Monday, June 20, 2011

GUEST POST: Amanmuradova vs. the Banshees

Today I received the email below from a new reader. Other than his dastardly comments against my darling Mary Carillo, there's a lot in his rant that gave me pause. What do you think? Should players be fined for screeching? Vote in the poll below.


Dear The Tennis Chick,

I came across your page while searching for information on the rather large human Akgul with the equally large last name, after seeing her via ESPN3 this morning.  Its not often you see another female tennis player make Venus Williams look diminutive. 

When I happened to tune into the match a little late and first caught a rear-view glimpse of her serving to Venus, the possibility did indeed occur to me that Wimbledon must have put together a Riggs/King type exhibition, what with Akgul's long tennis shorts and masculine presence.  At that point, I couldn't see her face, although I'm not sure that would've helped confirm her gender.  Facially, she reminds me of Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks, and he's a pleasant enough looking fellow.   Honestly, I couldn't care less that she isn't a ravishing beauty, but I would've loved to see her whup Venus' yellow-bloomer-covered ass, and for one reason only:  Venus is another one of your banshees.  Screech-city.

The various noises have ruined my enjoyment of watching tennis, and sometimes, even playing it.  It's absurd.  It's rude.  It's annoying.  And unnecessary.  Sampras and Federer are proof positive that you don't have to yelp, screech, grunt, or moan to be a great player.  If I remember correctly, Evert, Navratilova, and Graf rarely if ever made these offensive noises either. 

Now please put me on record as saying that Monica Seles didn't deserve to get stabbed, because I don't want the next bit to sound like a lunatic's ramblings.  However, it's just barely possible that the crazed Graf fan/cretin who attacked Seles did so because he couldn't stand to listen to her anymore.

Sharapova is a cheater.  If you watch closely, when she's in a tight spot, she'll scream well after she has struck her own shot and instead just as her opponent is about to hit hers.  I've seen the other girl flinch many times in that situation and blow her shot.  Hell, people in another county probably flinch at that terrible sound.  The Williams sisters also use the same tactic.  It's cheating. 

In the tennis league I belong to, there's a rule:  if a grunter, screecher, or moaner shows up to play you and won't be quiet when asked, you can default him or her for unsportsmanlike conduct.  Plus, the accepted practice is try to drill them in the forehead with the biggest serve you can muster to shut them up.  Luckily, there isn't much of it going on, because the league doesn't tolerate it.

And that is exactly what the governing bodies of the men's and women's professional leagues should do:  Stop tolerating it.  Put some decorum back in the game.  Cut out the noises, the spitting, the one-nostril-nose-blowing (Agassi), the butt-picking-and-immediate-finger-sniffing (Nadal), and any other offensive behavior.  The inmates are running the tennis asylum, and they're ruining it. 

For years now I've been forced to watch televised tennis with the sound off and with my stereo on instead, which is okay with me because I'd generally rather listen to any kind of music than Mary Carillo.  Most of my friends do the same.  However, there are times when listening to commentary from one of the McEnroes or Cliff Drysdale would be nice.  But I can't do it!  You'd think the advertisers and sponsors would realize that a lot of viewers aren't hearing their commercials because the sound is turned down.  You'd think that they'd want to change that by exerting pressure on the ATP and WTA and whomever else to get a clue and make watching tennis an enjoyable experience again... 

All I can say is, there must be some really weak individuals running those organizations.   

Not surprisingly, the noises and unseemly behavior appear to be getting worse.  Probably just a sign of the further disintegration of society in general.

Oh well.  I guess I'll just start watching more Ultimate Fighting instead of tennis----at least when they grunt it's generally because their opponent just kicked the hell out of them or broke one of their limbs...

Thanks for the opportunity to rant.  Keep up the good work!

David Garner
Las Vegas 


TennisAce said...

As someone who is a league player myself I have tried to grunt or screech while hitting my awesome forehand. I have never been able to do it as most of my concentration is focused more on breathing and keeping my feet in the right place and trying to ensure that I actually hit my awesome forehand or my non-existent forehand. That being said, I think a lot of the commentary about grunting comes mostly from the commentators about the women. I really appreciate that the author of this letter actually included the men, whose grunting I find totally disgusting.

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