Yannick Noah Is Back In Tennis, He’ll Be France’s New Davis Cup Coach
by Tom Gainey | September 22nd, 2015, 10:00 am

Yannick Noah is back in tennis. After years travelling the world as a pop star, the former French Open champion will return to the sport that made him in a global sensation, now as the coach of the French Davis Cup team for 2016.

Noah will replace Arnaud Clement who was fired last week.

Despite a deep team, France hasn’t won the Davis Cup since 2001. And this summer they lost to Great Britain in the quarterfinals.

Noah led France to two Davis Cup titles in 1991 and 1996.

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9 Comments for Yannick Noah Is Back In Tennis, He’ll Be France’s New Davis Cup Coach

the DA Says:

Interesting. From what I’ve read, I’m not sure all the players are on board with this. Will be curious to see how this pans out. A FRA vs ESP tie would be especially tense considering recent history :0

jane Says:

why was clement fired, i wonder? lack of success or other reasons?

RZ Says:

I’m surprised it took so long TBH. But I agree with Simon – they shouldn’t have been offering the job to others before letting Clement know that he was out.

mat4 Says:

My two cents.

It was my opinion from the beginning that Clément was the wrong man for the function. The first reason, of course, is subjective: I don’t like him. But what made me feel bad is that he was chosen by the players themselves, and the players that were for him were the second violins of the team: Tsonga and Gasquet were quite reserved.

Then, there was that DC final. While in 2010 Guy Forget showed that he was simply stupid (he chose Llodra to play the decisive match, against Troicki who has an excellent return and can always win points in the rally; Simon would have probably won against both Tipsarevic and Troicki, something we can see from their H2H clearly now; a captain had to see that the Serbs didn’t have the game to beat Gilles), in 2014 Clément was without authority in the team.

That he had no authority, and that his old pals were creating the French team was obvious in the tie against Scotland. Gasquet didn’t play, Mahut played the doubles, although anybody with some sense knew that here, Chardy or Gasquet would have been a better choice, Simon played the single, although he never was of any good on grass.

From the beginning, we could sense that something wasn’t working. Clément himself was always workmanlike, very professional, but here, everything looked like a party among pals. Simon, like usual, was talking to much and thinking too little, Tsonga and Gasquet didn’t talk at all, etc.

I would have fired him immediately after that tie. I don’t understand what the FFT did, and why it was done the way it was done.

Noah/Pioline is a good solution, imho. Yannick has always been the boss. He won the DC twice, and this time, he will be helped by Pioline who still is in touch with tennis, playing senior tournaments and commenting. Noah took a lot of risks — he’s a great star in France, but in variety, he’s a singer now. But if he think he can change something, then he will.

Emily Says:

I know there was a lot of criticism after the final. Apparently clement knew tsonga was injured, but decided to keep this a secret in the hopes of tripping up the Swiss. Instead, Stan defeats tsonga easily in the 1st match, and then Jo didn’t play on Sunday, and is booed by the French crowd. Clement approached that final terribly, even though he had a team who’d been practicing together for 2 weeks, was playing at home, and they were against a team made up of 2 guys who’d been playing on indoor HC a week earlier at the O2, against each other no less! I wasn’t surprised at this decision, especially after the QF loss this year.

RZ Says:

Emily, I’ve probably stated all this before, but to add to the criticism of Clement…I think the biggest misstep made by Clement was to put the DC final on clay. It might be Fed’s weakest surface, but it is also the weakest surface for everyone on the French team. And while an argument could be made that Fed and Wawrinka are only slightly stronger on clay than Monfils, I don’t think anyone could convincingly argue that the rest of the French team is anywhere close to them on that surface. An indoor court would have evened the playing field some more.

mat4 Says:


There was a lot of bad blood on the team. Jo was injured and believed that he would play his best in the doubles match, last year. Against GB, everything look awkward, and the tensions couldn’t be hidden (Gasquet was tired… who are you kidding?). We don’t know all, but it’s clear that Clément had no authority for the sake of “democracy”, and in the French team, it usually means that Simon tries desperately to look clever.

Then, both time he made idiotic decision about the doubles. A quick analysis of recent results shows clearly that players good in single are good in doubles, better than the specialists. You don’t call your pals Benneteau or Mahut to play doubles, you take your chance with Jo and Richard, or Jo and Jeremy, who is probably the French no 3 since RG, and who is very competent at the net, on the return, and serves well.

But Clément was simply too afraid to make his own decisions, and, instead of having the decency to retire after the loss against GB, he thought that leading the national team, with the French flag on the chest, was a semi private game.

Margot Says:

Perhaps France’s problem is quite the opposite of the UK’s, far too much talent to choose from? Makes choice harder.
Forget didn’t get on with Simon either tho., that was pretty obvious.

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