In recognition of his accomplished and dedicated Davis Cup history, France’s Yannick Noah was honored today with the Davis Cup Award of Excellence, presented jointly by the International Tennis Hall of Fame (ITHF) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF). Noah, who competed for France in Davis Cup competition for 13 years and now serves as team captain, received the award at the Draw Ceremony for the 2017 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final in Lille, France, which will be contested between France and Belgium on November 24-26.
The ITF and the ITHF present the Davis Cup Award of Excellence at the final to an individual from the home team who has made a lasting impact on that nation's Davis Cup history and who represents the ideals and spirit of the Davis Cup competition.
“Participating in Davis Cup competition, as both a player and as a captain, has been one of the great privileges of my tennis career. It is the source of many special memories for me,” stated Noah. “I am honored to be recognized with this award, but, it has truly been my honor to represent France in the Davis Cup.”
A dedicated competitor, Noah competed in 22 ties for France between 1978 and 1990, compiling a record of 39–22 (26–15 in singles, and 13–7 in doubles). He was an integral part of France’s 1982 team that went to the final, falling to the United States.
After retiring as a player, Noah took on the role of captain, and in 1991 he led the French team to its first Davis Cup victory in 59 years, defeating a heavily favored U.S. team. In 1996, he captained another championship team for France, defeating Sweden in the final.
Noah also served as captain to the French Fed Cup team, and under his leadership in 1997, the team captured their first ever Fed Cup title.
Noah won the 1983 French Open title, and achieved a ranking of world No. 2. In recognition of his career success, he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005.
“Yannick has displayed immense pride and taken great care in representing France well over the years. He has instilled this same sense of responsibility in later generations of players as a captain. He very clearly embodies the spirit of Davis Cup, and we are pleased to be able to celebrate his accomplishments and contributions by presentation of the Davis Cup Award of Excellence,” commented ITHF CEO Todd Martin.
ITF President David Haggerty remarked, "Yannick has played a major role in France’s Davis Cup history for more than four decades. He has always exhibited great teamwork, dedication, and sportsmanship. He was a passionate player and is an inspiring captain. It is a pleasure to acknowledge Yannick’s lengthy and dedicated Davis Cup history with this award.”
Noah joins three countrymen as recipients of the Davis Cup Award of Excellence. Pierre Darmon won the award in 2002, and Henri Leconte and Guy Forget were joint recipients in 2014. Other past recipients of the annual honor have included Davis Cup legends such as Stan Smith of the United States, Guillermo Vilas of Argentina, and John Newcombe of Australia.