Cochet vs LaCoste, which one had the greater career?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by anointedone, Jul 17, 2007.

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Which one had the greater career of these two all-time great Frenchmen?

  1. LaCoste

    10 vote(s)
    58.8%
  2. Cochet

    7 vote(s)
    41.2%
  1. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

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    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.
     
    #1
  2. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
    #2
  3. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

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    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.
     
    #3
  4. dirtballer

    dirtballer Professional

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    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.
     
    #4
  5. chaognosis

    chaognosis Semi-Pro

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2007
    #5
  6. Big Fed

    Big Fed Banned

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    Im thinkin LaCoste.
     
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  7. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    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?
     
    #7
  8. ripitup

    ripitup Banned

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    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.
     
    #8
  9. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Lacoste was one of the first intelectuals of the game and his technichal contribution could match Tilden´s.

    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.
     
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  10. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    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...
     
    #10
  11. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Gonna start a thread soon on this topic lol
     
    #11
  12. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Well, I will be glad to help
     
    #12
  13. Xavier G

    Xavier G Professional

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    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.
     
    #13
  14. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    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!
     
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  15. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Great stuff, didn´t know about that.

    The Mousks were certainly very complementary.
     
    #15
  16. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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

    kiki Banned

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    The Mousketeers were so complementary.The baseline game of Lacoste, the net play of Borotra...and the unmatchable midcourt game of Cochet.
     
    #17
  18. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Not to forget the doubles expertise of Brugnon - and the different caps of Borotra and Lacoste.
     
    #18
  19. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    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).
     
    #19
  20. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    they both beat Tilden, Lacoste more prominently (according to a documentary I saw). Cochet's career looks more impressive, but Lacoste's impact is far, far, far greater
     
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  21. timnz

    timnz Legend

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    Cochet had more majors (4 more) than you have listed. He won the world hard court (clay) championship and twice won the world covered court championship. These were official majors of the international lawn tennis federation when he won them. He also won the french professional championship.
     
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  22. timnz

    timnz Legend

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    Can't understand why Lascoste is winning the vote when he won 7 majors to Cochet's 11 majors.
     
    #22
  23. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Legend

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    Simple.

    Quality > Quantity
     
    #23
  24. timnz

    timnz Legend

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    The equation is true - the evidence I would be keen to see. Open minded here.
     
    #24
  25. thrust

    thrust Professional

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    Not really. Both won 7 official slams plus 2 World Hard Court Championships which were the open French till 25. Also, I believe Cochet was ranked #1 four times, Lacoste just 2 times. As to the historic impact on the game, Lacoste, probably more than any other player especially his invention of the metal racket.
     
    #25
  26. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Legend

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    The Crocodile takes this 'wun.

    Aye.
     
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  27. thrust

    thrust Professional

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    I meant to say that Cochet won 2 Hard Court Championships, not both he and Lacoste.
     
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  28. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Legend

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    Who was actually in those fields?
     
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  29. thrust

    thrust Professional

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    [
    QUOTE="Dan Lobb, post: 11860531, member: 225267"]Who was actually in those fields?[/QUOTE]T
    This tournament was considered a Major by the International Lawn Tennis Federation at that time. Tilden won the final in 21, Cochet in 22. The top players of the day competed. Suzanne Lenglen won it 4 times. I think it was only a Major for 7 years before the French became open to international players in 25. It was generally considered the real French Championships.
     
    #29
  30. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Legend

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    T
    This tournament was considered a Major by the International Lawn Tennis Federation at that time. Tilden won the final in 21, Cochet in 22. The top players of the day competed. Suzanne Lenglen won it 4 times. I think it was only a Major for 7 years before the French became open to international players in 25. It was generally considered the real French Championships.[/QUOTE]
    Yes, but whom did Cochet beat?
     
    #30
  31. thrust

    thrust Professional

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    The problem with Borotra is that is was not as consistent as Cochet and Lacoset, talented and entertaining though he was. He did, however, play very well for a very long time.
     
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    #31

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