup made tennis hi France and it has helped in Great Britain also

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