Yannick Noah Day: Fun in the sunshine

Roland-Garros Kids’ Day renamed "Yannick Noah Day" proves a resounding success

Journée Yannick Noah / Roland-Garros 2023©Emilie Hautier / FFT

Roland-Garros Kids’ Day has been renamed "Yannick Noah Day" in honour of the 40-year anniversary of the French tennis great’s Grand Slam win here in Paris.

Once again, the day proved a resounding success, with more than 22,000 people inside the grounds soaking up the sunshine.

Court Philippe-Chatrier on its feet to boogie to Yannick Noah

For more than an hour, Yannick Noah pulled out hit after hit in front of a crowd that was relishing every moment. He was joined on stage for a couple of numbers by Mats Wilander on guitar and Mansour Bahrami, who took the mic.

When the 1983 Roland-Garros champion started singing his hit “Saga Africa”, the crowd rose to their feet and danced in an atmosphere that was electric, while “Aux Arbres Citoyens” had everyone singing along. Three of Yannick Noah’s children, Joakim, Jenaye and Joalukas were in the stands to watch their dad.

Stunning exhibition matches

Spectators could head to different courts to watch exhibition matches played in one set. Richard Gasquet, Coco Gauff and Caroline Garcia, to name but a few, graced the clay on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Straight after the concert by Noah, the crowd was treated to a Legends Match in which Fabrice Santoro and Arnaud Clément faced Cédric Pioline and Mansour Bahrami. Meanwhile, the stands of Court Suzanne-Lenglen were fit to burst as Carlos Alcaraz and Stefanos Tsitsipas went head to head in their exhibition match.

Carlos Alcaraz & Novak Djokovic / Journée Yannick Noah©Clément Mahoudeau / FFT

Plenty of entertainment in the walkways

The array of tech-based entertainment on offer at the Tech Place proved a hit with fans. 280 videos were taken at the Smash Corner, 150 at the Volodalen balance test and 200 at the Umpire stand.

Children flocked to the Playground, an all-new fun activity area, in the Contemporary Gardens (Jardins contemporains) next to Court Simonne-Mathieu.

Lots of visitors also gave “Wheelchair tennis for all” a whirl. The walkways also kept families and friends around the grounds entertained, with stilt-walkers, jugglers, musicians, face-painters and more.

Tech Place, Journée Yannick Noah, Roland-Garros 2023©Pauline Ballet / FFT

A day in aid of others

The profits from this charity day, which this year reached over 200,000 euros, go towards the year-round financing of initiatives in FFT affiliated clubs, which include helping young people living in underprivileged neighbourhoods, tennis as an adapted sport, tennis for wellness, paratennis and actions to help the environment, made possible through the initiative Trophées des Actions and towards supporting the association Fête le Mur.

Journée Yannick Noah, Fête le Mur, Roland-Garros 2023@Johan Sonnet / FFT