Yannick Noah

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Yannick Noah
Yannick Noah (Davis Cup).jpg
Yannick Noah (1979 Davis Cup)
Country  France
Born (1960-05-18) 18 May 1960 (age 53)
Sedan, France
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Turned pro 1977
Retired 1996
Plays Right-handed (1-handed backhand)
Prize money $3,440,660
Int. Tennis HOF 2005 (member page)
Singles
Career record 476–210 (ATP, Grand Prix, WCT and Grand Slam level, and Davis Cup)
Career titles 23
Highest ranking No. 3 (7 July 1986)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open SF (1990)
French Open W (1983)
Wimbledon 3R (1979, 1985)
US Open QF (1983, 1985, 1989)
Other tournaments
Tour Finals QF (1982)
WCT Finals SF (1988)
Doubles
Career record 213–109 (ATP, Grand Prix, WCT and Grand Slam level, and Davis Cup)
Career titles 16
Highest ranking No. 1 (25 August 1986)
Team competitions
Davis Cup F (1982)

Yannick Noah (born 18 May 1960 in Sedan, France) is a former professional tennis player from France. He is best remembered for winning the French Open in 1983 and as a highly successful captain of France's Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams. During his career, which spanned almost two decades, Noah captured a total of 23 singles titles and 16 doubles titles, reaching a career-high singles ranking of World No. 3 (in July 1986) and attaining the World No. 1 doubles ranking the following month. Since his retirement from the game, Noah has remained in the public eye as a very popular music performer and as the co-founder, with his mother, of a charity organization for underprivileged children. Noah is also the father of Joakim Noah of the NBA Chicago Bulls.

Childhood[edit]

Born in the north of France in 1960, Yannick Noah is the son of a Cameroonian footballer, Zacharie Noah, and his French wife Marie-Claire. After a sports injury in 1963, Noah's father returned to Africa with his family. He was living in Cameroon when he made his debut in tennis and was discovered at age 11 by Arthur Ashe and Charlie Pasarell. He soon showed an amazing talent that eventually brought him to the French Tennis Federation's training center in Nice in 1971.

Tennis career[edit]

Noah turned professional in 1977 and won his first top-level singles title in 1978 in Manila.

Noah became France's most prominent tennis hero in 1983, becoming the first Frenchman in 37 years to win the French Open, one of the four Grand Slam singles events. He dropped only one set during the two-week long tournament, and defeated the defending champion, Sweden's Mats Wilander in straight sets in the final, 6–2, 7–5, 7–6. He remains the last and most recent Frenchman to have won the French Open men's singles title.

Noah won the French Open men's doubles title in 1984 (with compatriot and best friend Henri Leconte). He was also the men's doubles runner-up at the 1985 U.S. Open (with Leconte), and the 1987 French Open (with compatriot Guy Forget). In August 1986, Noah attained the world no. 1 doubles ranking, which he would hold for a total of 19 weeks.

Noah played on France's Davis Cup team for eleven years, with an overall win–loss record of 39–22 (26–15 in singles, and in 13–7 doubles). In 1982, he was part of the French team which reached the Davis Cup final, where they were defeated 4–1 by the United States.

Nine years later, in 1991, Noah captained the French team which won the Davis Cup for the first time in 59 years, defeating a heavily favoured US team 3–1 in the final. This feat was repeated in 1996, when France defeated Sweden 3–2 in the final held in Malmö.

In 1997, Noah captained France's Fed Cup team to its first victory in that competition.

He notably admitted using marijuana prior to matches in 1981,[1] saying that amphetamines were the real problem in tennis as they were performance-enhancing drugs.

Noah was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005. He remains France's highest ranked player since the introduction of rankings in 1973.

