General Jacques Christian Augustin
Boussus
Male
France
1908-03-05
Hyères, France
2003-08-12
Neuilly, Hauts de Seine, France


About

Christian Boussus, as he was known, was born in March 1908 in the Mediterranean French town of Hyères, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. He was the eldest of the three children of Maurice René François Boussus (1877-1949), a native of the commune of Wignehies in the north of France, and Jeanne Boussus (née Lucas; 1872-1954), who was from Paris. Christian’s siblings were Roland Jacques François Boussus (1907-2000), who also took part in tennis tournaments, and Élisabeth Boussus.

Christian Boussus would become one of France’s top tennis players in the 1930s and be ranked no. 1 in France several times during that decade. He first really came to the fore outside his native country when, at the age of just 20, he reached the semi-final of the men’s singles event at Wimbledon in 1928, where he lost to his compatriot Henri Cochet. Although he would also reach the final of the men’s singles event at the French International Championships in 1931, he would never win a singles title at one of the four majors. In fact, the only major title Boussus won was the mixed doubles event at the Australian Championships in 1935 alongside the Australian Louie Bickerton.

Boussus was, nevertheless, an excellent singles player and was so highly regarded that he was chosen as a member of the French Davis Cup team in 1929, 1930, 1931, and 1932. In those four years France successfully defended the cup in the Challenge Round, but Boussus was never actually picked to play in any of the ties. Nevertheless, he was given the nickname of the Fifth Musketeer because his name was engraved on the Davis Cup trophy even though he didn’t play in any of the aforementioned Challenge Rounds.

Like most of the other male French players of the late 1920s and early 1930s, Christian Boussus was in the shadows of the famous Four Musketeers – Jean Borotra, Jacques Brugnon, Henri Cochet and René Lacoste. Boussus finally got his chance to play in a Davis cup tie in 1934, when the Four Musketeers had more or less retired. He played only singles in the Davis Cup and finished with a win loss record of 10-9.

The following article, written by the English tennis player Nigel Sharpe, provides a good description of the game of the left-handed Christian Boussus, who was still only 24 when it was published in the Straits Times newspaper on 20 March 1932:

Christian Boussus – France’s great lefthander

By Nigel Sharpe

Christian Boussus is one of the greatest left-handed players in the world. Great things are expected of him when the four musketeers retire from the game. Already he has made a mark on the tennis world. He is ranked third in France, after Cochet and Borotra, and for the past two years has been ranked in the world’s first ten.

Of medium height and build and rather slim build, he relies upon an all-round game with volleying as his forte. There is nothing of hurricane speed in his game. He takes the ball on the rise and hits his forehand with an easy swing and without too much topspin. He gets good pace in this stroke and usually relies upon it as the forerunner of a volleying campaign. Taking it as early as he does enables him to have good time to take up his position at the net.

His backhand is of the cut variety but although putting so much slice on it he does not let it stop him from hitting it pretty hard. This stroke, of course, has its limitations, as it is distinctly difficult to make good passing shots against an agile volleyer. This wing is Boussus’ chief weakness.

His gem

His volleying is very decisive – his forehand volley being a gem of a stroke. He is a complete master of this stroke and is able to make his volley down the line with great speed. This stroke is slightly reminiscent of Jean Borotra’s, but Boussus does not use his wrist quite so much.

Is service and overhead strokes are most unorthodox. He delivers his service with a bowling action and without swinging the racket behind his head at all. It is not very gainly and not very effective – the best that can be said for it is that he is able to keep the ball fairly low and to swing it away from his opponent.

Overhead he is very accurate and can place the ball more or less wherever he likes, it is also very difficult to anticipate where he is going to smash the ball owing to the peculiarity of his action.

I am quite sure that a considerable amount of success that left-handers achieve is because they are left-handed, I mean by this, that a right-hander’s best strokes usually go in his right-handed opponent’s corner but, of course, this wing becomes the forehand corner to the left-hander.

