Yannick Noah Interview
HATO! This is Yannick. Noah remember. You're listening to the tennis spot casts. 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. Six Year was eight eight six in the fifth. And as we win the match point, I jumped into his arm. I was so happy was like you know I could. I could go back to Cameroon buying it was that was that was like a whole food circle was so happy. I was in a dream winning without thirty center court and jumping to his arm, and before we go checking, says Yanni. It's only the first round. and. No he was, he was like A. It was like a big brother from you know it was like an uncle from. And you know now call is done so much so for me to have him. I used to go around. You know playing tournaments and people. Still this is authorized. Protege and Arthur was so pro so respected that I actually. Got Is respect. When I was starting, because people knew I was spotted especially when I was playing in the states. So and then you know again, you know advice you know about my career, but what to have mccrea's I wanted to do. He says you know. What are you worried about me because it was like? A party, Guy, you know even though I was a dream, my thing. was always worried about. And he says what are you going? What you WANNA do. Are you going to coach, said No. Noah I wanted to music. And I knew it was going to tell me that. Oh, please don't do that. and He. He. says. He said you know. The most important thing to do after you courage just make sure you do something that you like. And I've done music since and it's You know there was always good advice me. Yeah, that's that is very good advice, isn't it? You had been a professional for quite a few years. By the time you arrived. Run Garcia. Nine, thousand, nine, hundred, eighty three. What happened in Nineteen eighty-three that obviously we know you want, but. About that journey, because like I say you'd had you'd had some good results, but you hadn't had a result like that so. Well! In eighty two I think I made it to the quarterfinals. I felt that I was not quite there, but you know not too far. and. Make dream my ultimate dream. You know as a child growing up in Paris in France. I actually stayed one year as a tiny student in Oregon, gals dreaming on the sent anti-central quarterback, just playing that one day. You know I. I spent no by the beginning of the the late seventies at most to Peres so I was from Paris, my my family was leaving. Paris my friends were in Paris but my. Ultimate goal was to. Just win this. And this. You're eighty three. WE STARTED IN IN A. Inner. In March with my coach. chatmoss it now from now on. We're GONNA do everything we can just thinking about goal winning this. So, we have three months. So we started out. Practicing a lot I went I was playing great tennis. I was we went to to Monte-carlo. Play to win the first round second run third round I'm playing Manono Orontes. Manilow Dan was like thirty six. You Know I. It was for me an easy game to win. So I'm at the hotel eleven o'clock, and of course my friends are calling the. Doing when order to colleagues party time. Some like Oh! Whatever game tomorrow at Twelve. Thirty no oil, it's OK. Wake up at age discomforted. You just So I so cal come for wondering. It's okay so I ended up staying late. Way Too late. And I. Still it's okay. You know I'll seek to Nino tomorrow night. I'll be ready her semi final in. So I play my normal win. I said that believed. And then lose because I, got tired, and he was very very embarrassing. So Patrick came to me, but residual coach came to. Okay. You really screwed up. I? Don't want to be your coach. You know I I'd rather stay you friends, but I cannot work like that. We've been working already three full weeks and you know you are that you went out. Last night, so it's not I cannot work with this. I sit at sit twin. I'm really embarrassed I. Swear from now, let's go. Let's do it, you know. I'm embarrassed. And you weren't okay so I just I just finished the game like our before. So. We went right away. Okay, Kissel put take your going to go practice for another three hours, so we went practice right away. And then from then on I went work as I never did in my life. and. And the he we come you know I I went to play Madrid I one Madrid. I up the Lisbon to match in the finals. I was at six, four, five, four and it in the finals in Lisbon that went to play Madrid I win Madrid I will agree to play Hamburg at. Win Hamburg. Beating took good clip coach players. Then it was the mets and closely units. And then I'd week of off and then came the French and I. I played I played I was ready. You should were. You you had a match. Believe against even lendl. That fortnight's yes, what do you remember about? where I I always liked to play event, because even he was even was a better player, but I like to play him. Because we were both, we grew up as juniors together. It was always. One, two was one. He was too, but he was always Yvonne any Yanic. Since we've been lagging fourteen years all, so he was always like this competition between us, competition of style of of. Everything. Red X so different that with you know some respects. I was really you was pushing me up. And when I was playing him, I was always because I lacked his game equities game, so I was always being well against him for some reason, even though he won. One became one of the best the greats I never got to his level, but when I was playing him, I was always like playing great matches always ready. I was ready. I played him I was playing a quarter finals. I was very excited by the game, so I was. In the first set. Six, I was the first two sets quite easily. I'm up five three believing third. And And then he serves, and he's like he was like you know. You was like so upset he was. Acting like he was. Giving up and tanking. So, match point fifteen forty serve each service second service come to the net was never come to the never serve and volley, come to the net like walking, so I just pushed it back thinking. He's GonNa just. Give it back to me, and you just make a little in a nice little volley. You know thirty forty match second matchpoint third second second matchpoint. Game. I return better return, but he makes decent volley winner. Okay! I okay find. At that point. The energy like changed. The whole stadium started to like. I could feel the tension. I can feel the nervousness at an and I just. I just went into a black hole I couldn't think I just realized. I too much points ten. Two minutes ago. Back to five four I serve I. don't even remember what I did five or the next thing I know. It's two sets to one and I was I was I was completely in black tunnel. I didn't know where I was I couldn't think. Totally disturbed. And serving first game of the of the fourth. I'm serving love fifteen love thirty forty. The, you know I'm playing homes, so the