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline[edit]

Tournament 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 SR W–L Win %
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open A/A 1R A 1R A A A A A NH QF 4R 1R SF 0 / 6 11–6 64.71
French Open 1R 3R 2R 4R QF QF W QF 4R 4R QF 4R 1R 3R 1 / 14 40–13 75.47
Wimbledon A 2R 3R A 1R A A A 3R A 2R A A 1R 0 / 6 6–6 50.00
US Open A 1R 4R 4R 4R 4R QF A QF 3R A 2R QF 2R 0 / 11 28–11 71.79
Win–Loss 0–1 3–4 6–3 6–3 7–3 7–2 11–1 4–1 9–3 5–2 8–3 7–3 4–3 8–4 1 / 37 85–36 70.25

Major finals[edit]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 1 (1–0)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Winner 1983 French Open Clay Sweden Mats Wilander 6–2, 7–5, 7–6(7–3)

Doubles: 3 (1–2)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponent in the final Score in the final
Winner 1984 French Open Clay France Henri Leconte Czechoslovakia Pavel Složil
Czechoslovakia Tomáš Šmíd
6–4, 2–6, 3–6, 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 1985 US Open Hard France Henri Leconte United States Ken Flach
United States Robert Seguso
7–6(7–5), 6–7(1–7), 6–7(6–8), 0–6
Runner-up 1987 French Open Clay France Guy Forget Sweden Anders Järryd
United States Robert Seguso
7–6(7–5), 7–6(7–2), 3–6, 4–6, 2–6

Career singles finals 36 (23–13)[edit]

Outcome No. Date Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1. 1978 Nice, France Clay Spain José Higueras 3–6, 4–6, 4–6
Winner 1. 1978 Manila, Philippines Clay Austria Peter Feigl 7–6, 6–0
Winner 2. 1978 Calcutta, India Clay France Pascal Portes 6–3, 6–2
Winner 3. 1979 Nancy, France Hard (i) France Jean-Louis Haillet 6–2, 5–7, 6–1, 7–5
Winner 4. 1979 Madrid, Spain Clay Spain Manuel Orantes 6–3, 6–7, 6–3, 6–2
Winner 5. 1979 Bordeaux, France Clay United States Harold Solomon 6–0, 6–7, 6–1, 1–6, 6–4
Runner-up 2. 1980 Rome, Italy Clay Argentina Guillermo Vilas 0–6, 4–6, 4–6
Winner 6. 1981 Richmond WCT, U.S. Carpet Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl 6–1, 3–1, ret.
Winner 7. 1981 Nice, France Clay Bolivia Mario Martinez 6–4, 6–2
Runner-up 3. 1981 Gstaad, Switzerland Clay Poland Wojtek Fibak 1–6, 6–7
Winner 8. 1982 La Quinta, U.S. Hard Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl 6–3, 2–6, 7–5
Runner-up 4. 1982 Nice, France Clay Hungary Balázs Taróczy 2–6, 6–3, 11–13
Winner 9. 1982 South Orange, U.S. Clay Mexico Raúl Ramírez 6–3, 7–6
Winner 10. 1982 Basel, Switzerland Hard (i) Sweden Mats Wilander 6–4, 6–2, 6–3
Winner 11. 1982 Toulouse, France Hard (i) Czechoslovakia Tomáš Šmíd 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 5. 1983 Lisbon, Portugal Clay Sweden Mats Wilander 6–2, 6–7(2–7), 4–6
Winner 12. 1983 Madrid, Spain Clay Sweden Henrik Sundström 3–6, 6–0, 6–2, 6–4
Winner 13. 1983 Hamburg, Germany Clay Spain José Higueras 3–6, 7–5, 6–2, 6–0
Winner 14. 1983 French Open, Paris Clay Sweden Mats Wilander 6–2, 7–5, 7–6(7–3)
Runner-up 6. 1984 La Quinta, U.S. Hard United States Jimmy Connors 2–6, 7–6(9–7), 3–6
Runner-up 7. 1985 Memphis, U.S. Carpet Sweden Stefan Edberg 1–6, 0–6
Winner 15. 1985 Rome, Italy Clay Czechoslovakia Miloslav Mečíř 6–3, 3–6, 6–2, 7–6(7–4)
Winner 16. 1985 Washington, D.C., U.S. Clay Argentina Martín Jaite 6–4, 6–3
Winner 17. 1985 Toulouse, France Hard (i) Czechoslovakia Tomáš Šmíd 6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 8. 1985 Basel, Switzerland Hard (i) Sweden Stefan Edberg 7–6, 4–6, 6–7, 1–6
Runner-up 9. 1986 La Quinta, U.S. Hard Sweden Joakim Nyström 1–6, 3–6, 2–6
Runner-up 10. 1986 Monte Carlo, Monaco Clay Sweden Joakim Nyström 3–6, 2–6
Winner 18. 1986 Forest Hills, U.S. Clay Argentina Guillermo Vilas 7–6(7–3), 6–0
Runner-up 11. 1986 Basel, Switzerland Hard (i) Sweden Stefan Edberg 6–7(5–7), 2–6, 7–6(9–7), 6–7(5–7)
Winner 19. 1986 Wembley, England Carpet Sweden Jonas Svensson 6–2, 6–3, 6–7(12–14), 4–6, 7–5
Winner 20. 1987 Lyon, France Carpet Sweden Joakim Nyström 6–4, 7–5
Runner-up 12. 1987 Forest Hills, U.S. Clay Ecuador Andrés Gómez 4–6, 6–7(5–7), 6–7(1–7)
Winner 21. 1987 Basel, Switzerland Hard (i) Haiti Ronald Agénor 7–6(8–6), 6–4, 6–4
Winner 22. 1988 Milan, Italy Carpet United States Jimmy Connors 4–4, ret.
Runner-up 13. 1989 Indian Wells, U.S. Hard Czechoslovakia Miloslav Mečíř 6–3, 6–2, 1–6, 2–6, 3–6
Winner 23. 1990 Sydney Outdoor, Australia Hard West Germany Carl-Uwe Steeb 5–7, 6–3, 6–4

