It’s been called “poodle-in-heat/cat-being-strangled ejaculations“. It’s been likened to a “small dog being tortured“. The GUARDIAN referred to it as “sounds usually heard in a hospital maternity ward“. We’re referring, of course, to Gus Johnson. No no, we kid. We kid because we care.
(Our heroine, in happier times. Also, dude, she’s 16.)
We’re really referring to Michelle Larcher de Brito and her cacaphonous squeals on the tennis court, made world-famous during last month’s French Open. While she’s far from the only female player to grunt loudly during play, she’s certainly the most demonstrative, and the tennis world apparently took notice. During her match at Wimbledon, fans were treated to a much quieter Larcher de Brito, and you can imagine how that worked out for her.
We hope you’re happy, Monica Seles. Ever since you burst onto the scene nearly 20 years ago with your shrieks and grunts accompanying every swing, the game has been irrevocably changed. Now, seemingly every female tennis player, from the Williams Sisters to Maria Sharapova, feels the need to audibilize their effort in strange, loud ways.
(The Godmother of the Grunt herself.)
But with the new sensation that is 16-year-old Michelle Larcher de Brito and her “small dog being tortured” screams, the tennis world has seemingly had enough.
Have you been watching the French Open? No, of course you haven’t been watching it. But maybe you’ve been hearing it. Specifically, one match yesterday where one player’s grunts were so loud, she was warned by the umpire, felt the wrath of the crowd, and ended up in tears.
Grunting is normal in women’s tennis, if still a little jarring. But what Portuguese 16-year-old Michelle Larcher de Brito does isn’t “grunt.” “Shriek” is closer, but still not right. There’s no word in the English language for the poodle-in-heat/strangling-a-cat ejaculations from Larcher de Brito.
Video, but more importantly, audio, after the jump.