people are just. What's going on I could feel it is like it was terrible feeling. And for some reason I don't know how I won the game. And from then on, I just came out of my tunnel. And I ended up winning this set six dollars for some reason, so he was like I almost eyesore death from so close. That you know it was like okay you. You died Yanic you another chains to come back so I so kidnappers chains I. Don't let it go. So I won the set and I ended up winning the game. And the match and I think that she every player. WHO's ever WANNA grand? Slam has had a moment like that. At least once in a tournament where it could have gone, the other way and things might have gone badly and yet you beat. Lendl and you were supposed to play. If the rankings were believe Jimmy Connors who you who you always struggled against, and yet he he wasn't there. Yeah it wasn't there. I was. Always had trouble which me because she had way of playing and he's. He was hitting the balls. He was not giving this top speed and you could hit the ball. Over you, you hips and on your. Above you heaps and the shoulders, high balls was always always like these low balls lobos, Heavy every he heats was always like always closer, and that's what you read out to to play earned her the bail to always always always and I like that. And he plays that stuff when she s lying and stuff for Shit I slept late the match his life, and and beat him, and that was like. The best surprise. So really not to play Cheney. And because I had I had the Kristoff I know Christoph. We grew up together and does him and I I was I had these games so? He was so funny because my problem then was okay, we still have a semi final to play. You have a couple. You have a couple of know one or two days to. Prepare for the semi finals. So. Don't think about the final. Just think about that was like. The main thing really focused on I was swift, cited I so coming in the finals I mean. Before playing and Battista, helped me then. And I played a really serious game. Really I didn't miss many I didn't Miss Anything. I was in such good shape. You know I just had one last set into hold tournaments so and I I really. Destroyed him, you know it was. It was actually put. It was terrible, because at some point I was actually hoping that you would play better because I was playing great, and he was not playing well at all, you was feeling. Overwhelmed by the the wind that he had against t me and I seem on TV all day long. Giving interviews Hiatchi me before the game he meets Minnesota. I remember once I was practicing and he was, he came to practice the day before the game. Are Semifinal. You came to at the Racing Club in Paris. And he came in. He had like probably like three cameras accrues around him like falling on the courts Fussy. Oh Jesus! How can we focus? That can concentrate, and he was mentally was totally drained totally mentally tired for my far against played a terrible game I played a great game and not beating variously. Six three six love six love and. I just wonder though Yanic. You have dreamed about this moment. You're going into the final. So many players. Have tried and failed since and. I wonder how you felt the day the night before you stepped out there against lender. While I was we don't we wear? I was staying in my Country House with my dad. You know we didn't want to. You know to have anybody else. In the House I was staying with died for the whole tournament, so it would be quiet. And and. We went back to the home. We had an early dinner and you know I was really relaxed. I was looking for for the game had played A. Couple of weeks before three weeks before in Hamburg and I and I became so I was very confident. I used to love to claim at and and I went to sleep and And for the first time it was the last time I dreamt about the whole match I. Dreamt the whole match. I said Dilu- second-set win third set win. Four set loose V set starts. And I lose the game. and. I'm like totally destroyed. I. Remember crying. I remember it was like so clearly. This is dream and And you know I hear a sound. And it's my dad, you know and. Cheese and I was in bed. I just lost the game. I felt like I was Monday was the game. And what's happening? Did you sleep well and I slept for eight. Eight straight hours. And, he goes you ready. And I'm like as love. The my body just feels like I. Just lost you dead norm flat dead. and. He goes you ready. You slept well and then an angry. Is that actually? I didn't play the game. The the dream was so real. So ice. Back Wow a second chance. Of these, I'm not gonNA, make the same mistakes. That's ID, Lakers. And I was so fired up, it was like having. You after that was working when I became a coach that was working exhbition, images. Yoga. and. It was like a natural feature, and super intense. Trip and I came on the court. Everything that happened during the match was kind of a day Jiji. was. That kind also new. So we went walnut that I knew that was the game of my life. You know it was. A Beautiful Day. I. I all. My family was their own of my family. All my friends everybody all the people that. Helped me during the game author was there commencing for the tea. Every e- missy one percent. Everybody was with the energy was like so perfect, perfect day I, was really hoping for a beautiful day, because as I was like the attacking. Player against the match. You know it's always better like you know. Warm conditions about bulls of forced faster the faster. And I knew it was the game of life, and as we wear like behind the curtain before coming up to the court. I remember praying and a never prayed in my life I never prayed I prayed. And And then after the prayer, I remember the feeling that I had is like was like. Not. Rather die that coming out of this court without the. It was the feeling that I was. Totally into the game, heart and soul for this came. It never happened to me after I played. I won some matches Never WanNa grandson won some tournaments, but never did have this thing was like. Oh, it was. It was like a spiritual thing I was. I was it was hundred percent. Meet Yanni tennis player. For these match I was ready to give everything including dying in I was really to die for this. And Happened? showed. Two seven, five, seven six. I've watched some of the match back before before. We started speaking and a couple of things that really struck me. One is your approach to the match, the the relentlessness of your charging to the net now and I know you did a lot of. A lot of time. You were the net in your career, but. Was this unusually. Aggressive. Yes. Well, you know Matt's was giving me the opportunity. After the game I talked too much much like my friend and we talked about this, you know. It will always laughing because when it comes to to Paris, even though he wants three times the French Open one seven grandson. We, we we