Doubles finals 25 (16–9)[edit]

Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1. 1978 Calcutta, India Clay France Gilles Moretton India Sashi Menon
United States Sherwood Stewart
6–7, 4–6
Winner 1. 1981 Nice, France Clay France Pascal Portes New Zealand Chris Lewis
Czechoslovakia Pavel Složil
4–6, 6–3, 6–4
Winner 2. 1981 Paris, France Hard (i) Romania Ilie Năstase United Kingdom Andrew Jarrett
United Kingdom Jonathan Smith
6–4, 6–4
Winner 3. 1982 Nice, France Clay France Henri Leconte Australia Paul McNamee
Hungary Balázs Taróczy
5–7, 6–4, 6–3
Winner 4. 1982 Basel, Switzerland Hard (i) France Henri Leconte United States Fritz Buehning
Czechoslovakia Pavel Složil
6–2, 6–2
Runner-up 2. 1982 Toulouse, France Hard (i) France Jean-Louis Haillet Czechoslovakia Pavel Složil
Czechoslovakia Tomáš Šmíd
4–6, 4–6
Runner-up 3. 1983 Monte Carlo, Monaco Clay France Henri Leconte Switzerland Heinz Günthardt
Hungary Balázs Taróczy
2–6, 4–6
Runner-up 4. 1984 Philadelphia, U.S. Carpet France Henri Leconte United States Peter Fleming
United States John McEnroe
2–6, 3–6
Winner 5. 1984 French Open, Paris Clay France Henri Leconte Czechoslovakia Pavel Složil
Czechoslovakia Tomáš Šmíd
6–4, 2–6, 3–6, 6–3, 6–2
Winner 6. 1985 Chicago, U.S. Carpet United States Johan Kriek United States Ken Flach
United States Robert Seguso
3–6, 4–6, 7–5, 6–1, 6–4
Runner-up 5. 1985 U.S. Open, New York Hard France Henri Leconte United States Ken Flach
United States Robert Seguso
7–6, 6–7, 6–7, 0–6
Runner-up 6. 1986 La Quinta, U.S. Hard United States Sherwood Stewart France Guy Forget
United States Peter Fleming
4–6, 3–6
Winner 7. 1986 Monte Carlo, Monaco Clay France Guy Forget Sweden Joakim Nyström
Sweden Mats Wilander
6–4, 3–6, 6–4
Winner 8. 1986 Rome, Italy Clay France Guy Forget Australia Mark Edmondson
United States Sherwood Stewart
7–6, 6–2
Winner 9. 1986 Basel, Switzerland Hard (i) France Guy Forget Sweden Jan Gunnarsson
Czechoslovakia Tomáš Šmíd
7–6, 6–4
Runner-up 7. 1986 Masters Doubles, London Carpet France Guy Forget Sweden Stefan Edberg
Sweden Anders Järryd
3–6, 6–7, 3–6
Winner 10. 1987 Lyon, France Carpet France Guy Forget United States Kelly Jones
United States David Pate
4–6, 6–3, 6–4
Winner 11. 1987 Indian Wells, U.S. Hard France Guy Forget West Germany Boris Becker
West Germany Eric Jelen
6–4, 7–6
Winner 12. 1987 Forest Hills, U.S. Clay France Guy Forget United States Gary Donnelly
United States Peter Fleming
4–6, 6–4, 6–1
Winner 13. 1987 Rome, Italy Clay France Guy Forget Czechoslovakia Miloslav Mečíř
Czechoslovakia Tomáš Šmíd
6–2, 6–7, 6–3
Runner-up 8. 1987 French Open, Paris Clay France Guy Forget Sweden Anders Järryd
United States Robert Seguso
7–6, 7–6, 3–6, 4–6, 2–6
Winner 14. 1987 London/Queen's Club, England Grass France Guy Forget United States Rick Leach
United States Tim Pawsat
6–4, 6–4
Winner 15. 1988 Orlando, U.S. Hard France Guy Forget United States Sherwood Stewart
Australia Kim Warwick
6–4, 6–4
Winner 16. 1990 Nice, France Clay Argentina Alberto Mancini Uruguay Marcelo Filippini
Austria Horst Skoff
6–4, 7–6
Runner-up 9. 1990 Bordeaux, France Clay Iran Mansour Bahrami Spain Tomás Carbonell
Belgium Libor Pimek
3–6, 7–6, 2–6

