The rule of the chair issues a velvety voice his call

Translation of the article by Jesus Jimenez, published on New York times8/9/22

Under 5-4 in the second set of her first round match at this year’s US Open, Venus Williams netted a direct winner on the goal line to take the game to 40-40. chair rule, Kader Noni, emitting a loud “demon,” rang out throughout Arhtur Ashe. Some onlookers laughed: others tried to imitate his deep baritone voice. Nouri, who has been a WTA member for more than a decade, is used to the comments. When he was 16, Norie called his girlfriend at his house and her father answered the phone, as she recalled during a recent interview in Bryant Park in Manhattan. The girl’s father handed the phone to his daughter, but the next day Noni’s girlfriend told him that his father didn’t think they were the same age. “for your voice“Noni reminds her that she said that.”So it all started“.

These days Noni, 46 years old FrenchHe has become well known among those who follow tennis closely, and even casual fans are drawn to his sonorous and melodic voice. This was said by Fabrice Choquet, vice president of competition and field operations for the WTA Nuri’s booming voice and unique style have made him beloved by players and fans alikeAmanda Gaston, a tennis fan from Zenia, Ohio, witnessed two matches that Noni refereed in August at the Western and Southern Open. He described Noni as “Tennis player Barry White“.”When he’s in the chair, I know right away that it’s himHappy GastonIt’s a really distinct and deep tone that you instantly recognizeCliff Jenkins of Cincinnati said he and a friend tried to imitate Noni when he was in the chair.He has a velvety baritone voice… plain, easy and full of richness“Happy Jenkins.

This praise of his bell worried Noni, who according to him would be known more by his voice than by his action.. “We always say that a good judge is someone we don’t hear aboutSaid NoniI’ve always wanted to be good and people talk more about being a good judgeThese days, as a rule since then golden badgeThe highest level for tennis officials, Noni has proven himself in the industry, and comments on his voice don’t bother him too much. “If they want to keep talking about my voice, I have no problem with thatSeveral meters above the pitch, in a secluded chair, he said, the referee keeps score and enforces the rules of the game, but the work also extends to calming the noisy crowd and regulating the player’s mood on the field. This is where a sound like Nouni’s is an instrument effective in what is believed to be one of the main keys to arbitration: communication.”If you don’t know how to sell the call, it won’t help you“, He said. “There is always this input pressure from the players. If they are not happy with your calls, they will go crazy. If the audience is not happy with your calls, they will go crazy“.

before being judged, Nouni’s first sporting job was at a tennis club at the age of nine, where he performed jobs like stringing rackets. Noni and his brother wanted to play tennis, but lessons and time on the court were too expensive for their mother, who raised them alone in the southern French city of Perpignan after Noni’s father died when he was two. “It wasn’t easy“, He said, “In order to play tennis, we had to work“. When Noni was 12 years old, the tournament organizer was looking for judges for a local competition, and Noni was asked if he wanted to work as a referee for the adult games. He agreed, not realizing that it would be his job for decades. “When you’re 12 and you’re dealing with adults, and they have to listen to you, that’s a thing cheerfulHappy Noni. For a while, refereeing matches in local tournaments was just a summer job. But when Noni was 16, he was invited to participate in the Paris National Championship matches. The tournament was special for Noni because he and the other teenage officers slept in Roland Garros complex, and allowed them to play on clay courts when official matches were not taking place. For Noni, who was living with his family in public housing, staying in the French Open House was an extraordinary experience. “We didn’t have much money“, He said, “For me, being at the French Open, even in just one summer, was great“.

Noni’s performance during that tournament led to that To be selected as a line captain at Roland Garros 1992. Since then, Noni has been a referee for dozens of major tournaments and other tournaments around the world, including the 2018 Wimbledon Women’s Final, where she was chair of the jury. Noni was too Head of the jury for the five women’s French Open finals, in 2007, 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2021. With so many memorable matches, it’s hard for Noni to pick one, but he always remembers the first time… the first time in New York at the US Open, the first time in the Olympics and the first Once at Wimbledon Central Stadium. “Those moments are amazingSaid NoniBeing in the center of the action is priceless“.

Work has negative aspects, such as existence scolded by players Sometimes, often in high-level games, especially in tournaments that don’t have auto-calls. During a match at the 2012 Australian Open, David Nalbandian He told me about “Keep quietAfter he calls John Eisner he acts as an ace, canceling a wrong call to the line judge. “PlayNoni told Nalbandian, trying to regain control of the match. The match was postponed when Nalbandian summoned the tournament supervisor. Noni’s invitation remained, and after losing the match, Nalbandian told reporters that Noni was ineligible to referee. Noni said that Heavy calls can be hard to make, but use them as learning experiences.Don’t think about it every day, but it’s somewhere; It’s part of you“, He said, “You can’t think of better calls“.

On the tour, Noni usually referees two matches a day during the first week of the tournament, and has other duties such as evaluating other referees. “The first week is work, work, work, work”, He said. But traveling the world for the tour gave him a chance to see and explore the sights (it was a trip to Central Park and Broadway was on his to-do list while in New York.) And the trip provided him, too. cities. “I’ve been in business for a while and now I have friends all over the world“Happy Noni. While the tour means several days of travel, Noni said so It’s not his plan to quit tennis early. You can’t do this job if you don’t like it“, He said, “impossible. You do not survive. I guess I’ll stop when I feel like it’s time to stop, and I won’t like it anymore“…when that time comes,” Noni joked, “maybe his voice can help him in a different career.”Maybe Disney will come to me and ask me to do some voice acting for them“.

Translation of Pellegrino Dell’Anno