Gus Touchard

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Gustave F. Touchard (January 11, 1888 – September 5, 1918), was an American tennis player active in the early 1910s, famous for his elegance.

Born in New York, Touchard's most notable achievement was the U.S. Open championship doubles title in 1911, and runner-up for the same title in 1912 (both alongside Raymond D. Little). Another important achievement for Touchard was the 1912 singles title in the Cincinnati Masters tournament and runner-up for the same title in 1913.

In 1912, his wife, neé Emiline Holmes, competed for the Women's Doubles title in Cincinnati, but was defeated in the final. The couple had been married in 1911 at a ceremony in which most of the groomsmen were famous tennis players, and that was attended by many members of New York's high society.

Touchard's wife died in 1914, soon after the birth of a child. The next year, Touchard was convicted of stealing $140 worth of golf balls from his employer, Abercrombie & Fitch of New York (which at the time was a store with an extensive sporting-goods department), apparently to sell in order to pay for medical care for the infant.

When the U.S. entered World War I, the U.S. military rejected his attempt to enlist, whereupon he went to Canada, where he became an instructor for the Royal Air Force. He died of natural causes in Toronto in 1918.

Sources

  • US Open Winners
  • List of Cincinnati Tournament winners (PDF file)
  • "G.F. Touchard, Jr., Weds Miss Holmes," New York Times, Oct. 12, 1911.
  • "Touchard Guilty of Theft," New York Times, July 28, 1915.
  • "Army Recruits Here Far Behind Quota," New York Times, June 28, 1917.
  • Obituary, New York Times, Sept. 6, 1918.