Henri first came to the tennis world's attention as an outstanding and hugely talented junior player who won the French Open junior title in 1981. A swashbuckling left-hander who would seemingly prefer to hit one spell-binding winner rather than two standard put-away forehands, Leconte was always an entertainer.
In 1986, he had a breakthrough year. The Frenchman reached two Grand Slam singles semi-finals at the French Open and Wimbledon, and attained his career-high singles ranking of World No. 5.
His biggest personal achievement in singles came in 1988 when he reached the final of the French Open. In the final, despite strong support from the French crowd, Leconte could not overcome the two-time former champion Mats Wilander, who defeated him in straight sets. Leconte played in the Davis Cup final for the first time in 1982, when France lost 4–1 to the United States. In 1991, he was involved in the Davis Cup final for a second time and France again faced the US. This time, Leconte defeated Pete Sampras in straight sets in a critical singles rubber and also teamed-up with Guy Forget to win the doubles rubber as France won 3–1.
Leconte gave the French crowd something to cheer one more time in 1992 when, for the third time in his career, he progressed to the semi-finals of the French Open before finally being defeated by Petr Korda. The Frenchman won his final top-level singles title in 1993 in Halle, and made the decision to retire from professional tennis in 1996.
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