It’s the last week of July 1932. The Paris sun is beating down on the clay court at Roland Garros, and the Davis Cup is hanging in the balance. Jean Borotra is gassed. Across the net stands the world’s fourth-ranked player, Wilmer Allison, a Texan with a wicked forehand volley. Allison holds advantage in the 10th game of the decisive fifth set—one errant Borotra serve away from victory. A nervous energy pulses through the crowd as its national hero toes the service line, sweat soaking his trademark white linens and blue beret.