Every SI Story ... Every SI Photo ... Ever SI.COM/VAULT
EXCERPT | June 13, 1983
Glory of France
Local hero Yannick Noah won the French Open
May 30, 2010
The 6'4" Noah—then widely regarded as the game's finest athlete—lost only one set during the French Open fortnight en route to becoming the last Frenchman to win at Roland Garros. Curry Kirkpatrick reported for SI.
His likeness is spread across magazine covers, posters and the walls of Parisian girls' boudoirs. He attends lectures on philosophy at the Sorbonne; plays guitar in a reggae band; dates a model from Boulder, Colo.; shares a TV variety-show stage with actress Annie Girardot; and peers off the box of a popular biscuit. The only product Yannick Noah, he of the demidreadlocks, may be incapable of selling in the Republic of France is hair spray. And now he's the first Frenchman in nearly four decades to win the Championnats Internationaux de France. Vive le Cameroun.
It was 11 long summers ago that the frightened little black child left home and family in the tiny village of Yaoundé, Cameroon, in central Africa to come to Paris to learn tennis. He undoubtedly hadn't heard of Rastafarian 'dos back then. But on Sunday, on the sweltering terre battue of Stade Roland Garros, a gloriously skilled and Rasta-coiffed Noah, now 23, finally fulfilled his dream with a 6--2, 7--5, 7--6 victory over the young Swedish defending champion, Mats Wilander. When Noah received his trophy from the last native titlist, Marcel Bernard, who won in 1946, it was obvious how much French tennis had evolved. Bernard is almost bald.
Noah—the father of Chicago Bulls big man Joakim Noah—retired in 1996. The '83 French Open was his only appearance in a Grand Slam final.
SI.COM | Breaking News | Real-time Scores | Daily Analysis
It's My Life
This week SI.com takes its video coverage away from the field for a glimpse into a day in the life of Yankees centerfielder Curtis Granderson. Watch as the cameras follow Granderson (above) through the streets of New York City, where he explains, among other things, why shopping at Walmart isn't out of the ordinary for a major leaguer and how giving back to the community is a part of his job. You can also check out SI Video for the latest news and analysis from SI writers in the Inside Report with Maggie Gray and watch some 70 videos a week, including NHL playoff highlights and interviews from The Dan Patrick Show.
Andre Ethier's injury scares the Dodgers
Floyd Landis controversy heats up
Rafael Nadal returns to Roland Garros
END OF AN ERA?
By Tom Verducci
Derek Jeter is the last of the AL's power-hitting shortstops
By Ross Tucker
Blame Bill Parcells for the Dolphins' risky Brandon Marshall trade
HEAD OF THE CLASS
By Luke Winn
Terrence Jones spurns Washington and signs with Kentucky
TUNE IN TO THE FRENCH OPEN
Ted Robinson, John McEnroe and Mary Carillo have the call from Roland Garros for this weekend's third round of the French Open (noon EDT on Saturday and Sunday). For video of the 1983 French Open, go to SI.com/vault