Music career[edit]

Yannick Noah
Yannick Noah 2011.jpg
Noah performing at a concert in 2011
Background information
Born (1960-05-18) 18 May 1960 (age 53)
Sedan, France
Genres Pop
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1991 – present
Website www.yannicknoah.com

Since retiring from playing tennis, Noah has developed a career as a popular singer, performing throughout Europe. He began his music career in 1991 with the album Black or What, featuring the popular track "Saga Africa," which he made the stadium sing with his players after the famous Davis Cup final win. In 1993, he released the album Urban Tribu with the successful single "Get on Back," followed by the album Zam Zam in 1998.

With the encouragement of his manager Jean-Pierre Weiller, his musical career got a great boost in 2000 with his self-titled 4th album Yannick Noah, written by Erick Benzi and Robert Goldman. The single "Simon Papa Tara" written by Robert Goldman. The album also contained songs by Bob Marley and the group Téléphone.

In October 2006, the album Charango was a major hit, selling more than 1,150,00 copies and culminating in a one-year tour to promote the album. French radio played the singles "Donne-moi une vie" and "Aux arbres citoyens" from the alburm extensively.

In 2005, Noah performed at Bob Geldof's Live 8 concert, a fundraiser aimed at alleviating poverty in Africa.

On 21 July 2009, Noah made his U.S. live debut, headlining a concert in front of a packed house at the popular free outdoor performing arts festival in New York City, Central Park SummerStage. The performance was part of France's global music celebration Fête de la Musique.

In 2010, Yannick made a comeback with the release of Frontières, his eighth album, containing the single "Angela", a tribute to Angela Davis. It also contained a duet with Aṣa in "Hello". On 25 September 2010, he filled the Stade de France for an exceptional concert that was attended by close to 80,000 spectators.

Charity[edit]

Noah is very active in charity work. He supports Enfants de la Terre, a charity created and run by his mother, Marie-Claire, in 1988.

Noah also founded Fête le Mur in 1996, a tennis charity and adaptation for underprivileged children, specially in the poor areas and the banlieues. It is presided by Noah himself.

He is also a spokesman for Appel des Enfants pour l'Environnement that was started by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Finally he has taken part in singing with Les Enfoirés to help Les Restos du Cœur. He also takes part in telethons and sponsored the "Téléthon 2005".

He also sponsors the Association Terre-des-Hommes in Massongex (Suisse) and donated proceeds of his concert of Grands Gamins, in 2008, to Sol En Si, an AIDS charity.

Partly because of his huge involvement in a number of charities, he topped the list of the most favourite French personalities according to a joint survey of Ifop and Le Journal du Dimanche in 2007.

