Jacques Vendroux and Sébastien Guyot, edited by Gauthier Delomez / Photo credits: LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP 06:29, May 18, 2023

For the 40th anniversary of Yannick Noah's victory at Roland-Garros, Europe 1, official radio of the tournament, went to Cameroon, Yaoundé, to meet the legend of French tennis. In an exceptional podcast of ten episodes to discover soon, the former champion returns to his memories in his childhood bedroom.

Yannick Noah celebrates his 63rd birthday this Thursday, May 18, and in a few days, he will also celebrate the 40th anniversary of his victory at Roland-Garros on June 5. He will not be the only one to commemorate this victory – the last of a Frenchman in the men's category – since the organizers reserve a tribute edition this year. For the occasion, Europe 1, official radio of Roland-Garros, dedicates an exceptional podcast to the legend of French tennis, in ten episodes, to discover soon. In one of them, Yannick Noah returns to his memories in his childhood room, in Cameroon, in Yaoundé, where he was already hitting the little yellow ball...

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"Roustes" with his parents

The former world No. 3 in 1986 says that at a very young age, he played tennis and made walls. "Even in my room, I was making volleys. The only problem is that here, the earth is red, and when you have a ball with red earth on white walls, it left traces, and it doesn't really have more to my parents," he explains. "Once, they redid the painting, I waited a little while after my first rouste," says the former champion, before evoking a "second" rouste. "It was stronger than me: maybe I thought that with a cleaner ball... And inevitably, at one point, there were traces," he recalls in his childhood bedroom.

Yannick Noah remembers that his wall kept bullet marks "until there was my Arthur Ashe poster in 1971, when I was 11 years old". The future French prodigy met that year his idol, who came to exchange a few balls in Yaoundé and who gave him his tennis racket. The beginning of the legend Yannick Noah.