used to do some exhibitions of charity matches and every time we. Introduced him the finalist of. The filing of goes eight. Was So. Anyway so we talked should after this game. You realize that you know you had. To change his game, and he came more aggressive, and this is when he became another player, he was more aggressive behind his first serve could even e- could come to the net. E could attack you. Was You was just you know not the player that was. When in eighty, one, eighty, two, eighty, three before the game, and but then when I play, it was basically staying in the back and trying to pass you daring us to come to the night. I'm just trying to pass you. And that was just perfect because you was, you was exactly the kind of game that I really liked and for me. Attacking was the only way I liked it. I love the tacking love. Being the net was my territory I loved. You on matchpoints are remember the matchpoint and the way finished it, and then you you immediately turn. And same to look feel that in the crowd, and he he, he's there. Just just talk us through that moment. Well you know when when you play, and when I when I, especially when you play at home because we have this next. This privilege as French. To play at home, you know we playing at home. When you play when I played on this court and I played for ten years. I knew exactly. Who is where? You know I know I know ways. My family, of course I know where all my friends. I don't varies these beautiful chicks that I saw the other day I know I take all the good energies. I know where everybody is. Of course you know my parents were. And you, know then you know I. You know I I, know I. Know I used to is my by my players Rhinos captain. Why did you to win and say well? You know the first time that will we want to win because we want to win the Scopus yet. But. Why do you want to indicate escape and sometimes you have an answer? I told them, and this is why we play for. The people sacrificed so much us. We play for them. When we win, we win for them. This is this is. The way we can give back. This is their reward. We win. We Win for them. We Win for the people we love. We Win for our fans. We but most of all the people be like separate. I sacrifice my childhood. Being with my parents just to be there at this moment. And but that was like my subconscious. I didn't like I couldn't put words into it. And so I win the match, point and I couldn't think I barely shook mets. And I forgot to shake. Doc Nines Referees had and I just saw my jumping. From the stands. And I lost the just start crying and he said as I was saying we were. We want that we want we want. We want and crying and you know he said I. Love You I. She's first time ever. My Dad told me loves me. I knew he did, but he never told me you know we had to go that far. And that this moment. Changed my life. It's just changed my whole life because. Not that was just the last the last French. Player wonder French, open. It was just that. The motion was so strong ensue pure. I think the last French. That won the French Open before thirty seven years ago. People were so happy. That gave rebounding the where crying. People were crying in front of the TV. And you know I it was like the best motion possible. How many times you cry of happiness in the arms of your father. You know if you're lucky to it once. You know you're GONNA. Let man or look up. You know you never cry of happiness, you cry, you cry of sadness of milk or your you know. Some companies can have some teas, but like cry cry. Father. In front of millions of people so since then you know. I I went into. All these French people's heart, you know. And, that's the best way to go and. Get into people's, you know. Heart, you know through the best was the best door. and. And to that day, people always talk to me about always always always. Every time every day if I walk. Find somewhere. Someone's GonNa. Tell the I remember where I was. It was such a beautiful day. We were with a family. We chopped up and down in front of the TV. We started crying. We hugged each other it was it was really really the most emotional think I've lived and and I did it in front of millions and the best part. Because sometime you can say I remember when the cried of happiness. In the of my parents, you know, but the good part is at a heavy. Don't tape. On tape and I can show my I can show my children I can short. and. He's funny, because one the first time joking. Won The NCAA tournament with the gators. As a basketball player you want. And he was like the and the first thing he did was to walk up the stands and came to hug us. All. Is Mother was like it was the best day was. It was like the best? For my child to do it, too, was like just amazing. So this is history teaches like he was like a moment that we know. Obviously I will never forget. It was that you know people always remember if I sometimes forget of course I'm not here thinking about all the time, but. People. Remind me of these time always with a good smile. And That's it. That was my French Open if I'd won Wimbledon, which I've never came close to, but maybe us or the Australian Open. You would've been the same. Out All not all I want at home, and after that you know I, didn't. All. I couldn't. I was not motivated to to to to have another one I never got this fire. Working hard but I never had this extra fire that was almost. Almost spiritual. You know it was a question of. Dying never had this after that. Because I achieved it I should everything warranted. if I had one maybe before the Australian Open. The US Open maybe I would have. Tried to for one because my goal was to win the French, open. And you went beyond. You know because my dad coming everybody whole. Energy was super perfect. You couldn't be better. It was a dream. Story. You've described how how afterwards getting that level of motivation you? You didn't find it as as a player at least I, I just WanNa. You mentioned Wimbledon when when people see you serve and volley in your athleticism. You had a big serve. Why did you not play better at Wimbledon? Because because to win Wimbledon, you have to return, and the return of serve was my. My weakness. I was way too high on my. Gamal my my step. My step in I was always I was I was always I? was talking to your by Jimmy. Connors, I was very always very uncomfortable with nobles. And as you know back in the days, it's not right now. Whether grass was cut. From the net to baseline meaning the the rebound was like. Lor. that. It is now where they cut the grass the loan from the back. To the. To the grass grows the other ways. Basically, the the ball bounce higher. So this is why now you have guys staying winning. Wimbledon, staying in the back, we, it couldn't happen before it. was impossible except for bjorn was like. From another planet, but I I I couldn't return. Serve and I grew up on clay. Always like to come to the net with approaches, but I didn't have a weapon in terms of groundstrokes that could like make. ME. Break and I never had break points never saw. You. So into joke that people when I started to grow. dreadlocks people say. It doesn't like the grassy. Prefer to smoke it. But I was funny. No I didn't I couldn't I couldn't grasp because my My my my my foot knife footwork was not adapted to the grass. I was always sliding. Falling. SPECI- as you know the first week, under the grass is like softer and you sleep. And I never went third round. You were in part of incredible era of tennis players. We've mentioned Jimmy Connors. We've mentioned even Lindell. You mentioned. Just then and John McEnroe. The these are plays. They're all so different as players and people, aren't they? And and you part of that? What? What was it like being amongst that group? Well, it was A. You know when I was playing I used to like win. Matches I remember one day I was planning Philadelphia in the semi finals and playing Kevin Current. I'm better ranked that him, but I always respected to players always thought these guys are better than me. I was always impressed by all of them. And A B team. I START I've teased my eyes. And and my question. What's wrong? It's. Kevin Curren. I said but you better that can current. He's a great player, but you you better than him. And ours always that saying that I never took anything for granted, always felt coming from Cameroon. My I I made my racket my first racket from the first two years. My parents could afford a racket. I made my own racket, the piece of wood and for two years at played with this a have a racket I didn't. I didn't have with my friends we didn't have. Any balls at one ball I played with so much that have anymore for on it. It was just rubber and had my I put a name on it. You know what I put a name or the name on my bowl, and nobody could take it was. A ash was my ball. Nobody could steal it. So when I played and during my, you know I was like always like so much sometimes too much respect in terms of like you know. Either leising these people beyond GMO easily, I'd Riano. Jimmy John Hours like Wow Yvonne. I'm with these guys. I'm with these guys I couldn't believe it. Most of them. I mean the people I just told you better than me, but I was competing with these guys fetus guarantees. The beauty of it is like you know. We had as I, look. Back in we had like. This styles. He was the beginning of Topspin. So you had guys playing flat tennis? I would say like tennis of the seventies eighties with one group, and you started to have the top seven people show at the end of the tennis, so you have different styles before that in the seventies, all the players tennis was like all dressed in white with a clean cut hairstyle you know. All of a sudden. You have like guys. Steve Guys, clean cut. Some guys long hair yet he pees. You have guys playing with headbands. You have people. Name with Collared Shirt tennis people started to really. Denny's became popular. Could wear. You can wear. Jam was. My shirt or Janis shirt. On a pair of jeans and go to the discotheque. That was hip because you were that, was it? You know and They was they were you? Not You know I remember like when Bjorn wonder if the the French and he went to Wimbledon was like seventeen, e e e e couldn't go to the outside court. Not because it was too crowded of course was crowded. You know but ten times more crowded, but it was just girls. Just Gill screaming was like the first. Rock Star of tennis and I think. The best ever at that level he was the best e was the one who brought. You know. Will Be. May tennis popular and of course you know you always have to have was that? He's called guy and yet. Johnny was a fire. illy was the the the comedian greatest talent. You know that old school. You had your Mo-. You know port. You know. He's like going out with the Princess of Monaco. You I've a Jimmy was like going with Miss World. ENOR- and I'm not. This is cool, maybe I can you know if I play well? Maybe I can see. You may get some beautiful Gills in Oh. I see I remember. To use to US Open and he was like the first year that Flushing Meadows and we use. It was easier to take the train and I'm I'm like. We have the GMO and everything yet, so taking the training. I'm playing A. An evening station on the grain stand. And I remember the Gerulaitis was playing on the stadium nights stations so i. I arrive at four o'clock UNICYCLE from the train station too clever, and and before you could park like almost in in front of the other of the acidity of the stadium. And that we walking through the park and I see, she says arriving with. A Yellow Convertible Royce. Three girls. Coming out of the car. Three Pudi full gills in already dressed to play, you know. With these bag I remember, you had a gene yet. The Gina Jacket on top of Stacchini. Hot Feet and other Sheriff Star. You know e was the rock and roll of tense e was unbelievable and I see. This is what I would love to come close to. and. Yes and people you know we were close to. Keep the the the the. They made a really bad bad. Rule, which is this code of conduct where you you know you get a? You get a warning when you hit. You know I'm not you know you said F word you get you get another. Penalty and you can be disqualified. They killed the game with that. They killed it because now the it's not that the players of today they don't have personality. They have unbelievable personalities better not allowed to explain to express it, and now you have generation of players were learned a game with this code of conduct. Therefore you don't. You can see a game. And Fuller pay. You don't even know his voice. You know and and I think I know that people what they lack of course. It's like the different star that used to talk to you. I just talked to your balance. You know the top spins attacking guys defense guy. Was You know Collard collar shirts collared. Different rackets or the long hair you know, but then you know you. People knew US then S. they knew when they were rooting for one. They you know people you know John John. People loved to see John Because. They knew it was going to be trauma. Drama was great. You know and then you would have another one. You know how how we going to react to this drama. People came to see this. As a few people are remember John. Mac, you know because of his touch. Of course I re I remember. Best they're ever you know, but people say I remember. John Wow you know. One day br broke his racket. threw. The ball into the stands one day screen for ten people remember, and was part of the story was pummeled of the FEM-. It was a scenario. You didn't know what you are going to see when you had. US playing she does he do you don't know which as you're going to have you know the remember the story of Vitas playing Bjorn, they were best friends and Nj tests with always three four, five and bog was one one one and bog had him, but they were best friends. So one day they played bog wins once twice three times fifteen times sixteen times, and they played at the at the I'd matters New, York. And and they played I. Don't remember it was a semi final fifty eight was a semi final. And feed us one. Win The game, so there's an interview on the court. And and the speaker says feed as you say. Hey, there's something that after say, nobody in the history of Tennis Nobody Beats Vitas Gerulaitis more than sixteen times in a row. fillers Vitas bar just. slashing. And yes, so yes I think we played in a time where tennis was popular because it was like Jahn the game he was beyond the game. I have so much respect for the generation today. Play some unbelievable tennis, but they don't have these. Luxury to really express themselves with people. Don't see it. People don't see I, don't they? Don't feel it. People don't know them. Really you know not dial. You. Know is a strong player united. She's one of the best. Ever. But you don't know him. You don't read or read on, know him. Within. The code of Conduct Yelich wins. Therefore when you were down the other end of the court from John. When when he would lose. What was it like I? Mean we were you able to rationalize that viewpoint then and think what actually this is good for the game. He can do it. That's fine or Or was it. Was it tough? No it was. It was part of the big of the Game John Always. Beat me always. He had me because me. The energy that I loved was like a happy energy. Excitement. A showtime kind of energy you know. And and John. Liked the drama elected you coming with John on the court? Okay, we like same size. We starting to play. I'm doing a couple of jokes trying to pass as me I dive. I make a good show and I'm taking the energy and taking the I'm taking all the energy. I remember playing him once in Dallas that used to have the W. C. T. in Dallas Tournament of champions I'm playing him. We both from New York, so we add spend some time together. At my place that he plays, you know. So! We friends, so we go to play and okay. We get on the CO together and I'm starting for the first time I'm playing well the energy good people are rooting for me I was always Democrat crowd favorite some taking all the energy of the stadium. A much bigger than him now. At that tiny for no reason he created like problem. He twenty, nine thousand to scream. Then the Energy Tori change my film. You know my script scenario that I wrote was comedy phone. Happy feeling it was people enjoyed, and all of a sudden like brings like trauma. And as I I is, it goes I see my my energy going down down. We didn't even play yet again. And this is what happened anyone. And at one point, we have an argument on the court. He comes to the net and I'm like. Me At the time, I'm talking to my friend. I said John Come Man, and you know what he said Fuck you. For Real and like I, was like I I was I was hurt. So, that any got me then you got me, so you know we're playing in Dallas where the mavericks playing, so we have these big locker rooms. You know where you have one. You know. We all stay in these big locker rooms. Tournament of Champions, eight players, so we like taking the shower and we ended showers with together naked. We together naked I know in the shower stays like five minutes. He's going Takao Rochon I'm going to showers so these nobody just us in the shower naked. And as communist turned his back show Muzak. Like you know, I'm not talking to some John. John I mean that means enough I lost I. Reach out to John so that means like what we're not friends anymore. And he goes I'm sorry man is part of the game, so I'm sorry man and he got me and you know I if I understood. At that moment you know the which John Never had a problem when he was winning, it was always when he was very close or when he was losing and when he started to do this. Wherever you wear in the other side of the net, you didn't even exist. And this is when he was getting energy. So that was that was, his game was the mind game he was playing I realized late. You know when. I started to work on late in my career and when I was coaching, so the part of the mind game things that you thought about getting four forehands, a back ends. I used to play beyond one day. I'm playing in stow calm. And you know it's very. I don't think it happens that you remember the best rally a your life. The best rally, so we're playing Stockholm I think in the semifinals. And at one point, we have a rally that you know from the. From the back. Left right left right left. Right left right at one point I'm like tired. I'm getting tired during the rally in our because he's been coal most a minute hitting so of course I okay I'm going for the last shot. I'm trying to hear okay. I need a win or not, because I can't breathe so I hit it. Come to the net. Eh passes me I dive. Comes allows me, I run I. Don't have anymore guess. I run I hit. A shot is back. We going on a rally? I know he's. Finally come to the net you know and I in a great approach. You passes me. The whole stadium stands up screening. Screaming I look at him. And I've like I feel proud him. United Smile, you know. Look at me. He doesn't even. Doesn't. He barely looks at me. Go back and take the next book from the WAL boy. This point counted for one set. It got me. Got Me because I wanted to connect with him. You know just have a little break. Connect you. Let me. And I was gone ice cold note, but bork now is like one of my best friends you know. We talk all the time you know. We see each other. We spend vacation together like the best and then. No that was his thing. Back End forehands strong, Best Best Physical Athletics Athlete. I've seen on the court ever. Remember. He won these thing that call the superstars you remember. It was his thing with all different athletes from. Different disciplines, and he wanted easi easily, but yeah gone, that was beyond that was his energy. Gamma was the point you know you can gain. Was a pilot. Was Yours right? He was actually writing books. John was a bad guy. Good guy you know, so you come to your film. It's the scenario you. Go to play tennis, but it's it's it's. It's almost secondary. What how going to play? They want there's an interaction between the you don't have it anymore. You. Don't have it and you know what that's that's. That's sad I would. Stop this code of conduct you know. Would stop it. If somebody is somebody's behaving bad. So the people are going to. The people on GonNa buy shirt all by the east shirts ore. By his racket all follow him all of. Getting the feeling that maybe the guys that don't want. They're not prepared to be the bad guy. Even, if maybe it might might suit, the might be their personality. I mean I think federal