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View Full Version : Cochet vs LaCoste, which one had the greater career?


anointedone
07-17-2007, 11:08 AM
These are 2 of the overlooked all time greats. 2 of the 4 French Musketeers.
These were the 2 who overhauled the great Bill Tilden at the top of mens tennis. They each won 7 Grand Slams. Henri Cochet won the French Open 4 times, Wimbledon twice, and the U.S Open once. Rene LaCoste won 3 French Opens, 2 Wimbledons, and 2 U.S Opens.

Henri was the older player of the two. Most observers seem to believe Cochet was clearly the more talented of the two, but LaCoste had unbelievable work ethic and determination, similar to Nadal perhaps.

They actually played each other quite a few times in big grand slam matches. Here are how they did:

French Open

1926 final - Cochet defeats LaCoste 6-2, 6-4, 6-3
1928 final - Cochet defeats LaCoste 5-7, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3


Wimbledon

1928 final - LaCoste defeats Cochet 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2


U.S Open

1926 semis - LaCoste defeats Cochet 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3


I think I would lean to LaCoste very slightly in front.

urban
07-17-2007, 01:03 PM
Lacoste, out of a rich family, was the thinker on the court (and off the court, he invented the ball machine and the metal racket and wrote the best methodical book on tennis). He figured out Tilden, and was the leading man in the Davis Cup campaign of the French in 1927. He had problems with his health, a breathing problem i think, and retired very young. Cochet, a former ball boy from Lyon, was the natural, instinctive player player par excellence, who played all shots as half-volleys. Tilden couldn't read his unorthodox game. His court-opening, early taken forehand became the role-model shot of the 30s, and was imitated by Fred Perry. In most rankings by Danzig, Maskell and other contemporaries, the natural genius Cochet is ranked ahead of the methodical thinker Lacoste, primarly imo for aesthetic reasons.

anointedone
07-17-2007, 01:44 PM
Thanks for your input. I was wondering why it seemed Lacoste hardly ever played from mid 1929 onwards. It must have been his health problems you refer to. In a way could that be an argument in Lacoste's favor comparing him to Cochet though? He accomplished a similar amount in half the time in a way, due to his shortened career?

Anyway the accessment you put forth on both is similar to what I have read.
Cochet was an incredible talent who played with a great deal of flair and could do anything. His weaknes was sometimes he could lose concentration or try to get too fancy (as if often the case with that kind of uber-talented player).

Lacoste sounds like the great overachieving type, like I had read on him as well, although in a slightly different way perhaps then I had assumed. Still someone who sounds like he got the absolute most out of his game and was extremely resourceful.

dirtballer
07-18-2007, 04:50 AM
Lacoste played recreational tennis to the very end of his life. He and Jean Borotra, another of the four musketeers, used to hit with each other well into their late seventies.

chaognosis
09-03-2007, 06:11 PM
You also need to look at the Davis Cup records, as at that time the Davis Cup was by far the most important event -- more prestigious even than Wimbledon. Lacoste was the mastermind and leader of the team that finally brought down Tilden and the Americans in 1927, though from 1928 to '32 Cochet was the true "anchor" of the French. That kind of prowess (and longevity) puts him a notch above Lacoste, IMO, though I admit it is close. Lacoste's victories over Cochet at Wimbledon and the US Championships are, I believe, more valuable than Cochet's two wins at the French. However, Cochet holds the distinction of being the only player to hold a winning record against Tilden, the colossus of the age, in amateur competition.

Big Fed
09-03-2007, 06:36 PM
Im thinkin LaCoste.

forzamilan90
09-25-2013, 02:44 PM
Was about to start a thread on this, but considering there already was one let's use this one. Feel like there's more activity on this side of the forum now so we could get some good answers/knowledge flowing. Anyone familiar with these two French legends?

ripitup
09-25-2013, 02:47 PM
LaCoste had so many health problems and still won 7 slams like Cochet. So I would give him the nod. Cochet was the more talented player by far, but LaCoste was mentally and tactically stronger.

kiki
09-25-2013, 02:58 PM
Lacoste was one of the first intelectuals of the game and his technichal contribution could match Tildenīs.

Cochet was an instinct player, and he is, no doubt, the guy I wanted to see the most, or one of the most of those all time greats I could not see.Tilden feared him, he would play like nobody would suspect.

kiki
09-25-2013, 02:59 PM
Was about to start a thread on this, but considering there already was one let's use this one. Feel like there's more activity on this side of the forum now so we could get some good answers/knowledge flowing. Anyone familiar with these two French legends?

It seems to me that Borotra , whose record is similar and was the third mousketeer is underrated.He was probably the first true S&V player and his OH and leaps were a true spectacle, he was the favourite of women...

forzamilan90
09-25-2013, 03:01 PM
It seems to me that Borotra , whose record is similar and was the third mousketeer is underrated.He was probably the first true S&V player and his OH and leaps were a true spectacle, he was the favourite of women...

Gonna start a thread soon on this topic lol

kiki
09-25-2013, 03:07 PM
Gonna start a thread soon on this topic lol

Well, I will be glad to help

Xavier G
09-27-2013, 12:36 PM
From what I've read, Cochet seems to have been the more talented but also more wayward and Lacoste a more dogged and determined tactical thinker on court. I think I would preferred to have seen Cochet play, especially against Tilden.
Cochet, Lacoste, Barotra and Brugnon, great names in tennis history.

BobbyOne
09-27-2013, 05:37 PM
Cochet had a second career as a pro (1934 to 1945) and a third career as an amateur again (1945 to about 1950). It is astonishing that Henri was able to win tournaments till 1949 as a 48 years old!

kiki
09-28-2013, 05:29 AM
Cochet had a second career as a pro (1934 to 1945) and a third career as an amateur again (1945 to about 1950). It is astonishing that Henri was able to win tournaments till 1949 as a 48 years old!

Great stuff, didnīt know about that.

The Mousks were certainly very complementary.

BobbyOne
09-28-2013, 12:52 PM
Great stuff, didnīt know about that.

The Mousks were certainly very complementary.

kiki, Borotra had also a very expanded career: he won the British Indoors in 1948 and 1949.

kiki
09-28-2013, 02:04 PM
The Mousketeers were so complementary.The baseline game of Lacoste, the net play of Borotra...and the unmatchable midcourt game of Cochet.

urban
09-28-2013, 09:58 PM
Not to forget the doubles expertise of Brugnon - and the different caps of Borotra and Lacoste.

hoodjem
09-29-2013, 06:58 AM
In terms of tennis playing achievements, I'd say Cochet. (I have Cochet slightly ahead of Lacoste on my GOAT-list.)

In terms of overall impact on the tennis industry and game, probably Lacoste (with his invention of the T-2000 and the Lacoste Sporting Goods clothing line).