Sports Festival Yannick Noah in Trento, champion: “One point, one record”

The last Frenchman to win a Grand Slam will tell Trento of his love for two worlds

Ricardo Crivelli

Two souls, a hero and a musician, which essentially makes him an atypical figure for both the world of sports and the world of show. Winter 1972 Yaounde, Cameroon. United States Champion Arthur Ashe, in an unmistakable sign of fate that would actually be a delivery, dodges for a few moments with a 12-year-old proving on the tennis court that he feels like he’s in the living room. Casual, simple, with all its infectious fervor. It’s the beginning of the love story between Yannick Noah (who will attend the Trento Sports Festival on Sunday 25th) and tennis.

designated heir

Legendary: The first black player to win a Grand Slam tournament, Arthur, who names his designated heir. Yannick was born in France, the country of his mother, because his father Zachary is a professional footballer in Sedan, but as a child he would split between Europe and Africa. After returning permanently to Paris, he chose the tennis path. He brings to the fields a crushing physicality and great gestures he’s never seen before and maybe not even later, able to hide a core technique that’s not really traditional honestly even if it’s a tweener, Loeb in recovery plays under legs running back, it’s his trademark and not Federer’s , which, if anything, has perfected it only to the point of rendering it sublime.

In 1983, now a well-known champion, Noah is living the Summer of Dreams: he went to the final at Roland Garros and won it, dominating Mats Wheeler.

strong hit

He is the last French player to win a Grand Slam, and also the last representative of the volleyball team and butlers to raise the Knights Trophy to the sky. Then he stops being just a great tennis player to take the icon’s massive shoe, something that reigns supreme over the sport in general. In short, the master of the party in a world completely unconventional, in strange ways, an unmistakable appearance consisting of braids, flashy clothes and generic sayings is never an circumstance.


However, the popularity of the theatrical, sensitive and heartfelt character soon turns into a nightmare in the form of depression. Reggae music of Bob Marley, his ideal, and his attachment to his homeland, Africa, save him. He retired in 1991 and in the same year released the song “Saga Africa” ​​which blends European sounds and notes of his ancestors. The result was a resounding success, followed by eleven more albums published and awards collected from around the world: he speaks in his records about the environment, racism, inequality, civil rights, not just sports.


Meanwhile, he’s also won three Davis Cups (and the Fed Cup) as captain of France, and continues to blend his passion for tennis and music with talent: “The first motive to make an album or concert is to please those who listen to you. The audience is also essential in sports. When you score a good point. Or a good target, you don’t look at your feet, but at the fans who give you energy. The same thing happens in music, it’s breath.”

the roots

Joachim’s father, the NBA champion to celebrate until 2020, Yannick Noah has always carried his roots and children in his heart, to whom Les enfant de la Terre will be dedicated to helping African children, as well as Noah Tennis Centres, titled Fete le mur, to bring tennis to the disadvantaged suburbs. Champion forever.

In addition to the 2022 Sports Festival, there are important companies and institutions. Principal Partner: Audi. Distinguished Partner: Brembo, Cassa Centrale Group, UnipolSai. Partners: Gardaland, La Sportiva, McFIT, Moto Guzzi, Havas SE, Pastificio Felicetti. Sustainability Partner: Ecopneus. Scientific Partner: San Donato Group. Formal wear: Erreà Sport. Formal sneaker: SUN68. Official broadcaster: Sky Sports. Official Radio: Radio Al Rai 1.