Maurice Germot was born on 17 November 1882, on rue d’Alquié in the central French city of Vichy. His parents were Philippe Alexandre Germot, a banker and businessman, and Marguerite Pauline Germot (née Paris). The Germot family, which owned several hotels, later brought the renowned manager of such establishments, Joseph Aletti, to Vichy to help run the family business. Aletti later became a shareholder in the Société des Grands Hôtels and subsequently head of the Aletti businesses in Vichy and Algiers.
Maurice Germot notably won the men’s singles title at the early French National Championships three times, in 1905, 1906 and 1910; this tournament was open only to French players and foreign players who were members of a French lawn tennis club. With his most frequent doubles partner, Max Decugis, Germot won the men’s doubles title at the same tournament ten times, in 1904, 1906-09, 1911-14 and 1920; this is the record for a pair. Germot also won the men’s doubles title at the French Covered Court Championships four times in a row, from 1910 to 1913.
Maurice Germot represented France in the Davis Cup team on three occasions, the first time being in 1905. His final win-loss totals in the Davis Cup were 1-6 in singles and 0-4 in doubles.
Maurice Germot took part in the outdoor lawn tennis events at the Olympic Games of 1908 in London, but had to withdraw from all events at an early stage. Four years later, at the indoor lawn tennis events at the Olympic Games of 1912 in Stockholm, Germot won the gold medal in the men’s doubles event with André Gobert. In the final they defeated the Swedes Carl Kempe and Gunnar Setterwall in four sets, 4-6, 14-12, 6-2, 6-4.
In 1913, Maurice Germot reached the final of the men’s singles event at the World Covered Court Championships, which that year were held in the Swedish capital, Stockholm. In the final he was beaten by the New Zealander Anthony Wilding, 5-7, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1. At the same tournament Germot and Max Decugis won the men’s doubles event, beating the Germans Curt Bergmann and Heinrich Kleinschroth in the final, 7-5, 2-6, 7-9, 6-3, 6-1. Eight years later, in 1921, when the World Covered Court Championships were held in Copenhagen, Denmark, Germot again won the men’s doubles event, this time with a different compatriot, William Laurentz. In the final they beat the Danes Paul Henriksen and Erik Tegner in four sets, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
During World War One, Maurice Germot served with the French Army. In the summer of 1915 he was injured when a shell exploded close to him while he was taking part in the Battle of Le Linge (aka the Battle of Lingekopf), in the Upper Rhine region in north-east France, close to the border with Germany. Germot was struck by shrapnel from the shell and lay on the ground for a long time, bleeding from the head. Fortunately, he was rescued in time and taken by ambulance to hospital, where he made a full recovery. Later in the war he acted as an interpreter.
Although remembered mainly as a top doubles player, Maurice Germot also enjoyed success in singles events, particularly those held in French coastal resorts during the summer. Small in stature, he was rather overpowered by physically stronger players, but was an excellent volleyer, hence his success in doubles events.
Maurice Germot died in his native city of Vichy in August 1958 at the age of 75. A street in that city now bears his name.
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