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Arthur Ashe

Related Biography: Tennis Player Yannick Noah

Yannick Simon Camille Noah was born on May 18, 1960, in Sedan, France, and at the age of three he moved with his family to his father's native country of Cameroon. In 1971, while attending a tennis clinic at a local club, Noah was given the chance to play with Ashe, who was making his second goodwill tour of Africa. Ashe, moved by the youngster's plight and his talent, arranged to have Noah enrolled at the French Tennis Federation (FTF) training center in Nice, France, where he trained for five years. One year short of graduation, Noah left school to focus exclusively on tennis. In 1977, Noah won the French junior title and the Wimbledon junior title, after which he went professional.

In 1978, Noah took the Australian Open and U.S. Open singles titles, and in 1979 made it to the semis and finals at the French Open and Wimbledon. His Grand Slam performances earned him the top ranking in France in 1980. At age twenty-three he won the French Open, and a year later he and partner Henri Leconte won the doubles title there.

Noah stayed off the tennis circuit for a year to recover from injuries and the devastating death of his grandfather. He came back to his game to win the Italian Open in 1985, but what looked like an auspicious return to the game was only transitory. He played his way to the finals of many tournaments and achieved the ranking in 1986 of third in the world in singles play and first in doubles, yet the more prestigious titles eluded him. After pursuing a music career for a few years, he trained the French team in 1996 for the Davis Cup and the Fed Cup, the premier international team event for women. In both events, France was victorious.

Noah lives in Montreux, Switzerland, and often participates in the charitable tennis tournaments and the ATP Senior Tour tournaments in Switzerland.

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Famous Sports StarsTennisArthur Ashe Biography - Growing Up, Early Lessons, The Amateur Years, Chronology, Ranked Number One, Center Court