Yannick Noah, Arthur Ashe, Tennis discussed on The Tennis Podcast
So. We've had a week off and. Has Gone to get his haircuts. Catherine's been hanging out with Magnus. The dog I've been stressing about my football team west from job in as they try to throw promotion away. That may or may not mean something to you, and we will be back with tennis podcasts over the coming weeks and months altogether chat in as we normally do, but today we have a very very special interview with the French Open champion of nineteen eighty-three, the world's number three as his highest ranking, but that really doesn't tell the story of Yannick who is unquestionably the coolest man I have ever met Davis Cup winning captain. Three Times Fed Cup winning captain as well and had a hugely successful music career. Once his tennis stays had come to an end I had the chance to meet him just over twenty years ago when he joined the champions tour. Tour retired players who just traveled to will played matches against one another him and John McEnroe and beyond bog, and all these greats of the game, and just got to know him a little bit at that time. He was always suggest to me. I haven't seen him for about ten years, but I managed to get in contact with him through a couple of other people when we were researching and trying to set up interviews full at tennis, relived series, particularly the French Open, so that we could tell that story, and you'll have heard an excerpt perhaps of this interview when we covered his run to that nineteen, eighty three French Open title, but the entire interview. It's just joy, and it will improve your mood, and if you do enjoy the into you tell your friends family, let your social media, and what's that group's now about it because it will just leave them happier than when they started listening to. It has Yannick Noah. I'd like to go right back to the beginning of your of your career, and even before your career and the reason for your career and. I believe a meeting with Arthur Ashe. Yep Absolutely. Our used to leave the group in Cameroon, Africa and We were I was playing detail club tennis was. Not, very, big in Cameroon in the whole country, back nine court, so to play tennis was very privilege radio privilege so. so we used to go to the club at night, but at that time my parents couldn't afford a racket in one day. When I heard that? Some Americans were coming to the club saw. Americans you know so. So Marty Riessen Charlie Pasarell, Tom, ochre, and Arthur Ashe where doing tour in Africa. And they happen to play one day my club. During the clinic they decide. They played with the kids. And I played with Sir and Liked what he saw. I was slim press. You know he was my heroes. At the end of the clinic gave me a racket is racket. Head competition that worth like. Probably Probably what my parents would making every month. and it was you know it was like a dream for me to meeting. Dr Racket Sonya poster. Saying To Yannick I hope I'll see one that. So that was very funny. But the next thing that happened is after this story went to the French Open and he talked to shut. It was the president of the Federation. I told him that he was a little kid was playing. Or was in French. Speaking. Country and And I I. The scholarship came to friends because of author I played in niece for few years. And? The first time I played in Wimbledon That was nine years after we met was in Wimbledon because as for wild card. That was accepted and we play doubles on center court. So that was a beautiful story, so yes, the so mean Africa. And he was a big part of my story. Because and after that you know. For some reason, he was always like you know. Not Too far helping me when I was younger growing up, and then you know played with him at Wimbledon, the first tournament. Back in the days. It was called Super Seris. I was playing Richmond Virginia where he was born. And that was the first tournament I one. Super Series and As I was you know going through the tournament semifinal quarterfinals? Semifinals Playing Roscoe Tanner and these gentlemen comes into locker room sold demand. It comes. It goes Yanic if you win. Arthur is coming tomorrow SEO really worrisome. Is Dad. So that was that was something I beat Roscoe and An author flew to Richmond I played Yvonne in the finals. Won The won. It and Arthur gave me the cup in his hometown, so that was really special. So yeah, we have a very connected. Yeah couldn't extent and did he keep in touch throughout your career? Did you see him around? There was a long period of you being a player and and many many years before he passed. It was he? Was You know he was here? Always here for me for advice, you know I went through a phase. You know when I was like eighteen nineteen and I felt like. I wanted to be by my own self. You know so. It was like you know you WanNa, be away from your father for who? This Seo I'm I'm Yani camera author and. It went on for a couple of years and then. But he was always there like he. Invited me played my first Orange Bowl in Miami. Miami Beach I was fourteen invited me. played Wimbledon with within. You know we play doubles at US Open together. We play doubles set. We will done. and he was always there for me was inspiring, obviously twice a mentor of status. And do you know today? I'm like? Oh. I was really impressed by what the work that the social work that he was doing. Decide the the you know one of the greats. Y- was always active so. The social worker working. And and most of all he was yet is these foundation was like helping kids in inner city to play tennis? And that was really inspiring, so one day I went to the. To the Bronx? New, York, and I saw what he was doing and I say all. I dream of doing that and Amid Foundation now score meal in France and we working all over France in eighty CDs. and. That was inspired by him. I just wanted to. Be Useful. You know besides playing. Winning losing, money. Whatever it was, it gave me. A different dimension it was something that makes sense, and and that's shows because of. Inspiration he says is advice. What was he like Yannick? What was he like as a person? Well, he was very was very quiet. Actually, it was very quite yet. Very. Little. Little sense of humor, but it was very was more introverted. And compared to be and I always remember like one day when we played with the first match replayed, was in on the court, and of course the press talked about this story. The fact that you know years before that he he saw me as a child. In Cameroon's. The central was packed and we playing in them. I remember we playing Bernie. Meet and Andy Pattison. From Rhodesia and South Africa, which led to the symbolic was really strong. and we playing them and I- posters of them in my bedroom full of them. So before we getting to the court, you know you have the always morning while you like staying in this room before everybody get. Installed good knowing the VIP's everything and I I read about an as we are about to go to court like saw nervous, my knees trembling. So we sitting in front of each other. and asked Arthur excuse me. Author Leash was terrible and I quit accusing yeah. It's possible, not Before in front of the other guys echoes why I I'm I'm too nervous too now to pay. And he starts laughing and the other guy. And he's the first. Time! TELLING THEM I don't want to play. It was like I was making a dream. I was like I. Didn't know what was going on. I couldn't put my. My mind together and and he says No. It's GonNa. Be Ok son so I actually don't remember anything about the first set. I was like on automatic pilot. I don't remember anything. And we ended up winning up I. Don't know if it was not eight..