Politics[edit]

Cameroon

Yannick Noah is known to have accepted posts from the regime of Paul Biya. In 2005, he accepted consultancy for Cameroon's national football. Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (In French: Rassemblement démocratique du peuple camerounais (RDPC)), the ruling party since independence portrays him as a supporter of its rule. He also reportedly donates to Fondation Chantal Biya (wife of president Paul Biya) especially through Unis pour vaincre.

France

Noah has also taken many political positions including a marked animosity towards the Union for a Popular Movement (in French Union pour un mouvement populaire (UMP)), a right-wing party in France. He also made controversial comments against President Sarkozy about the riots in the suburbs. He also actively supported the candidacy of Ségolène Royal taking part in a pro-Royal rally. Yannick Noah in la Fête de l'Humanité sang many politically engaged songs including "Aux Arbres Citoyens".

Doping

In an article dated 19 November 2011 in Le Monde, he created further controversy as an anti-doping activist, by alleging widespread use of doping in Spain to secure success. Many sports associations and even politicians deplored his declarations in absence of any solid proof about Spanish doping.

Personal life[edit]

Noah's father, Zacharie Noah, is a former professional Cameroonian football star who won the French Cup with Sedan in 1961. His mother, Marie-Claire, is a former captain of France's basketball team and teacher. Noah has five children, of whom two were from his first marriage to Cecilia Rodhe (Miss Sweden 1978 and now a sculptor): Joakim (born in 1985) and Yelena (born in 1986). Joakim plays basketball for the Chicago Bulls and for the French team. Yelena is a model, already famous in the world of fashion. They don't live in France but in the U.S. With his second wife, the British model Heather Stewart-Whyte, Noah has two daughters: Elijah (1996) and Jénayé (1997). Now he is married to French TV producer Isabelle Camus, with whom he has a son named Joalukas (born in 2004).

Noah is also the owner of a restaurant in Saint Barthelemy in the French West Indies called Do Brazil.

Problems with the French fiscal authorities

On 15 July 1996, the French fiscal authorities demanded payment of 6,807,701 francs in back taxes for 1993–1994. The Paris administrative tribunal court confirmed the decision alleging that Noah kept three non-declared bank accounts in Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United States. Noah disputed the court decision as unconstitutional.

Discography[edit]

Yannick Noah, Rennes, 22 January 2011

Albums[edit]

Year Album Charts Notes Certification
FR BEL/
Wa
SWI
1990 Saga Africa
1991 Black & What Includes "Saga Africa"
1993 Urban Tribu
1998 Zaam Zam
2000 Yannick Noah 1 2 26
2002 Yannick Noah 16 40 82
2003 Pokhara 1 2 23
2003 Métisse(s) 2 4 28
2006 Charango 1 1 7 (including single
"Aux arbres citoyens")
2010 Frontières 1 1 4
2012 Hommage 1 1 19
Rereleases
  • 2004: Yannick Noah / Live (2 CDs – FR #134)
  • 2010: Charango / Pokhara (2 Cds – FR #103)

Singles[edit]

Year Single Charts Certification Album
FR BEL/
Wa
SWI
1991 "Saga Africa (ambiance secousse)" 2 Saga Africa
1991 "Don't Stay (Far Away Baby)" 39
2000 "Simon Papa Tara" 12 32
2001 "La voix des sages (No More Fighting)" 3 16
2002 "Les lionnes" 16
2002 "Jamafrica" 52
2003 "Si tu savais" 22 31 77
2004 "Ose" 13 9 41
2004 "Mon Eldorado (du soleil...)" 19 23 59
2005 "Métis(se)"
(with Disiz La Peste)
11 22 41 Métis(se)
2006 "Donne-moi une vie" 8 5 46
2007 "Aux arbres citoyens" 1 2 41 Charango
2007 "Destination ailleurs" 8 19 Charango
2011 "Ça me regarde" 80 34 Frontières
2012 "Redemption Song" 48 33

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Alain Giresse
French Sportperson of the Year
1983
Succeeded by
Michel Platini
Preceded by
Sweden Mats Wilander
Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award
1986
Succeeded by
Czechoslovakia Miloslav Mečíř