Tennis

France's rock star tennis icon

Published 1023 GMT (1823 HKT) May 21, 2014
Share
Yannick Noah gal 3Yannick Noah gal 3
1 of 10
Yannick Noah was renowned for his happy-go-lucky attitude on the tennis court. He remains the last Frenchman to win a grand slam -- at the 1983 French Open. Lutz Bongarts/Bongarts
Since hanging up his racket, Noah has focused on a different kind of noise. He has become a pop star, with his albums selling millions of copies, and he regularly packs out stadiums with thousands of fans. JEAN AYISSI/Getty Images/file
Noah had a near 20-year career at the top of men's tennis. His highest world ranking of No. 3 in 1986 has not been surpassed by any subsequent Frenchmen. Steve Powell/Getty Images/file
The pinnacle of Noah's tennis career came at the French Open in 1983 when the nation rallied round him during a formidable run to the final as Ivan Lendl -- among others -- were swept aside. His victory over Mats Wilander in the final led to a wave of French euphoria, and a court invasion, led by his father. AFP/Getty Images/file
Towards the end of his playing career, Noah's love of music translated into jam sessions with fellow players John McEnroe and Jim Courier. During this period he wrote "Saga Africa" -- a song that went to No. 1 in France and kickstarted a new vocation. STAN HONDA/Getty Images/file
After the 1991 release of his first album "Black and White" -- which included lyrics in French, English and Cameroon dialect -- Noah agreed to captain France's Davis Cup team and led the men to their first victory in the competition, a feat he repeated in 1996. A year later he skippered France's women to their first Fed Cup triumph. Gary Prior/Getty Images/file
All the while Noah's music career continued to progress. His album "Pokhara" sold over a million copies after its release in 2003, and after "Charango" came out in 2007 and topped 1.3 million sales, Noah's 150-date tour attracted over a million fans. OLIVIER LABAN-MATTEI/Getty Images/file
Noah still finds time to appear on the "legends" tour and played at the 2014 Australian Open in January. BERTRAND LANGLOIS/Getty Images/file
As well as his music -- Noah's 12th studio release "Ma Colere" came out this year -- the 53-year-old is a charity and humanitarian campaigner. He is involved with a charity set up by his mother, Enfants de la Terre, and his own, Fête le Mur, that uses tennis to help underprivileged children. PHILIPPE MERLE/Getty Images/file
Noah's sporting prowess transferred to his son Joakim, who plays for the Chicago Bulls. The 29-year-old is a two-time NBA All Star and was voted 2014's Defensive Player of the Year. Noah said of his son: "Every time I see him getting introduced, I get emotional, I get tears in my eyes." Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/file