why nobody talk more about Noah's (an offensive player) 1983 RG FO wins over claybeasts Wilander (F) and Lendl (QF)?

d-quik

Professional
was this a case of wilander/lendl dipping in form or did Noah ACTUALLY SOMEHOW beat them in-form? how is this possible? was this the equivalent of soderling def. nadal but of the 80s? or it was 'no big deal' and I am just over-reading into it? o_O
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
Obviously you don’t know any Frenchmen. :)

I am not sure I’d totally agree that Noah was a very offensive player. He had a huge serve and attacked the net a lot, but also hit very loopy groundies with a lot of topspin. He also had a pretty weak return of serve, so didn’t do massively well on fast surfaces like grass.

Kind of an interesting mix of styles and one that has been successful more than once at Roland Garros (Panatta was another S&V guy who was most at home on the dirt).

As far as RG1983 in particular goes - Noah earned it. Played a blinder of a tournament and blitzed some very good clay players.

Next time you want a three hour nap, ask a French tennis fan about it.
 

NicoMK

Professional
Obviously you don’t know any Frenchmen. :)

I am not sure I’d totally agree that Noah was a very offensive player. He had a huge serve and attacked the net a lot, but also hit very loopy groundies with a lot of topspin. He also had a pretty weak return of serve, so didn’t do massively well on fast surfaces like grass.

Kind of an interesting mix of styles and one that has been successful more than once at Roland Garros (Panatta was another S&V guy who was most at home on the dirt).

As far as RG1983 in particular goes - Noah earned it. Played a blinder of a tournament and blitzed some very good clay players.

Next time you want a three hour nap, ask a French tennis fan about it.
Well said - except for the 3hr nap maybe 8-B. What a day, this June 5th, 1983!

To me though, Yannick was a true S&V player. He could play on clay -- and he did ! -- but his "weak" backhand pass and return prevented him from doing well at Wimbledon.


More about his RG victory on this nice recent thread :

 

bobcolbert

New User
Noah had a good slice backhand, an embarrassing forehand for the opponent, a great serve, a great smash, he was mentally very strong, and very impressive at net. So, a very good clay player. He should have won the FO 2 or 3 times.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
Noah was truly unique...His game looked weak in some ways, strong in others. He had great hands and played a clever sort of game. I mean, the guy got wins over Lendl and Wilander, on CLAY of all things.. He was very good at getting into net and picking off the volley. He had a few wins over Connors too. I suspect it was hard for baseliners to get into a groove with his style of play. But, most of all, he was a lot of fun to watch. We could use more of that right now.
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
@bobcolbert @NicoMK @Cashman so the qf and f victories cant be attributed to a dip in form in lendl/wilander?

This win didnt have the same impact as soderling def. Nafal 2009 right?
I don't think so. For one thing, Lendl or Wilander weren't 4-time defending champions. Also, while they were known as very good/great clay court players (Lendl hadn't won an FO yet), I don't think there was any burgeoning talk or thoughts of them being "invincible" that was similar to the talk/hype for Nadal's clay game in 2009. Finally, Noah wasn't just some "random" player like Soderling. Prior to 1983 French Open, he had beaten Lendl three times! None of those wins were on clay, but still. Plus, he had taken a set of Lendl in a clay loss. Further, he had already beaten Wilander twice, including once on clay; plus a tight three set loss on clay. In fact, leading up to the 1983 FO, he lost to Wilander in three tight sets in the finals of Lisbon 1983 and beat Wilander in straight sets in the QF of Hamburg 1983. He won both Madrid and Hamburg on clay coming into the 1983 French Open. No one could be THAT shocked by the FO result, even if they didn't expect it.

Soderling was seeded 23 (would have been unseeded in previous eras); Noah was seeded 6. Plus, Soderling had never beaten Nadal before that 2009 FO win, had lost to him at a previous French Open (2006) in straight sets, and had lost to Nadal 6-1, 6-0 in Rome in 2009 - just weeks before his titanic upset of Nadal. For all these reasons, the Noah winning the whole tournament, while surprising, just wasn't the same earthshaking event as the Soderling beating Nadal.

Noah was a great athlete with a somewhat, especially on clay, arrhythmic game. He could disrupt more traditional clay court players - something we've seen from other attacking players at times. And, again, he was an established player who had already beaten two of the "big" players (Lendl, Wilander) he took down at the 1983 FO multiple times.
 
