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.
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.
The LONDON DAILY MAIL says the crackdown is on:
As it stands players can have a point awarded against them if the umpire feels they have hindered an opponent.
However new proposals to make noise hindrance part of the International Tennis Federation’s code of conduct, could mean grunters could potentially forfeit a whole game or match.
C’mon, you’re just removing the competitiveness from the game, people! Guys yell in basketball, too. Granted, it’s usually if they’re fouled as they go to the bucket; if Stephen Curry screamed every time he uncorked a three-pointer, yes, that would be more than a little weird.
(Um, Elena Dementieva… what the hell was that?)
And okay, we suppose you have a point that nobody grunts like that in baseball or softball either. Perhaps it’s completely unique to the sport of tennis and thus an artificial and disposable aspect of behavior. Perhaps.
But if you deny us this, good sirs and mesdames of the ITF, you deny us the sublime pleasure of polite old commentators having to explain the situation to viewers. It’s an uncomfortable distraction, and those are by definition very, very funny.
You take this from us at your own peril.