Rene Lacoste: Style icon, tennis legend

Published 1223 GMT (2023 HKT) September 11, 2014
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In the space of just four years, Rene Lacoste would become one of the most famous tennis players in France's history. He won the French Open at the age of 20 in 1925, eventually claiming a total of seven major singles championships on top of three doubles titles, while he was also ranked No. 1 in the world in 1926 and 1927. Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
Alongside compatriots Jacques Brugnon, Jean Borotra, and Henri Cochet, Lacoste helped make up the "Four Musketeers" -- a group who cemented France's status as the dominant force in the sport during the 1920s and 1930s. They led their nation to six straight Davis Cup titles. AFP/Getty Images
Stade Roland Garros was built in 1928 to host France's maiden defense of the Davis Cup following the quartet's 1927 win. Each of the stadium's four main grandstands are named after one of them, while the winner of the French Open men's singles championship is presented with the "Coupe des Mousquetaires" trophy. An aerial picture shows the victory ceremony after China's Li Na won over Italy's Francesca Schiavone their Women's final in the French Open tennis championship at the Roland Garros stadium, on June 4, 2011, in Paris
Despite being forced to retire at the age of 24 due to health problems, Lacoste remained in the game and started the "Lacoste" brand in 1933, specializing in tennis products. The inspiration for the company's logo came from his nickname as a player, "Le Crocodile." E. Bacon/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
A number of leading tennis players would go on to use a variety of Lacoste's creations, including his revolutionary short-sleeved polo shirt. Jimmy Connors (left) and Billie Jean King, to name a few, used his metal tennis racket. Adrian Murrell /Allsport
Lacoste introduced his "Equijet" tennis racket to the up-and-coming Guy Forget, and the pair would go on to forge a special relationship. Forget wore "Lacoste" clothing as he helped France win its first Davis Cup for 59 years in 1991. AFP/Getty Images
Lacoste passed away from heart failure in 1996, but his name still lives on. "Lacoste" remains a highly-successful clothing brand, specializing in sports and leisurewear. ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images