Worrying service

Most of the best left-handed players have possessed strong forehand drives, but very much weaker backhand strokes, and this is probably because they get more practice on this wing. Then a left-handed service can be unpleasant. One gets so little practice against it that when a left-hander is met in a tournament the service especially keeps one thinking the whole time. Many right-handed services can be taken automatically, but not so with the left-handers.

Christian Boussus first came to the front when he won the covered court meeting at Auteuil in 1926 with René Lacoste. In the following year he represented Paris versus London, and was successful in two singles. In the same year he defeated Henri Cochet at Marseilles. In the autumn he made a tour with the French team, visiting South America, Australia and South Africa. This trip did Boussus’ tennis an enormous amount of good. Playing different players in different countries under various conditions must improve one’s game and on his return to Europe a marked improvement was noted.

In 1928, Boussus reached the last four at Wimbledon, being beaten by Henri Cochet, who was in turn beaten by René Lacoste.

Always beaten by Bunny Austin

In 1929 and 1930, Boussus won the German singles championship from very strong fields. He has won a great number of prizes on the Continent as well as a few over here. Last summer he won the doubles championship of the Midlands at Edgbaston and this year he won the Hard Court Championship of Great Britain at Bournemouth in the face of the strongest home opposition.

When Bunny Austin fell to Ryuki Miki, Boussus became the favourite for the event for although Bunny always beats Boussus, the Frenchman was ranked no. 9 in the world list last year and was quite capable of defeating the rest of his English opponents. He did not have it all his own way, however, for John Olliff took him to five sets although the sets were all short ones, and then Pat Hughes played a long first set with him in the final. As Mme Simone Mathieu carried off the ladies’ singles, France had a great day.

Last year, 1931, Boussus’ tennis was rather interfered with by his army service, but now that is over and he is able to give his whole time to the game there is no reason why he should not climb to greater heights for he has an excellent temperament for the games and is still in the early twenties.

He is extremely popular wherever he goes, and will uphold the high standards set by the famous Four Musketeers of France.
--
According to an article that the English tennis player Fred Perry wrote for syndication in 1934, Christian Boussus was a very quiet person who could easily be mistaken for an artist. Perry also noted that Boussus was an expert in advertising, a branch of business he had studied for years. He later became a manager at IBM France.

Christian Boussus, who did not marry, had a long relationship with the French perfumer Germaine Cellier (1909-76). In an article that appeared in the August 2014 edition of French Vanity Fair, Martine Azoulai, niece of Germaine Cellier, noted the following about Christian Boussus:

Known as Nono to his friends, Christian went on to lead IBM France’s communications department, loved crossword puzzles and was a very straight-laced, courteous and elegant gentleman. In many ways he had to be so he could balance my aunt’s loud, slang-filled tirades. Each week Germaine and he raced through the popular Œdipe déchaîné/Oedipus Unchained crossword paper.

My aunt lived out her days with Christian, but they never married. I remember him often finishing a sentence with “Oh, Germaine”. They really were very different: he loved sport, drove fast, was always on time for his matches and got to the airport early. Germaine, on the other hand, dragged her feet, hated flying and never learned to drive. Nonetheless, they both adored their three dachshunds, Valentin, Félix and Cleopatre.
--

Christian Boussus survived Germaine Cellier by nearly 30 years, dying in Paris in August 2003 at the age of 95.



