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Marguerite Broquedis

tennis player
Full name: Marie Marguerite Broquedis
Nickname: “The Goddess”
Alias: Mme M.Billout
Mme Billout-Broquedis
Mme P.R.M.Bordes
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Bio Marguerite Broquedis was born in Pau in 1893 in the Jeu de Paume house in Beaumont Park, where her father Émile Broquedis was master paumier (professor of tennis) and racket manufacturer. The family moved to Île-de-France in 1904, Émile Broquedis acquiring tennis and tennis courts on rue Saint-Didier, in the 16th arrondissement of Paris.

Although it is a bourgeois and masculine sport, the whole Broquedis family practices lawn tennis, Marguerite like her two brothers, Louis and Eugène Broquedis, who have become teachers of this discipline at the Club de sport de l'île de Puteaux. Her father believes that it could help his daughter to rise socially. Around the turn of the century and started playing tennis on two dusty courts that were part of the Galerie des machines. Later she joined the Racing Club de France.

After seeing her play, Pierre de Coubertin supported Marguerite Broquedis' participation in the Olympics. The only woman member of the French Olympic delegation in 1912, she won at the Stockholm Olympics a gold medal in women's singles and a bronze medal in mixed doubles, associated with Albert Canet. She becomes the first French Olympic champion, all disciplines combined.
By comparison, the 110 men of the delegation bring back ten medals, leading the Excelsior newspaper to celebrate the one who “has just given a fine example of national sportsmanship to her colleagues of the stronger sex”. Researcher Jean-Michel Peter specifies that "she is not an activist, but she participates in the construction of an image of a modern sportswoman and she revolutionizes tennis attire without bringing it back, before Suzanne Lenglen".

Marguerite Broquedis thus wears short hair, abandoning the corset and slightly shortening her skirt. In 1914, she denounced in the magazine La Vie au grand air the few sports disciplines offered to women, unlike men. She became very popular and joined Parisian social life, riding horses in the Bois de Boulogne or skating at the Palais de Glace.

The Great War tested Marguerite Broquedis hard. His brother Louis, corporal in the 103rd infantry regiment, was killed on August 22, 19144. A few days later, on September 6, 1914, his second brother, Eugène, was seriously injured; he will remain paralyzed in the right arm. Finally, his first cousins ​​Pierre Lafaurie, corporal in the 7th colonial infantry regiment, were also killed on September 28, 1915 and Bernard Luce, second-in-command mechanic on the cruiser Cassard on February 26, 1916.

She resumed competition after the war, but her past fame was then eclipsed by that, growing, of Suzanne Lenglen. She still won a few major titles under her married names, Marguerite Billout then after November 1925 Marguerite Bordes.

She notably won the French Open at Roland-Garros with Jean Borotra in mixed doubles in 1927 against Lilí Álvarez and Bill Tilden. It's his last big game. She put an end to her career in 1930, now taking care of her family. However, she kept in touch throughout her life with her former tennis partners, Borotra, René Lacoste, Jacques Brugnon and Henri Cochet.

In 1917, she had married at the Château d'Aunoy (Seine-et-Marne) Marcel-Louis Billout, a wealthy heir to the Desmarais petrol pumps, but he died of cirrhosis of the liver in 1923. She remarried the doctor Raymond- Pierre Bordes in 1925, with whom she has two daughters. The fortune of her first widowhood disappeared with the crisis of 1929. She kept a castle in La Ferté-Imbault (Loir-et-Cher) for a time, where the family lived, before finally leaving for Orléans.

In 1976, she was invited with former Olympic gold medalists by the President of the Republic Valéry Giscard d'Estaing to lunch at the Élysée Palace. Aged 83, she is the oldest. The Head of State decorated her with the Legion of Honor.

She died in 1983 in Orléans in anonymity. Le Monde specifies: “Marguerite Broquedis did not like honors and did not care that we forgot her.
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