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bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
Noah was truly unique...His game looked weak in some ways, strong in others. He had great hands and played a clever sort of game. I mean, the guy got wins over Lendl and Wilander, on CLAY of all things.. He was very good at getting into net and picking off the volley. He had a few wins over Connors too. I suspect it was hard for baseliners to get into a groove with his style of play. But, most of all, he was a lot of fun to watch. We could use more of that right now.
I think despite the attacking game, clay actually suited him well, even against strong clay courters. 12 of his 23 tournament wins were on clay.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
Good ol' Data once broke down Noah's game better than anyone else here. I'm thinking @encylopedia will dig this, LOL:

Basically, he took that tourney by storm and emotion. Later, his VERY VERY technically weak game was uncovered.

His grounstrokes and returns may be the weakest ever seen in pro tennis. He literally could only hit returns in certain directions, for example, he couldnt' hit a good, consistent crosscourt return from the deuce court on his forehand! On his backhand, he could return down the line from the deuce court on his backhand! His volleys were pushed (though he could hit a nice drop volley), and his groundstrokes lacked power and sometimes consistency.

As noted, his flat and slice serve were among the fastest and widest breaking, in the history of tennis. There was a rumour in the late 80's that he once recorded a 140mph serve on radar. I wouldn't doubt if for a second. His motion was second to none, absolutely beautiful. Arthur Ashe, though that it was flawless when he changed his toss in the late 80's.

He also was one of the most athletic men, he was the only person I've ever seen who could flat out dive for volleys, like Becker, but unlike Becker, look like he floated down easily without the slightest impact. Again, it was Ashe who called him "Michael Jordon with a racquet", and many agreed with that assesment. Having said that, he was often not in great shape, due to his party lifestyle. Once, the players voted him, "fittest looking unfit player"!

Some other experts even suggested that he won many matches BECAUSE he was black, (not to mention very tall and athletic) and that it intimidated many of the other players.

In any case, he did poorly on grass, quite simply because:

1.he didn't like the low bounces
2.even though he had soft hands at the net, he wasn't very good with his hands off the ground, and thus could not compensate for funny bounces or skidding. He was VERY mechanical on his groundstrokes, especially considering what a graceful athlete he naturally was.
3.MOST IMPORTANTLY, HIS AWFUL AWFUL return.
That said that world-class athleticism alone can carry you far - after all the guy made 2 more QFs at RG following his '83 triumph - and I'm now thinking he probably deserved a higher berth in my OE ranking of the best dirtballers. Still below Panatta, Chang, Stan and Kafelnikov, but maybe above Moya, Gomez and Costa.
 

NicoMK

Professional
The Tennis Podcast did a terrific interview with him recently. I'd encourage anyone interested in Noah to give it a listen.
Thanks for sharing this. I wasn't aware and will definitely listen to it.

Locked down again here so I guess some time to do so…

 

KG1965

Legend
was this a case of wilander/lendl dipping in form or did Noah ACTUALLY SOMEHOW beat them in-form? how is this possible? was this the equivalent of soderling def. nadal but of the 80s? or it was 'no big deal' and I am just over-reading into it? o_O
The problem is not because we no longer talk about Noah at FO 1983, because it is only a toournament.
The problem is because we don't talk about Noah anymore.
And the answer is always the same. He has only won one slam, today the only parameter are the slams.
So Noah = 1.
Fans don't care about a player worth 1.
Nor to the media.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Noah was a beast. I loved how he imposed his athleticism by attacking the net.

The clay was perfect for his game. Clay is actually favorable for S&V because it’s difficult to hit an aggressive return off the rise against a heavy spin serve, and the slower high bounce covered up for less-than-sound groundstroke technique and favored his speedy D and tendency to approach the net behind knifed slices.
 

NicoMK

Professional
The problem is not because we no longer talk about Noah at FO 1983, because it is only a toournament.
The problem is because we don't talk about Noah anymore.
And the answer is always the same. He has only won one slam, today the only parameter are the slams.
So Noah = 1.
Fans don't care about a player worth 1.
Nor to the media.
I can't say you're wrong. Today, fans and media are totally obsessed with records. Same for (3) players, 4 if you include Serena W.

But winning a Slam is quite something and, for Noah and many people including Mats Wilander, his victory in 1983 was -- and still is -- a pure bliss.

