One of the most naturally talented players to ever grace a tennis court, Leconte remains a firm favourite with many fans around the world. His mantra of ‘never take things too seriously’ and collection of tricks means his matches transcend into raucous exhibitions of comedy laced with skill.
Leconte first came to the attention of many as an incredibly talented junior player winning the French Open junior title in 1981. His success continued on clay, winning the French Open doubles Championship in 1984, and in 1988 with the hopes of a home nation resting on his shoulders he reached the French Open singles final, narrowly losing out to Mats Wilander.
Throughout his career Leconte never let things get too serious for too long, but it was the Davis Cup that always seemed to bring out the best of him. He played a total of 28 ties over 13 consecutive years (1982-1993), compiling a 17-5 record in doubles and remained undefeated with his good friend Guy Forget, with a total of 11 wins. The finest Davis Cup effort was in 1991, when he was one half of the two man French Davis Cup team for the final in Lyon. France defeated a star studded United States line-up, including Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. After 59 years, this was the first Davis Cup title for France and Leconte and Forget were named Athletes of The Year by French magazine L’Equipe.
This success in 1991 was all the more prevalent as several months prior he had undergone three career-saving back operations and just a couple of weeks earlier had been wheelchair bound.
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