Well said - except for the 3hr nap maybe . What a day, this June 5th, 1983!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.
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.
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.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.
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.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.
Thanks for sharing this. I wasn't aware and will definitely listen to it.The Tennis Podcast did a terrific interview with him recently. I'd encourage anyone interested in Noah to give it a listen.
The problem is not because we no longer talk about Noah at FO 1983, because it is only a toournament.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?
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.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.
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…
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.
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.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
|Highest ranking||No. 3 (7 July 1986)|
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.The Tennis Podcast did a terrific interview with him recently. I'd encourage anyone interested in Noah to give it a listen.
Yes, exactly. He seems to be 100% engaged with the things he chooses to do. I thought the interview with him was terrific.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.