Sarah Press

Written by Sarah Press

Modified & Updated: 29 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


René Lacoste is a name that is synonymous with the world of tennis. As a French tennis player, Lacoste made an indelible mark on the sport during the early 20th century. Not only was he known for his exceptional skills on the court, but he also brought a unique style and sense of fashion to the game. Lacoste’s legacy extends far beyond his playing years, as he went on to become a successful entrepreneur and even created a brand that has become a global icon. In this article, we will explore 13 fascinating facts about René Lacoste that shed light on his remarkable life and contributions to the world of tennis and fashion.

Key Takeaways:

  • René Lacoste, a tennis legend, earned the nickname “The Crocodile” and revolutionized tennis fashion with the iconic Lacoste brand, leaving an indelible mark on the world of sports and fashion.
  • Lacoste’s exceptional tennis career, innovative spirit, and enduring legacy continue to inspire generations, making him a true icon in the realms of sports and fashion.
Table of Contents

René Lacoste was born on July 2, 1904, in Paris, France.

During his early years, Lacoste showed great promise as an athlete and displayed a natural talent for tennis.

He earned the nickname “The Crocodile” on the tennis court.

Lacoste’s nickname originated from a bet he made with his team captain regarding a crocodile-skin suitcase that Lacoste admired. The nickname stuck with him throughout his career.

René Lacoste won his first Grand Slam singles title in 1925.

He secured his victory at the French Open, showcasing his exceptional skills and precision on the clay court.

Lacoste’s tennis career was briefly interrupted by World War II.

Like many athletes of his generation, Lacoste put his tennis career on hold to serve his country during the war.

He co-founded the Lacoste brand in 1933.

René Lacoste’s legacy extends beyond tennis. In collaboration with André Gillier, he established the renowned Lacoste brand, known for its iconic crocodile logo.

The Lacoste polo shirts revolutionized tennis fashion.

René Lacoste introduced the concept of the polo shirt to the tennis world, which quickly gained popularity due to its comfort and style.

Lacoste was a member of the French Davis Cup team.

He represented France in the Davis Cup, contributing to the team’s victories and solidifying his reputation as a formidable player.

René Lacoste was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1976.

In recognition of his exceptional achievements and lasting impact on the sport of tennis, Lacoste received this prestigious honor.

Lacoste’s innovative tennis racket design revolutionized the sport.

He introduced the steel racket, which provided players with increased power and control, changing the way the game was played.

René Lacoste served as the captain of the French Davis Cup team.

After retiring from competitive play, Lacoste took on the role of captain, mentoring and guiding future generations of French tennis talent.

He wrote a book titled “Tennis: My Way.”

Lacoste shared his insights and experiences in this autobiographical guide, offering readers a glimpse into his mind and approach to the game.

René Lacoste passed away on October 12, 1996, in St. Jean-de-Luz, France.

Despite his departure from the physical world, Lacoste’s legacy continues to live on, inspiring generations of tennis players.

The Lacoste brand remains a prominent and influential force in the fashion world.

Lacoste’s vision and innovation have transcended tennis, making the brand a symbol of elegance and style in the fashion industry.


In conclusion, René Lacoste was not just a tennis player- he was a trailblazer, innovator, and a style icon. His contributions to the sport and fashion world are undeniable, and his impact continues to resonate today. Lacoste’s creation of the iconic polo shirt revolutionized tennis attire and became a timeless fashion staple. His relentless determination and sportsmanship earned him numerous accolades, solidifying his legacy as one of the greatest players of his time. René Lacoste’s story is a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and the ability to leave a lasting impact on the world.


1. When was René Lacoste born?

René Lacoste was born on July 2, 1904, in Paris, France.

2. What were René Lacoste’s major tennis achievements?

René Lacoste won seven Grand Slam singles titles, including three French Open titles, two Wimbledon titles, and two US Open titles.

3. What is the significance of the Lacoste logo?

The Lacoste logo, an embroidered green crocodile, represents René Lacoste’s nickname “The Crocodile” and symbolizes the brand’s commitment to elegance, style, and quality.

4. How did René Lacoste revolutionize tennis attire?

René Lacoste introduced the polo shirt as an alternative to the traditional button-down shirts worn by tennis players. The lightweight and comfortable design provided more freedom of movement, making it a game-changer in the world of sports fashion.

5. What is René Lacoste’s lasting legacy?

René Lacoste’s legacy extends beyond his tennis achievements. His innovative spirit, dedication to excellence, and fashion sensibility continue to influence sports and fashion industries, making him an enduring icon.

Intrigued by René Lacoste's remarkable life? Why not explore more fascinating facts about his fellow French tennis legend, Jean Borotra? Borotra's career paralleled Lacoste's, and together they formed a formidable duo on the court. Delving into Borotra's story will give you a deeper appreciation for the golden age of French tennis and the incredible athletes who shaped its history. So, if you're ready for another captivating journey through the annals of tennis greatness, join us as we uncover the untold stories of Jean Borotra.

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