Yannick Noah is a name popular and successful in two competitive worlds: sports and music. Noah is a retired tennis pro,and currently a pop star with songs that have become great music hits. He is the only tennis star who is able to successfully establish a music career after retiring from playing the courts.
From his nationality to his cultural heritage, Noah seems to have always been born conquering two worlds. His father Simon was Cameroonian and black, while his mother Marie Claire was French and white. Born in Sedan, France in May 18, 1960, the right-handed tennis star had to relocate to Yaoundé, Cameroon in 1963 when Simon Noah suffered an injury from playing professional football. Brought up into an African European home environment, a teen-aged Yannick soon discovered that he excelled in two very different fields as well: music and sports. In music, his influence was Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix; in tennis, it was his teachers who pushed him to train and practice. The long hours spent in the courts paid off when Yannick was spotted by tennis legend Arthur Ashe, who awarded him a plane ticket to France, and a professional coaching-and-education programme at the French Tennis Federation in Nice.
Noah became a sensation in the courts. With dreadlocks, power smashes and one tennis victory over another, he won the hearts of many tennis fans, especially in his native France. His unforgettable win is the momentous 1983 Roland Garros Singles title, wherein he emerged as the first Frenchman to capture the men’s singles title in thirty-seven (37) long years. His other wins include twenty (23) singles titles and sixteen (16) doubles titles. He became the World’s No. 3 in 1986, staying in the Top 10 from 1982 through 1987. Noah was a member of France’s Davis Cup team for eleven (11) years, becoming its captain in 1991. He also led France’s Fed Cup team to its first victory in 1997.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame inducted Noah into its prestigious Famers roster in 2005.