fo flashback: yannick and mary


Merci beaucoup. While hope has been dashed on the men’s side with Gael Monfils and a host of other players (Gilles Simon, Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to name a few) bowing out of the Roland Garros draw, tomorrow Marion Bartoli will take the court in a semifinal against Francesca Schiavone carrying her nation’s flag and the hope of a long-suffering people. Mary Pierce was the last homegrown hero to take this title back in 2000 (before her it was Francoise Durr in 1967), and Pierce — who had an even more topsy-turvy relationship with the French crowd (and stranger dad) than Bartoli — wasn’t necessary the apple of Paris’ eye. Pierce also reached the final in 1994 and 2005. TSF Vault: Mary Pierce

That title might belong to Yannick Noah, the Frenchman who was a one-Slam wonder with his stunning win at RG in 1983. He would reach just one other Slam semi in his career — at the 1990 Aussie Open. But as noted back in 2008, he’s beloved in France.

Checking in: Men’s draw | Women’s draw

PS from the GS. The French youngster that had potential champ Maria Sharapova 1-6 1-4 down in the second round, Caroline Garcia, survived a doozy in her second round match in the girls singles draw, beating Catalina Pella of Argentina 4-6 6-2 9-7. | More: Girl’s draw

(Images via the AP)

fashion focus: le coq sportif’s spring 2008 line

The rest of the line: We showed you Le Coq Sportif‘s Myth Shoe last week, and now here’s the rest of the Spring 2008 line, aka the first collection into the brand’s American relaunch.

The new brigade is headed by former adidas exec Tim McCool (CEO), Kip Meyer (CFO), and Patrick Ouyi (Marketing & Communications).

The arsenal: Clothing and footwear for the spring will come in three lines: Sport Chic, Retro Chic and Tennis…

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The Sport Chic line has a few fun details — silk, cashmere, linen, and cotton enhanced with pleats, wood buttons, etc.

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Retro Chic was Inspired by the 80’s — patch embroidery: an oversized rooster logo, and a bright palette.

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The Yannick Noah polos came from the Frenchman’s historic achievements in the 80s. Clockwise, from top left: the 1986 Roll Polo, $59.99; the 1982 Porquerolles Polo, $59.99; another retro shirt; and a Tie-Dye version of the Roll Polo, $59.99.

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There are some other tennis looks.

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Accessories: The “Noah Club 1983” gets a reissue — half cup sole, expanded rubber midsole, and classic leather tennis shoe. Also for sale is a modern interpretation of the “Noah Club Prestige”. And a tennis accessories collection these days couldn’t be complete without a racquet bag.

short balls: an american young'un, some french politics, and a belgian study

America’s future: With all this recent buzz surrounding Sam Querrey and Vania King, let’s not forget that not too long ago, we couldn’t stop talking about Donald Young. ESPN’s Bonnie DeSimone tells us what he’s been up to.

Political endorsements de rigueur: First Martina Navratilova, then Billie Jean King. Now, it’s Yannick Noah’s turn. Fresh from celebrating his son’s team’s victory over Ohio State, Yannick Noah jumps on the endorsement bandwagon for an upcoming presidential election in France. (via BBC News)

Some French trivia: In case you were wondering, Nicolas Escude‘s brother plays professional soccer. (via UEFA.com)

For those who don’t fear statistical data: A reassuring study published in the latest issue of the Journal of Sports Economics concludes that female tennis players don’t play any worse when the odds are against them to win (e.g., because of a lower ranking, or a bad head-to-head record). Makes sense. In fact, the women are likely playing better than usual, since they have nothing to lose.

And if you want even more reading: Consider today’s issue of Court Coverage, and an all-video post from Off the Baseline.

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short balls: fed cup tix, the noahs

The west coast is definitely jealous: Both Venus and Serena have commited to playing the Family Circle Cup at the end of this month, and are also playing the Fed Cup Quarterfinal tie between the U.S. and Belgium will be in Delray Beach next month. Buy your tickets through Ticketmaster. (via USTA)

March Madness: Joakim Noah, the son of Yannick Noah, is in the national limelight again this week, as he and his Gators teammates try to repeat last year’s NCAA championships surprise. Joakim, on being defending champions: “Last year, anything we did, people were happy. This year, people aren’t happy (with us) just winning basketball games. To me, that was disappointing.” (via 2theadvocate.com)

Yannick Noah gay?: Did anything ever come of the Cameroonian papers trying to out Yannick? Is he actually gay? (via Behind The Mask)