- Category : Sports-Tennis
- Type : MS
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Split - Small (16)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Tension 2
French tennis champion, one of the most highly regarded defensive players the world has ever seen and perhaps tennis' greatest ground stroker. He was winner of the Wimbledon singles title in 1925 and 1928 and winner of seven other major singles titles in his career, including the U.S. Open twice and the French open three times. He dominated the Davis Cup in 1927 and held it for five more years.
He was also known for manufacturing tennis shirts with his signature alligator logo over the pocket, a reflection of his nickname, "Le Crocodile," a moniker that reflected his perseverance and tenacity. He was the last survivor of "The Four Musketeers" of French Tennis that included Henri Cochet, Jean Borotra and Jacques Brugnon. Lacoste didn't start playing tennis until he was 16, and his playing career ended with a respiratory ailment when he was 25, but not before he had been acclaimed as having perhaps the greatest ground stroke in tennis.
In addition to his tennis excellence, he was also an inventor. He developed one of the first ball-lobbing machines in 1925, and perfected the metal-framed, open-throat tennis racket in 1964. His nickname, "Le Crocodile" came about because he'd admired a crocodile suitcase in a store window, and his Davis Cup coach said he'd buy it for him if he won an upcoming match. Lacoste never got the bag, but the nickname stuck since some sportswriters thought it described his tennis style. He was the author of " Lacoste on Tennis," 1928.
He married Simone Thion de la Chaume, the first French winner of golf's British Open. They had three sons, one of whom, Bernard, took over the sportswear business in 1964, and a daughter, Catherine, who was a U.S. open golf champion in 1967.
He died of heart failure on 12 October 1996 at his home in St. Jean-de-Luz, France, four days after surgery on a broken leg. He had been ailing for years with prostate cancer.