French tennis star Gael Monfils absolutely loved watching Yannick Noah hold his French Open trophy in one hand. Noah, a former top-ranked French tennis player, claimed his maiden Grand Slam title in front of his home fans at Roland Garros in 1983.
Noah didn't fail to deliver in the final as he handed Swede Mats Wilander a straight-set defeat 6-2 7-5 7-6 (3) to delight the local fans. "My favorite image [of you winning Roland-Garros in 1983] is you hoisting the ridiculously heavy trophy with one hand," Monfils told Noah.
Noah then replied to Monfils that "Yeah, I was already doing push-ups." Monfils, ranked at No. 9 in the world, then said he would honor Noah if he ever wins the French Open: "I bet you don’t know but when I win a tournament, I hoist the trophy with one hand because of you."
Monfils: My favorite image [of you winning Roland-Garros in 1983] is you hoisting the ridiculously heavy trophy with one hand.
Noah: Yeah, I was already doing push-ups...
Monfils: I bet you don’t know but when I win a tournament, I hoist the trophy with one hand because of you.
Unfortunately for Noah, he never again reached a Grand Slam final as his best result on the Grand Slam level in the latter years was the semifinal he made at the Australian Open in 1990.
To be fair, those are the only two examples I could find 😂 but it's a lovely anecdote that speaks volumes about Noah's legacy in French tennis pic.twitter.com/hTvtkchRop — Bastien Fachan (@BastienFachan) June 7, 2020
However, Noah did achieve some notable success on the Grand Slam level in doubles as he and fellow compatriot Henri Leconte won the doubles title at the French Open in 1984. During his successful career, Noah claimed a total of 23 singles and achieved a career-high ranking of No.
3 in the world.
Gael Monfils dreams of winning it all at the French Open
Monfils, 33, has said multiple times that winning a Grand Slam is still one of his biggest goals and he will keep trying until his career comes to an end.
Specifically, the Frenchman mentioned Roland Garros as his ideal place to win a maiden Grand Slam title. A bit disappointingly, Monfils made French Open semifinal in 2008 and to this day that has been his best-ever result at Roland Garros.
On three separate occasions, Monfils came a win away from making another semifinal at Roland Garros as he made the quarterfinal at the tournament in 2009, 2011 and 2014. Three of Monfils's last four French Open appearances ended with a round-of-16 loss. It remains to be seen if Gael Monfils will manage to win a French Open title before he retires.