Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mating calls between the lines...

A 16-YEAR-OLD Portuguese tennis player tipped as a future great, Michelle Larcher de Brito, emits a wail while hitting shots that seems to last longer than it takes the ball to reach the other side of the net. Sometimes her moans are loud enough to be heard three courts away.

Her decibel level has not yet been officially recorded but she was so noisy during the third round of the French Open last month that her opponent, Ara-vane Rezaï of France, complained to the umpire.

Mohammed el-Jennati, the Moroccan official, issued an unofficial warning. Larcher de Brito continued her shrieking and Rezaï made further complaints, leading to a Grand Slam supervisor attending the court.

No further action was taken and Rezaï eventually won 7-6, 6-2. Larcher de Brito, who has been handed a wild card for Wimbledon, was booed off the court.
I've always hated the "grunters." Monica Seles was always the greatest offender in that regard. This gut born womp of a moan would follow every single shot (even volleys, which proved it was more habit as opposed to strenuous exercise). The Williams sisters do it as well with just as much enthusiasm. Quite frankly, it's annoying (mostly for the crowd). Their opponents should not even have it register if they are concentrating sufficiently.

I find the whole concept of trying to outlaw grunting on the tennis court amusing, however. You could say that the very act isn't very feminine. However, having spent some of my younger days on the national circuit in the US, I can tell you that the feminine players are few and far between (in the women's draw, that is).