French Tennis Champion – Max Decugis

29 Jun French Tennis Champion – Max Decugis

This dynamic portrayal of the eight times French singles champion Max Decugis (1882-1978) at the net, brilliantly captures the intensity of the moment. The artist, François Flameng, is remembered today mainly as a portraitist (of Queen Alexandra and King Edward VIII, as well as Russian Emperor Alexander III and members of his family), but also painted historical scenes and genre subjects. The talent that he demonstrated for capturing action and motion in this painting was also used to great effect in his many paintings and watercolours done at the front in the First World War. His only son was killed in action in 1915 and Flameng, in his grief, took considerable personal risks in his determination to bring the reality of war to the public at home.

Max ‘s French singles record set in 1914 was beaten in 2014 by Rafael Nadal, who went on to win a total of eleven French Open championships but Ducegis’ fourteen French championship doubles and seven mixed doubles records wins remain unbeaten. He played as a junior at Wimbledon as a thirteen and fourteen year old (the first foreigner to do so), later reaching the semi-finals of the men’s singles there in 1911 (winning the doubles) and 1912 (defeated in the doubles finals). He was the victor at the European Championship and the Paris and German International Championship in 1901, winning the German again in 1902 and Paris in 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910 and 1912. He gained six Olympic medals, winning the singles silver in 1900 when not yet eighteen years old, the gold in the men’s singles at the Intercalated Athens Olympics of 1906, and the gold in mixed doubles, in 1920. He represented France sixteen times in the Davis Cup, the French team winning ten times. His last major tournament appearance was at Wimbledon in 1926 when he was knocked out in the third round. Max’s wife Marie Flameng, the artist’s daughter, with whom he won the mixed doubles at the 1906 Intercalated Olympics, and had married in 1905, died in 1969; Ducegis remarried the following year, dying shortly before his ninety-sixth birthday in 1978.

French Tennis Champion – Max Decugis was last modified: July 5th, 2018 by Thomas Smith