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.
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.
From the aforementioned Guardian article:
Larcher de Brito was beaten 7-6 7-6 by Italian Francesca Schiavone.
Yep, down in straight sets. But more importantly, could the young Portuguese lass seriously make it two sets without letting out the Hellbanshee?
Expecting to need industrial ear plugs, the fans who packed out court 12 to see the 16-year-old were disappointed at the start of the match with the new subdued version but finally got a taste of what all the fuss had been about in the second set.
The more she had to fight to stay in the match, the louder she got and the longer the cries of anguish lasted.
Okay, that sounds about right.
It’s interesting to note that at the French Open, fans generally disapproved of Larcher de Brito’s aural histrionics, to the point that they practically turned on her, leaving her in tears. Would the uptight, staid Wimbledon crowd, so steeped in tradition, also shun the teenager?
“She sounds like she’s dying,” giggled Lucy Clements, whose 17-year-old brother Joe added: “We are only here to hear her, we can do that from outside the court.”
You see? She’s loved! And famous! This is a good thing, tennis. After all, if ladygrunting were outlawed, this glorious piece of cinema (you’re damn right we’re linking it again) would have never been created, and we’d all be so much worse off: