On Saturday, on the eve of the start of the tournament, Roland Garros will celebrate ‘Yannick Noe Day’, a day dedicated to the French sports legend, later turned into a musician, who will also give a concert with Philippe Chatrier.
Noah was 23 years old when he defeated the Swedish champion Mats Wilander; 6-2, 7-5 and 7-6 (7/3), to eventually succeed the last Frenchman to win the Musketeers Cup, Marcel Bernard (1946).
“It was my moment of glory. I was at home. My friends were in the stands, my family; it was a beautiful day, I slept in that stadium when I was 16 years old and 17 years old, I dreamed of that place; par…, Noah told AFP.
“That was the tournament for me and I won it, it was just perfect,” he added.
The pinnacle of his triumph was the qualitative leap that had taken place two months before, in the Monte Carlo Tournament.
“He had done what he wanted. The watch came out of the game and we had to talk the next day. There was a radical change in Yannick’s mind and he quickly paid,” Patrice recalled at the time of the coach. Hagelauer.
He tied the big events: the finals in Lisbon, the victories in Madrid and Hamburg, where Wilander beat in the quarters.
‘The preparation of the body itself’
In order to maintain good dynamics, the player and his coach decide to prepare “very physically focused” to support his unacceptable game. “He was the best athlete around so the cards were played well,” Hagelauer had explained.
Four or five hours of training in the morning and two in the afternoon are followed by 45 minutes of racing, trying to stay out of the Parisian traffic.
“Yannick was the only mestizo player, he had dreadlocks, he had character… He had a lot of requests so we decided to focus elsewhere,” explained the coach.
Isolated in Seine-et-Marne in a small club while he prepares, Noah tries to spend as little time as possible in Porte d’Auteuil, to the facilities of Roland Garros.
He starts the race and does not lose until the quarters, where Ivan Lendl, the third world champion, is waiting for him: after winning the first two, he has two even points in the third, but he does not convert them.
Lendl wins the third part and the situation could become dangerous, but the Frenchman solves it in the fourth style (6-0).
While world number 1 Jimmy Connors was destined to engage in the semifinals, France’s Christophe Roger-Vasselin overwhelmed the Americans and met Noah in last place.
He received a tough correction (6-3, 6-0 and 6-0) and Noah took a step back from glory.
In the context of the show, Wilander and Noah, two young people were adored by the public. The Frenchman gave no options because he had the ability to close the game: he works on the right hand of the Swede and his return is extended.
Noah falls to his knees and raises his arms. Two seconds later Zacharias receives a hug from his father.
“This accident concludes the dream of the family, the dream of Yannick,” said the coach.
After the French idol, Maria Pierce won the Australian Open (1995) and Roland Garros (2000), Amelie Mauresmo the same tournaments in 2006, and Marion Bartoli in Wimbledon in 2013. It was surprising, but no one could win Roland Garros or any. of the other three great ones.