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Andre Gobert

tennis player
Full name: Andre Maurice Henri Gobert
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Bio According to William Tilden: "One of the most picturesque figures and delightfully polished tennis games in the world are joined in that volatile, temperamental player, Andre Gobert of France. He is a typically French product, full of finesse, art, and nerve, surrounded by the romance of a wonderful war record of his people in which he bore a magnificent part, yet unstable, erratic, and uncertain. At his best he is invincible. He is the great master of tennis. At his worst he is mediocre. Gobert is at once a delight and a disappointment to a student of tennis.

Gobert's service is marvellous. It is one of the great deliveries of the world. His great height (he is 6 feet 4 inches) and tremendous reach enable him to hit a flat delivery at frightful speed, and still stand an excellent chance of it going in court. He uses very little twist, so the pace is remarkably fast. Yet Gobert lacks confidence in his service. If his opponent handles it successfully Gobert is apt to slow it up and hit it soft, thus throwing away one of the greatest assets.

His ground strokes are hit in beautiful form. Gobert is the exponent of the most perfect form in the world to-day. His swing is the acme of beauty. The whole stroke is perfection. He hits with a flat, slightly topped drive, feet in excellent position, and weight well controlled. It is uniform, backhand and forehand. His volleying is astonishing. He can volley hard or soft, deep or short, straight or angled with equal ease, while his tremendous reach makes him nearly impossible to pass at the net. His overhead is deadly, fast, and accurate, and he kills a lob from anywhere in the court.

Why is not Gobert the greatest tennis player in the world? Personally I believe it is lack of confidence, a lack of fighting ability when the breaks are against him, and defeat may be his due. It is a peculiar thing in Gobert, for no man is braver than he, as his heroism during the War proved. It is simply lack of tennis confidence. It is an over- abundance of temperament. In victory Gobert is invincible, in defeat he is apt to be almost mediocre.

Gobert is delightful personally. His quick wit and sense of humour always please the tennis public. His courteous manner and genial sportsmanship make him universally popular. His stroke equipment is unsurpassed in the tennis world.

I unqualifiedly state that I consider him the most perfect tennis player, as regards strokes and footwork, in the world to-day; but he is, not the greatest player. Victory is the criterion of a match player, and Gobert has not proved himself a great victor.

Gobert is probably the finest indoor player in the world, while he is very great on hard courts; but his grass play is not the equal of many others. I heartily recommend Gobert's style to all students of the game, and endorse him as a model for strokes."
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