37 years after Marcel Bernard, another Frenchman finally won at Roland Garros. Yannick Noah came into the French Open on the back of victories at Madrid and Hamburg and went on to have the fortnight of his life. Hurtling into the net at every opportunity, the Frenchman knocked the stuffing out of Ivan Lendl in the quarters, winning 7-6, 6-2, 5-7, 6-0 and dropping his only set of the tournament.
France were guaranteed to have one of their own in the final as Noah met Christophe Roger-Vasselin in the semis, after the latter had shocked the tennis world with his straight-sets win over world No.1 Jimmy Connors in the quarters (6-4, 6-4, 7-6). Noah showed his compatriot no quarter however (6-3, 6-0, 6-0) and then went on to defeat the defending champion Mats Wilander, again in straight sets (6-2, 7-5, 7-6) to win the title, to the delight of the home crowd. After match point, Noah rushed into the arms of his father Zacharie, who had leapt onto the court. Incidentally, Noah was the last player to win a Grand Slam with a wooden racquet.
Chris Evert, meanwhile, won her fifth women's title, putting her alongside Australia's Margaret Court who had won her final French Open ten years previously. Evert dropped two sets along the way, to Helena Sukova in the round of 16 (6-2, 3-6, 6-3) and Hana Mandlikova in the quarters (4-6, 6-3, 6-2). The final saw the American overcome Yugoslavian Mima Jausovec, who had won the title in 1977.
The real sensation was caused by the shock defeat of world No.1 Martina Navratilova in the fourth round, at the hands of unheralded American Kathleen Horvath. The 17-year-old won 6-4, 0-6, 6-3, knocking out the defending champion and inflicting the only defeat that Navratilova would suffer all season...
Chris Evert (USA) def. Mima Jausovec (YUG) 6-1, 6-2
Yannick Noah (FRA) def. Mats Wilander (SUE) 6-2, 7-5, 7-6