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French tennis legend Noah ‘super excited’ at Paralympics challenge

Former Grand Slam winner Yannick Noah described his appointment Thursday as captain of France’s men’s wheelchair tennis team at the 2024 Paris Paralympics as “a fantastic adventure”. 

The 63-year-old, who won the 1983 French Open before helping his country to Fed Cup and Davis Cup successes as skipper, was handed the role for his home Games by the French Tennis Federation (FFT) on Thursday.

“It’s a fantastic adventure,” said Noah in an FFT press release. 

“I’m super excited. We’re currently in a phase where we’re getting to know each other. 

“We’re eight months away from the Games and for now the goal is to improve on a daily basis.”

Noah’s success at Roland Garros in 1983 remains the last Grand Slam win by a Frenchman and he is keen to share his experience with the wheelchair players. 

“Yannick will take on this challenge because he’s a man for challenges,” FFT’s president Gilles Moretton told reporters.

“He’s shown that. He’s a leader of people,” he added.

Noah has already taken part in several training courses with the team which includes Stephane Houdet, Paralympic doubles champion in Beijing, Rio and Tokyo. 

“The idea of being captain came from Stephane,” said Noah.

“He told me: ‘you played individually, you won the Davis Cup, the Fed Cup but you’re not a real crazy person because you never came with us’. 

“I was upset and I said to myself, what a good idea.” 

After retiring, Noah installed himself as a favourite with a new generation of fans, this time as a singer. He has released 13 albums, six of which went to No.1 in France, selling over 4 million copies. 

He also performed at Bob Geldof’s Live 8 concert in 2005.

The Paris Paralympic Games run between August 28-September 8.

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