wonderful, but not everybody can be like them. Well, not everybody, but they grew. Grew up learning the game with this rule. This is different. You know time you remember about the Australian Open, you know they. They brought this rule supposed to Johnny mackinaw quarters. He's playing. Turn forward we. Have the barbecue after that that cashes place. So I'M AT A. Place in Melbourne. We assigned the garden watching TV. Because Johnny's playing pernfors, he's going to probably win and comes and join us for the barbecue. So, watching the game and it was the code of conduct was starting so John It was actually made for John Mostly. To all of US senators the problem the next thing I know I'm playing to win. The next thing I know John was disqualified. Out of the Australian Open. And Michael Poulsen and I. Love to play these kind of players I told you. We came to. The Barbecue. Is All upset? You know cut? Strata for one. You know bring my wife and children not qualified. I Sit John I. can't I'm really sorry for you? But I can't lie. I'm really happy to play. So we had a few beers barbecue again like I as we as we speak now, Janis. He's. Good friend with my son in and spend a Lotta time together. That's part after all these over. We know we. We stay friends, but we at these moments. Of We could play. In tournaments and During tournaments, and and you know interact and socialize together and barbecues. A tweezers in New York during the US Open. We used to rent like a big music studio because some of the guys were missions or trying to position when Jim Courier a Cossio. Multi car ski my. Whole azure myself. Johnny Mack! And you know we had these open studio. And after the Games you know unique was opened with no some beers in the whatever back in the days. you know soft drinks and. And we, which is jamming together. The tournament we also did it once in Austria we used to jam together with Jim. And It doesn't happen anymore. It doesn't happen anymore. And yeah, no to come back to your question. The Atwood's E. Yes, Roger, you don't see Roger. Green but you have to remember join. Roger. Hazard Gina was a little Brat. As a junior was a little spoilt Brat, breaking records cursing, and he came into the circuit, and he became like this zen-master is beautiful. But the the the whole, but these guys. None the game. With these rules you know. And and. There's also one thing that he's not killing the game today. I don't know if you could be sneak David. So cattle, What is it with a towel? These people sweating more than Earth Watch. What is it with towel that you need a towel before every point? That you have a match that goes that you actually fifty minutes of tennis and the match last two and a half hours because the guys. Need a towel between every single point. This is not possible. We have to stop the towel. Yet a respond. Get to response you. Yvonne, at least reasons like we take almost always four home. Get the respond change respond. Get a towel when you during the changeover. What is it with towels? Every single point or my corona virus is tragedy, but perhaps it's one thing that it will stop biggest. The. About this show. I mean God now. I'm not playing I'm watching a game. It's a show I'm not I'm not I'm not I'm not in front of my TV watching a game where I have to watch somebody just. You know trying to dry up. All Day long you know. I I decided to stop now. Just one of the things I wanted to ask you about is the atmosphere you described in the eighty-three running across, and how you? You never managed to find that level of motivation again. On the court, but would it be fair to say that you did as Davis Cup captain, because the reason I ask because I watched back the ninety-one. final. The journey to that Title I I am struggling to think of an atmosphere that I've watched on TV like that, it was just incredible to watch, and that's just on TV. Just wonder. How? That experience felt for you. Well I had I. I wasn't a circuit with my friends. You know we friends. We played in Florida. We put in California. We ran the same house. You know I'm the godfather of ease? Gi Forges son in a family. You know we finally, I'm like best man at our. He'll cones. Mary Wedding I'm the. I'm the big brother I introduced you know. Some girls to them when they're young, you know. I'm like the big brother inaudible in Paris. They come to sleep at my place when they're juniors. You know I, take them on my Porsche and then. Best friends and when I stopped in eight, nine, hundred ninety. They asked me to be captain captain, and I never thought about it. Yeah, no, we won't you around. I say fine so I I was like the Captain Silky guys list right to win this. So I was coaching, my best friends. So it was very strong and when we started. You know we we we wear. Our connection was look so. Perfect you know in the team was like new. In the communication and motivation we were doing. We have to say we do we. We are doing it. Because we friends. Not Teammates friends, brothers we were. We were like brothers the whole team, even even the coach everybody. Our team was like a team of brothers for real for real. So, that was our energy, and and yet we paint think Pete and Andre. Beaten Andre. Even though Pete and Andre was not, they were not wanting to, but I think they were three Sikhs or whatever, but there was a pizza present Andrea Agassi. And Ken flags instead we playing Liam. People in your like the first time this have these incentives stature final Davis Cup. We haven't played when Weiner Davis Capsule. I don't forty years fifty years, so it's a big deal. So! Yeah, we, we went. For A. Off Enfranchise so we go. Basically, we went in place with nobody. Practice like we never did before. For ten days before going to join practice when exerts. Basic prepared for the Davis Cup for like two weeks just for this goal. And we arrived so prepared. You know a lot of yoga by then I was. Reading, you know doing of your guy. He's got his ation. So photo he and And, my My two mentors and I read all the books where on Gelo Dandy. Haji coach! How'd you coach Mohammad-ali I'd you sugar? Coaches people. so he was very inspiring to a lot of notes trying to be inspired, and and and and and most of all the books flow Jackson. I was reading all these books. how you know it brought like A. Bringing Spiritual Dimension to the coaching so all this amid my only male. My only coaching and It was really working with with my best friends. And when we came on to play this, we were ready. We didn't read Nowadays, you cannot really. Take out of the the the general energy because of the social. Networks ended phones and swimming fulfills before night to say okay, we don't read newspapers. these new newspapers around, so we cut the TV's, and we don't. So we know what was going on. which is getting ready. All we have to think about is getting ready for this match