Media


Archive statistics 1923 - 1953
47
605
436


Tournament wins 1941 - Coupe de Noel (Amateur)
1939 - St. Moritz Covered Courts (Amateur)
1939 - Le Touquet (Open)
1938 - Cabourg (Amateur)
1938 - St. Moritz Covered Courts (Amateur)
1937 - Algiers (Amateur)
1937 - Le Touquet (Open)
1937 - Rabat (Amateur)
1937 - Saint-Gervais-les-Bains (Amateur)
1937 - Casablanca (Open)
1936 - Algiers (Amateur)
1936 - Saint-Gervais-les-Bains (Amateur)
1936 - Casablanca (Open)
1934 - Paris International Championships (Open)
1934 - South Croydon Hard Courts (Amateur)
1934 - Zürich Baur du Lac LTC (Amateur)
1934 - Strasbourg (Open)
1934 - Dinard (Amateur)
1934 - Saint-Gervais-les-Bains (Amateur)
1934 - Capri (Amateur)
1933 - Danish International Championhips (Amateur)
1933 - Le Touquet Second Meeting (Open)
1933 - Saint-Gervais-les-Bains (Amateur)
1932 - Paris International Championships (Open)
1932 - Villa d'Este (Amateur)
1931 - Aix-Les-Bains (Amateur)
1931 - Tournoi du TC Flandres (Amateur)
1931 - British Hard Court Championships (Open)
1930 - Pau (Amateur)
1930 - Reims (Amateur)
1930 - Algiers (Amateur)
1930 - German International Championships ()
1930 - Tournoi du TC Flandres (Amateur)
1930 - Nancy (Amateur)
1930 - Venezia (Venice International Tournament) (Amateur)
1930 - Amsterdam Indoor (Amateur)
1930 - Casablanca (Open)
1930 - Blau-Weiss Club (Amateur)
1929 - Spanish International Championships (Open)
1929 - Bad Neuenahr (Open)
1929 - Homburg (Amateur)
1929 - Caen (Amateur)
1929 - German International Championships ()
1929 - Tournoi du TC Flandres (Amateur)
1927 - Algiers (Amateur)
1927 - Le Touquet Second Meeting (Open)
1926 - Critérium de France (Amateur)