And it's not only because he was French, playing the French Open in front of million (French) people. It's something related to what Yannick conveys, something between joy, fun, sun, music and reggae :)
 

NicoMK

Professional
@bobcolbert @NicoMK @Cashman so the qf and f victories cant be attributed to a dip in form in lendl/wilander?

This win didnt have the same impact as soderling def. Nafal 2009 right?
Depends on what you mean by "impact". In France it had a huge impact. And 37 years after, people still love to remember it. Time flies by…

As for the rest, Bluetrain4 replied very well to your question. I'll just add that Lendl was not quite Lendl yet, and Yannick played a great match. That day he had what Ivan didn't have : the will to win… Stallone would've said : the eye of the Tiger! 8-B
I've written about the final against Mats on the other thread. Mats said that he was very impressed by Yannick on the court that day, that he was "big on the court" or something like that. And he also said, even today, that it's one of his best memories as a tennis player. That pretty much sums-up everything.
 

encylopedia

Professional
Good ol' Data once broke down Noah's game better than anyone else here. I'm thinking @encylopedia will dig this, LOL:



That said that world-class athleticism alone can carry you far - after all the guy made 2 more QFs at RG following his '83 triumph - and I'm now thinking he probably deserved a higher berth in my OE ranking of the best dirtballers. Still below Panatta, Chang, Stan and Kafelnikov, but maybe above Moya, Gomez and Costa.

That was good. Should be in the encyclopedia!

Let me note that....one of the "experts" I referred to was named Becker - who a good friend of Noah. ....somehow I doubt he'd make the same kind of observation publicly today! lol.

I think there's probably some merit to it though.....especially at that time, if you're some typical journeyman, and you look up and see "Michael Jordon with a racquet' charging the net....with that beautiful serve, and the height and athleticism....and sometimes a wild head of dreadlocks... you might be just a bit more intimidated than when 5'9 Rutherford Marshall - who also lettered in polo - charged the net in college....
 

KG1965

Legend
I can't say you're wrong. Today, fans and media are totally obsessed with records. Same for (3) players, 4 if you include Serena W.

But winning a Slam is quite something and, for Noah and many people including Mats Wilander, his victory in 1983 was -- and still is -- a pure bliss.

And it's not only because he was French, playing the French Open in front of million (French) people. It's something related to what Yannick conveys, something between joy, fun, sun, music and reggae :)
Noah was excellent above all on clay because (like Panatta 10 years earlier) in addition to having a great serve he had a very effective backspin bh that allowed him to reach the net where he finished with great volleys in acrobatics.

He was less suited to hc or indoor because his fh had too much spin but was not punchy and his backhand couldn't be as effective for higher bounce.
LA QUINTA 1982
HAMBURG 83
ROME 85
FOREST HILLS 86
WEMBLEY 86
MILAN 88


Highest rankingNo. 3 (7 July 1986)
 

NicoMK

Professional
The Tennis Podcast did a terrific interview with him recently. I'd encourage anyone interested in Noah to give it a listen.
So I listened the whole interview and I really enjoyed it. Yannick talked about everything that I loved in tennis : anecdotes, rivalries, players' personality, his RG epic, the game of tennis in the 70s and 80s, his childhood in Africa, the happiness of doing something that you love etc.

I loved the anecdotes on Johnny Mac or Vitas or Borg.

Also, I read the book about the French team winning the 1991 Davis Cup so I learnt barely nothing about it but that was nice to hear Yannick talking about such a nice adventure, after his RG 1983.

You can feel the love and passion and that's what I love in Yannick's way of life.
 
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galain

Hall of Fame
So I listened the whole interview and I really enjoyed it. Yannick talked about everything that I loved in tennis : anecdotes, rivalries, players' personality, his RG epic, the game of tennis in the 70s and 80s, his childhood in Africa, the happiness of doing something that you love etc.

I loved the anecdotes on Johnny Mac or Vitas or Borg.

Also, I read the book about the French team winning the 1991 Davis Cup so I learnt barely nothing about it but that was nice to hear Yannick talking about such a nice adventure, after his RG 1983.

You can feel the love and passion and that's what I love in Yannick's way of life.
Yes, exactly. He seems to be 100% engaged with the things he chooses to do. I thought the interview with him was terrific.
 
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