when we came. Yes they played, they played the best tennis of their lives because. You had key for J. in the team, but you also had unruly content center, and the heat had a pretty serious injury, not long before that. Yeah, we were playing the semifinals and. He had a back injury and. Off when he was not playing with would gain. Unbelievable weight. Really quickly. So we hadn't played for like. A month and a half when we were playing the semi final against Yugoslavia. Didn't. He and I called him asleep. I felt bad for him I felt. I really felt bad for him as my friend because we were playing eating play for a few months, he we are paying a semifinal. The Davis Cup. It was his dream, but he couldn't eat could. Not even jog could could barely walk you a so big? It was fat. You're thinking like twenty five pounds. That's how bad it was. So I called him because I felt, you know eastern things. Probably, there's no way I can leave him. Watching these TV Swat. Coleman okay, what you WANNA. COME BACK! You Care if you. Come and see the game you know. And we felt sad. You know we made it to the final, but we felt sad because you're super sad. And I know. Was the trainer of of the team sit Yan we have to you the finals in two and a half months. Why don't you come? You're the only one can go. Talk to only antennae that we need him for the finals. Just just giving these energy. At least lose. Weight at least give a call. Because now he was sad. He was pathetic. It was really sad. And I'll do that. So I remember everybody goes. To go take the the cars to go to the airport. Now we have an hour. I called him as you. Would you come by my room? You Know I. Need to talk to you, so he comes so he's happy for us, but I can tell like suicide suicide deep inside. You know a warrior, but he's like he can't play. Too Big too fat. So I see. Your you know what? I have to have something to eat from these moment you work. You go to a place where you're gonNA have affect special. Diet take care of you buddy for one month. One and a half month. Workout! issue. Shoot do that I. don't care if you. Today one match before the final issue. Just do that every day you look at me as you do it, I'll take you in the team. I don't WanNa. Play but I'll take unity. And then only started to cry. And you just you just said he cried, cried cried, he just went. He told me he told the only thing says thank you. Never forget that. Any? Plane. We went back to Paris. It took a car straight that night. It drove during the night to place. 'cause syndrome is like a Rehab Place Any stayed there for. Five weeks. Five weeks nonstop. I was calling every year. You know once a week at the beginning and then people that never got never seen the. Working so hard. He lost like. Twenty pounds in two months. Were crazy arrived in a match, we went to these. Places I told you start to practice with the team you know might. Look the one supposed to play back, then was on Birch or did he do it or end for Shuki, but number. Ensure. I know he was their first day. Plays Games against them. You. Six, three, six, two, six, hundred eighteen clear sets for like four-month next day, two, six, four, six, three, six, two. And it went on and then by the end of the. The the whole thing you know he started to. Beat them like one to win. One playing unbelievable he was, he was on. A mission was just GONNA mission. So Yeah He. Played His best tennis than you know because it was like more than tennis was something inside, that was like Oh! You are so close to like he was. He was thinking about retiring. So of course when you ready. Pumped up fired up. you almost use to death you at dead. Literally dead three months ago, when not clear anymore now you playing the some the final Davis Cup with Pete. And Andrea. Was Out of I love to watch this because. The of course the shots was unbelievable tennis for these days. Come believable tennis. But what I love to watch. She's like. The connection the eyes of the guys there are. Ready to die. No fear, Warriors, peaceful warriors like crazy I love to see that an I can see religion a connection with my eyes when I played my final of the French Open and there is when they played his final, it was crazy. I was was crazy to be connected like that and you know I. Never had it after that never even though we won. Twice after that I never had this. Intense connection with my payers. They're my best friends. You know it's like I'm playing with my best friends. You know we're in a five four in assists. And you're going to sit. You know you look at the person in front of you is your best friend. You know, of course, you're GonNa do what to do. Because he's not, he's not. He's not alone They're playing together and more more more than that. You know we're we're. We are team of friends so. I could tell the energy and the people felt it. The people the crowd. They felt it because we you know we were supposed to lose this. One chance at a ten. Were supposed to lose it, and then the and after the first day like one Oh, then we win the doubles. So Story to tell you you have time. So it's to one so now. We twin what we need. We we need now is like one point the whole thing which was like. The upset of you know our our history. So. To win I said Agassi was paying unbelievable, because even though Galas between the first day. I can see played unbelievable. Game played fantastic match in a fantastic Mesa great match, but I guess he was like I've felt. That the only one to win a I don't I didn't think that he would be. Agassi! So I, said I got to be. So. So we've watching videos and was very gay would Nev- never? Tell you I'm going to beat this guy. Never, so we watching videos? And Katie's the way we want to play Pete you know okay, this is this okay. Okay, so now you have to keep on that. So. I so I to before he goes to bed UK Iglesia. You have it okay, so you're gonNA. Go in sleep on that dream about this just the way we just talked about. And then for the any, says one thing Yanni. I swear. If I win. I'm not gonNA, be. Jumping up and down and crying and stuff. I look at him and I was so happy, because for the first time told me that he believed he could do it. So he goes to sleep. So now me and my room I I usually don't sleep like nervous. So, After one and a half hours by nice like warning the morning, my phone rings. A bill forty. She goes Yanic. GIG can sleep crazy. It's crazy. East like sooner. A. Going around the room at twenty per ticket by took, can sleep, but now east-leading me. Studying me that. Bad And she goes. Is You bad Yannick? Because he knew that he was listening, I said well. My bet is really hard. You know. The mattress is really it's really hard. It's a hard mud. Oh, he's a hard metrics. Can we come into your room any change room so he? We are exchanging rooms at three in the morning because. Of course the metric exactly the same that