Class of 1978
World Court Tennis Champion 1928-54
Pierre Etchebaster didn’t begin toting a court tennis racquet until he was nearly 30 years old, but six years later his irrefutable talent elevated him to world champion in the sport also known as real tennis, the original racquet sport from which modern tennis is derived. He became the first court tennis player enshrined into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1978.
The diminutive Frenchman of a Basque fishing village defended his title seven times from 1928 to 1954. He retired undefeated at age 60 in 1954. His longevity and reign as world champion for 26 years was unprecedented, filling a span longer than that of any athlete in any other sport.
It’s only natural that a player of Etchebaster’s expertise would author a book on the sport. It was modestly titled and 51-one pages in length. Pierre’s Book: The Game of Court Tennis was published in 1971 and featured the Frenchman on the cover wearing a stylish dark beret and wearing a traditional white court sweater and matching pants.