Historical photograph - Tennis player at Wibledon

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Article code DOF10002
Very interesting antique photograph of Jean Borotra at Wimbledon in 1924. The Photograph has been drawn on, probably to mark the part to be used in a newspaper.
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This photo shows Jean Borotra who puts Richards out of Wimbledon. French tennis legend Jean Borotra, also known as the Bounding Basque, was the first Frenchman to ever triumph at Wimbledon. In total, Borotra won 85 tournaments throughout his career, including 59 titles in France and made his last Davis Cup appearance in 1947 at the age of 50. 

On this photo he is wearing his trademark black beret. He played his matches with an infectious flare and excitement. This excitement was often heightened when he began to kiss the hands of female spectators during play. Borotra was every bit as energetic and extroverted on the court. Bill Tilden called him “unquestionably the most difficult man to play against,” and not just because of the Frenchman’s precise serves and relentless forward motion. He danced back and forth across the line between entertainment and gamesmanship, wearing down opponents psychologically before unleashing his trademark overhead smashes. The American’s feelings couldn’t have been any more mixed: “Borotra was the artist and charlatan of the French; undoubtedly, the greatest showman and faker in tennis history.”

But for a man born in 1898, patriotism meant more than just winning trophies. He joined the army upon his 18th birthday, eventually seeing combat in World War I. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre, and superiors encouraged him to pursue a military career. Borotra chose business instead, joining a firm that sold petrol pumps. His tennis commitments were carefully scheduled around his professional appointments, so he often found himself rushing to a match before he could don his trademark beret and begin charging the net. 


  • Artist unknown
  • Via Depth of Field, Amsterdam
  • silver gelatine print
  • Authentication: Stamp on the back
  • July 3, 1924
  • Mounted in a light blue colored acid-free passe-partout.
  • The photograph is framed professionally, using the following specifications: 6 mm. black fineered wooden profile, and anti-UV, True Vue museum grade glass.
  • Photograph:  16,6 x 22 cm
  • Frame: 28 x 36
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