Tournaments Roland Garros - 1953 Roland Garros - 1951 Roland Garros - 1950 Paris International Championships - 1950 Rabat - 1950 Biarritz - 1950 Strasbourg - 1950 Roland Garros - 1949 Lyon Covered Court Championships - 1949 Biarritz - 1949 Coupe Marcel Poree - 1949 Mazamet - 1949 Roland Garros - 1948 Paris International Championships - 1948 Coupe Pierre Gillou - 1948 Gstaad - 1948 Dinan - 1948 Roland Garros - 1947 Paris International Championships - 1947 Rapallo - 1947 Roland Garros - 1946 St. Moritz - 1946 Swiss International Championships - 1946 Paris International Championships - 1946 French Covered Court Championships - 1946 Tournoi de France - 1944 Coupe de Noel - 1943 Tournoi de France - 1943 French Occupied Zone - 1943 Tournoi de France - 1942 French Occupied Zone - 1942 Coupe de Noel - 1941 Tournoi de France - 1941 French Occupied Zone - 1941 Coupe Albert Canet - 1941 Wimbledon - 1939 Roland Garros - 1939 Beaulieu - 1939 Côte d'Azur Championships - 1939 French Covered Court Championships - 1939 Bordeaux Tournament - 1939 Le Touquet - 1939 International Club Matches - FRA - 1939 St. Moritz Covered Courts - 1939 Wimbledon - 1938 Monte Carlo - 1938 Roland Garros - 1938 Beaulieu - 1938 Coupe de Noel - 1938 French Covered Court Championships - 1938 Venezia (Venice International Tournament) - 1938 British Hard Court Championships - 1938 International Championships of Egypt - Cairo - 1938 International Championships of Egypt-Alexandria - 1938 International Club Matches - GBR - 1938 London vs. Paris - 1938 Sporting Club Christmas Tournament - 1938 Cabourg - 1938 St. Moritz Covered Courts - 1938 Saint-Gervais-les-Bains - 1938 Wimbledon - 1937 Monte Carlo - 1937 Roland Garros - 1937 Paris International Championships - 1937 Oran - 1937 Algiers - 1937 Rabat - 1937 Casablanca - 1937 Brighton Hard Courts Tournament - 1937 Le Touquet - 1937 Luzern - 1937 International Club Matches - GBR - 1937 King's Cup - Final - 1937 France vs Italy Team Match - 1937 Cabourg - 1937 Saint-Gervais-les-Bains - 1937 Wimbledon - 1936 Monte Carlo - 1936 Roland Garros - 1936 Côte d'Azur Championships - 1936 Paris International Championships - 1936 German International Covered Court Championships - 1936 Algiers - 1936 Casablanca - 1936 US vs. France Exhibition - 1936 International Club Matches - FRA - 1936 International Club Matches - GBR - 1936 St. Moritz Covered Courts - 1936 Saint-Gervais-les-Bains - 1936 Troyes - 1936 Australian Open - 1935 Wimbledon - 1935 Roland Garros - 1935 US Open - 1935 Beaulieu - 1935 Coupe de Noel - 1935 Lyon Covered Court Championships - 1935 Italian International Championships - 1935 Pacific Southwest Championships - 1935 Le Touquet - 1935 Wimbledon - 1934 Roland Garros - 1934 Paris International Championships - 1934 Capri - 1934 French Covered Court Championships - 1934 Venezia (Venice International Tournament) - 1934 Le Touquet - 1934 Dinard - 1934 Zürich Baur du Lac LTC - 1934 Strasbourg - 1934 St. Moritz Covered Courts - 1934 Saint-Gervais-les-Bains - 1934 South Croydon Hard Courts - 1934 Wimbledon - 1933 Roland Garros - 1933 Coupe de Noel - 1933 Paris International Championships - 1933 Dinard - 1933 Le Touquet Second Meeting - 1933 Danish International Championhips - 1933 Saint-Gervais-les-Bains - 1933 Wimbledon - 1932 Roland Garros - 1932 Paris International Championships - 1932 US International Indoor Championships - 1932 German International Championships - 1932 Villa d'Este - 1932 Blau-Weiss Club - 1932 Saint-Gervais-les-Bains - 1932 Wimbledon - 1931 Monte Carlo - 1931 Roland Garros - 1931 US Open - 1931 Beaulieu - 1931 Coupe de Noel - 1931 Paris International Championships - 1931 US International Indoor Championships - 1931 South of France Championships - 1931 British Hard Court Championships - 1931 German International Championships - 1931 Bordeaux Tournament - 1931 Le Touquet - 1931 Aix-Les-Bains - 1931 Tournoi du TC Flandres - 1931 Saint-Gervais-les-Bains - 1931 Wimbledon - 1930 Coupe de Noel - 1930 Paris International Championships - 1930 French Covered Court Championships - 1930 Italian International Championships - 1930 Venezia (Venice International Tournament) - 1930 Algiers - 1930 Casablanca - 1930 German International Championships - 1930 Merano - 1930 Ciotat - 1930 Homburg - 1930 Nancy - 1930 Tournoi du TC Flandres - 1930 Pau - 1930 Blau-Weiss Club - 1930 Reims - 1930 Amsterdam Indoor - 1930 Critérium de France - 1930 Wimbledon - 1929 Monte Carlo - 1929 Roland Garros - 1929 Paris International Championships - 1929 German International Championships - 1929 Merano - 1929 Czechoslovakian International Championships - 1929 Homburg - 1929 Baden-Baden - 1929 Zürich Championships - 1929 Trieste - 1929 Caen - 1929 Tournoi du TC Flandres - 1929 Bad Neuenahr - 1929 Reims - 1929 Spanish International Championships - 1929 Australian Open - 1928 Wimbledon - 1928 Roland Garros - 1928 US Open - 1928 Coupe de Noel - 1928 Pacific Southwest Championships - 1928 Düsseldorf International Tournament - 1928 Scheveningen - 1928 Critérium de France - 1928 Wimbledon - 1927 Monte Carlo - 1927 Roland Garros - 1927 Paris International Championships - 1927 Irish Championships - 1927 French Covered Court Championships - 1927 Algiers - 1927 German International Championships - 1927 Deauville - 1927 Marseille - 1927 Homburg - 1927 Le Touquet Second Meeting - 1927 Cologne International - 1927 Criterium de France Indoor - 1927 Coupe de Noel - 1926 Lyon Covered Court Championships - 1926 Paris International Championships - 1926 French Covered Court Championships - 1926 Lille - 1926 French Closed Covered Court Championships - 1926 Critérium de France - 1926 Criterium de France Indoor - 1926 Coupe de Noel - 1925 Paris International Championships - 1925 Étretat - 1925 Coupe Albert Canet - 1925 Critérium de France - 1925 Paris International Championships - 1924 Paris International Championships - 1923

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.