you needed to know that was around I. Guess. So he goes. and He. We aren't a bit of changing rules changing beds. That take bets the bed where the same anyway, so by not what's going on? What's going on, but? Some growing. I know I have an idea, so we were staying in the middle in the middle of the town, and it was all these restaurants, and we could sometimes he people chanting all the crowds where supporters defense the so by three in the morning, just took my jeans on. Get dressed and going to the street and go to the I've got. Walking place where you have no cars, we've all the restaurants are very popular place, yonkers. We miss you so I knew that like hundreds of fans. Thousands of fans way there you know. I decided to go so I went to all the restaurants. All the restaurants standard in one table a freshman stand on tables. Oh, yeah, because they know guys i. have to Tell You I count on you tomorrow. You really have to help. You need you. Gain it. You okay. Yeah, yeah, I so I went to about twelve restaurants to do that like. Fire the whole might defense. Oh, the next day you know it was crazy. G told me that even though it can sleep a lot, but he slept very well the bed. The crowd with crazy. It was crazy. It was just fantastic. Twelve like I. Don't think we've had we've never. We've never had that after. Never never had the amount of energy coming from the crowd never. and. and He. Took that help help them you know and. And that was fantastic and wins this game. Crazy, you know after, tell you. Last week. I told you that also came to Arthur came to Cameroon right. Any with Tom Walker. Some augert. Charlie, Pasarell and Marty recent Tomoko my first. Time, I was playing singles in Davis Cup was against Holland. Tomoko I'm playing Tomoko. Like to seven years after. Actually yes seven years after we met in Cameroon. I'm playing him. So he was part of all the whole. My whole stories from my first Davis Cup player. He's to play Tom. I'm trying to make the story short. The fifth set we playing on carpet, playing the fifth. I'm serving for the match at. I think eight seven or Tena of ten nine I'm sorry for the match. Forty thirty matchpoint I serve you returns I make volumes backhand. It's a winner. I throw my Reckitt, up. Okay I want. Dives. You have to look at it slow motion. I throw them, Iraq. It's he's beaten. It dives. The bullies behind him, and for some reason with his wrist. He hits the ball back. The problem is when the ball little mini love that comes. I finished the volleys underground, but the promise that I through Iraq. So I, don't have a racket. So. The ball comes slow motion in front of me and I take it with my hand my racket. He's over there. You imagine yen the crowd in Holland screening. Screaming screaming were almost lost. Dispatch because of this mistake. I'm nineteen. At this point. You know when you're young, you don't you don't think too much. Don't don't panic. You know this the energy of being young. So end up winning this match, but I will never forget this. Listen to this. Look at look at the finals complete. Sampras looked at the match point because I told them to story I told the. So many times. It part of the story was all did that was a joke, Bob? We laughing about it for years? Even before it was captain, look at what happened was. Look at the final. Is I took it back end? Pete returns to his down the line. and G makes like a perfect volley. Cross court volley. The winner. If you look at the image. Look at it. Pete Dives. Dives this is a winner Ev, nine, hundred, nine, four ninety, so we the the. Pete Dives. And hit the ball. And Give a slow ball back. That actually hit a little bit of the net and come. But look at. Almost Swiss racket. Almost always record away. Almost did the same thing goes crazy, but he kept the racket crown already cheering that I shall. Always Movement is going to throw his racket. And then the ball comes, doesn't the racket is really and then and then you said he was going to cry and stuff. I don't think I've ever seen. A player collapsed to the ground quite like the way he did it was. He completely lost control of his body. He just let's I mean it was the ultimate matched was the ultimatum and winning Davis Cup for us, you know we have tradition for Davis Cup you know deep shot three used to be the president at this dream of winning the Davis Cup. either. So, it's like it. It met in meant a lot. It was like. Shambo tie was like the one of the Moose Curtail was the reason why we slackers. And Crochet. where the reason why to hold on gallows was built, was built, was in the state in this at the stadium. You was there it was. It was filled with history. D. Is is very special. Guy Loves the tradition he loves loves scope, I. Think loved more that actually winning a grand slam as a teammate easer. So tools to win this last point for him was. The universe. and. And it's it's it's. It's really. Moment that where you know all of a sudden you you just you. Just fall. Just fall it. Can you do is joy? You can die at this moment. Doesn't you won't make different? You won't make a difference, so that was special. Such such wonderful memories. You best friend, you know you cry and hug you best friend. You know that that's what Davis Cup gave us. That was ten. Hug, my dad. I cried of happiness and cried for happiness, hugging my best friend because. You know, we won the Davis Cup together so that's something that. that. We have a forget of course. The wonderful wonderful stories. Thank you so much for your time. It's been worth. Davis will welcome in really was great to talk to you and. After, all these years, that's a long time. I've probably heard one or two of these stories over the years when we were traveling on. Always wanted to do this and and it's just lovely. Thank you so much. My pleasure David. Yannick Noah mortar man, what a guy! He is I just love talking to him and. I hope you've enjoyed listening to that as much as I did because he's the best interview around and and it's just the thrill really to had him as guest here on the tennis podcast. If you've enjoyed it, do tell you friends. You'll family your social media groups. She. What's that groups? Our linked to share this interview is in the show notes to this podcast and yeah. Thanks very much for your company as always we will love in producing the podcast and we'll be back with many more over the coming weeks. We're going to have a meeting this week to discuss. Our plans will have daily shows during the US Open fortnight, whether there is a tournament or not, where we know it still up in the air. At the moment, there is still hope that will be live tennis from the US Open. If not, it'll be US Open relived all away. And then the French Open as well. We look like we're going to have that, so we'll have loads of shows for you. Thanks for listening to this one and we'll see you next.