Why are they famous? Mary Pierce

Main claim: It's Wimbledon, so there's lots of tedious tennis played. Our screens will boast a green-and-white hush interspersed by coughs and overhead planes for the entire fortnight. So, who gives a toss about which one bangs a ball around the best? The object of interest is, in fact, the No 9 seed. We're not concerned with Mary Pierce because she's the greatest women's tennis play (she's not). No, we all cheer up when 22-year-old Mary struts on screen, ponytail rearing in the wind of her own commotion, because she wears silly dresses, makes silly comments, has a wiggly, bottom-gyrating, look-at-me walk, and then wears even sillier dresses. Yes, Mary favours what appear to be black, rubber, bathing suits with stripy skirtlets in a world of crisp whites. Dubbed "Mistress Shallow", the Mandy Smith of the professional circuit is royal, low-brow fun.

Appearance: Sadistic junior hockey mistress at a boys' grammar school ball. Leni Riefenstahl protagonist. Candia McWilliam (glamour novelist) meets Zodiac (striding Gladiator).

Girl Power: In the era of muscly old dykes with iron-curtain names, the press had no choice but to get into a pretend lather about Gabriela Sabatini. This was replaced by the soporific limbo of Sanchez Vicario, Martinez, Huber etc. Seles was good value for off-court poses, giggles and grunts, but she was stabbed. Now, thank the Lord, there are some glamour girls pouting up the rankings to dampen our yawns: beaming infant prodigies, black Americans with beaded hair and Russians in pigtails. But Pierce, with her problem father (see below), her rumoured liaison with Seal, and but one measly Grand Slam title to her name, is top soap queen.

Sins of the Father: Too numerous to mention. Jim Pierce went for verbal haranguing and physical mistreatment to mould his little princess into a murderous ball-bashing machine. He is now forbidden from the court. See also: the father of Steffi Graf, imprisoned on a charge of tax evasion, and the mother of number one seed Martina Hingis, who named her poor prodigy after a great tennis champion, pre-empting the careers officer's talk by 17 years.

Fame Prospects: Pierce needs to win the odd tournament. Alternatively, she could develop an orgasmic groan instead of a Seles-style grunt. Or she could set up a PR company with Liz Hurley and Caprice Bourret, her only rivals in the fame-and-frocks equation.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

    £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

    Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

    £28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

    Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

    £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

    £18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower