Lists (None yet)

Login to create lists

Tagged (None yet)

Add Tags

Comments (None yet)

Add New Comment

No corrections yet

COCHET.

RISE TO FAME. Hard-hitting Game.

LESSONS FROM AUSTRALIA.

BY HENRI COCHBT.

(Former world's tennis champion Exclusive

to "Herald." Copyright.)

In this article, Cochet da:ribes his winning of the French title, his entry into the Daois Cup series, and {lie lessons he learned from the "rough"' tennis of

the Australians.

n.

In my prexious article I refer« d to mi hopes and prospects of winning th» French championship in 1922 following mvlsucccs'e

In the early part of the *ed=on TbLc hope

were realised I won the nat! mai title and was placed No 1 in the French ranking list This was a great honour for I i as only

20 years old at the time

My opponent in the final of the French championship was Jean Samazeuilh who had taken thp title from Andre Gobert \K pre vlous j ear A giant in physique Go itrt vms a great player and I leaint rrnny thlnci from him Samazeuilh played a nice game ttioush entirely from the baseline where ne chopped a continuous stream of shots at his opp wents But I was too fast for him and hustled him over the court to such an extent that 1 le was forced to rush his shots and I won in sttiipht

sets

My friends at Lyons celebrated mj vioory in fitting style They were so delighted at my success that they made me a life mercer of the Lyons club Later the French Assocta tion placed me No 1 on the ranking list vath Jean Borotra No 2 Then we went on tmr In quest of the Davis Cup

Our first match was In Copenhagen wheae we beat the Danes by three matches to twt Our opponents were E Tegner and V Inger* ley Then we sailed across the seas the first French team to visit America where v . met Australasia at the Longwood Cricket Club Boston We had a wonderful reception from the crowd So did the Australian players for they have always been DODular in America

LES PETITS SOULIERS

The Australian team comprised G L Pn terson and P O Hará Wood Gobert and mv self were the selected players for France Gobert started well against Patterson and took the first two sets 6 4 6 3 But then Patterson with his mighty services aid smashes and haid driving outplayed a fast

tiring Gobert-he was a very big man you know-and took the last tliree sets for tin match That gave Australasia a lead of one

match

Then It was my turn against Pat O Har* Wood We had a good match vith xery little difference in it and I won in tne fifth set Our games were much alike i i F t made the mistake of taking me cheaolj i think so anyhow That was the only game France won In that match but we » ere veil pleased for we had a terrific battle with Pat

terson and O Hará Wood in the GouMe^ bein» 10 8 on the fifth set

At that time Patterson and O Hare Wood were the greatest doubles players in the world for a month later they b at W T Tilden and Vlnnie Richards 6 4 6 0 6 3 In the Davis Cup challenge round Against Gobert and myself they started bv wlnnhg the first «et to lo\e But then Cobert and I plajed better and Gobert s clever tactics enabled us to win the next two sets 8 6 6 4

That was a great surprise and I really think they were as we say in France dans te petits souliers or as we might translate for vou shaking in their shoes just like voii feel »»hen the boss reprirrands j ou 'iou lnow what I mean eh' But they fought harder than ex er and we lost the fourth set The fifth set went to l8 games before t»e Aus tralinns won We did not begrudge them their win but our resistance made the Americans realise that we were an Improving nation In pievious j ears we had rarely made any showing against even the weaker Euiopcan teams

CAT AND MOUSE GAME

That match against the Australians taught me many things Gobert gave me my first real idea of the doubles game He showed me the value of angle shots and the neces

sity for team work I also learned tile value of haxlng a captain in the doubles team Up to that time I had played most of mj double with Jean Borotra and our plax was li e that of two men playing singles on the same court though we called it doubles play

Jean was alwajs a hard man to play doubles with for he would rush all oxer the court, and you never knew where he would be But Gobert and the Australians gave me mv first Inkling of the real idea behind the doubles game Pla» ed properly it is a differ nt type of game to singles and just as fascinating And it is not an easy game for the extra man on the courts makes matters ever so much more diSlcult

Mj greatest lesson however was that mv own game demanded more speed and securlt

In Europe we had played what we call the cat and mouse game The ral les were generally long and we tried to out wit on« another only going to -he net to finish a rally Ours was a soft game due pos

sibly to the fact that many of the best Engll h players to visit France u«ed the'c methods

with some success

But then we met the Al tralians They played rough tennis Hard dru es power

ful services and smashes and they almost hit us on" the court They did not belle» e m long rallies especially Patterson The rallies vere brief and decisive and I soon saw that this was the type of game that would suit me So I betan to hit harder made my backhand a weapon of attack instead oí de

fence and gradually cvolxed a type of game which has proved fairly effective and g1» es me greater Joy in playing Greater effort is required but to me that makes the game

ATTACKING GAME

Personally I think the modern method of attack is ever so much more interesting not only to the players but the onlooker' You may not always win with it but there is some

thing stimulating in knowing that »ou are attacking and In tennis as m war the bw method of defence is often attack provided of course you have the necessary equipr^nt If you have not well then you will ha e to wage the battle on the retreat waiting for the other player to make mistakes

But I would strongly advise all young plaiers to build up an attacking game Go for your shots though this does not mean that you must hit winners off exery ball lou xxiii lose too many points that way but cum vate the idea that a speedy well controlled attack Is much more likely to disconcert an opponent who plays the softer game and force him Into errors And there is a real thrill In seeing an opponent racing over the court in a vain endeavour to stem your attack

Cochet s next article will deal with Ms remarkable match with W T ( BUI ) Til den and the first slpis of French domln ance in international tennis It will apps» on Wednesday next.

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

Zoom

plus
thumb
minus
left
thumb
right
up
thumb
down