"These are moments of mine, of joy, when I won the trophy, when I sing... It's kind of the story of my life. I'm honored," said the former player, converted into music.

The colorful fresco, representing in particular his commitment to children, his victory at Roland-Garros immortalized by the embrace with his father Zacharie on the court, but also his mother, his victory in the Davis Cup as captain and his reconversion into a singer, adorns a building named Yannick Noah 1983 located opposite the entrance to the presidential stand of the Philippe-Chatrier court.

"Gate N.2 is now the only one that will have a name, Yannick Noah," added the president of the French Tennis Federation (FFT) Gilles Moretton.

Everything is a few strides from the imposing statue of Rafael Nadal, holder of the record of 14 titles at Roland-Garros, and qualques tens of meters from the statues of the Musketeers René Lacoste, Henri Cochet, Jacques Brugnon and Jean Borotra who wrote the first great pages of French tennis in the years 1920-1930.

"Witness of this moment"

"Roland-Garros is steeped in history, at every corner of the stadium there is something that is happening or has happened. The stadium is getting prettier, starting with this magnificent statue of Rafa, who deserved this, the Musketeers... It is an honour for me to have the right to be part of the history of this stadium. It's very strong for me because my kids are here, they came for this important moment for dad and it really touches me to live this with them," Noah said.

"Time passed and I thought that maybe, at some point, there would be something... once I'd be gone. But it's nice to witness this moment and know that there's going to be something that's going to stay. Once again, it's not so much for me, but for my kids, my grandchildren: the day they go to Roland they will see a fresco of their great-grandmother, grandmother, grandfather ... and Dad, what!" he insisted.

The former player, now 63, admitted to being "particularly touched by the fact that Jay (Ramier, the artist who painted the mural, editor's note) has not forgotten mom, and of course dad for this well-known image."

"It was an anomaly that there was nothing to celebrate not only Yannick's victory 40 years ago, but also to pay tribute to him and thank him for the impact he had on French tennis in general. with also, beyond tennis, his charity work, towards children, access to tennis in disadvantaged suburbs, his dual culture, his singing career, his stories with the Davis Cup and the Fed Cup, "said tournament director Amélie Mauresmo.

© 2023 AFP