The gruntometers will be out again at Wimbledon next month. If spectators at the All England Club were left spluttering over their Pimm's when they first heard the shrieks and grunts of Monica Seles and Maria Sharapova, just wait until Michelle Larcher de Brito arrives in SW19. The 16-year-old Portuguese played her first match on the main show court at the French Open yesterday and infuriated her opponent and the crowd with her screaming.
Aravane Rezai won 7-6, 6-2, but only after complaining several times to the umpire and demanding to see the Grand Slam supervisor during an ill-tempered third-round encounter.
Larcher de Brito makes a bloodcurdling scream on almost every stroke. She also greets some of her opponents' mistakes with shrieks and pumps her fist in celebration of winners. After being whistled through the match, she was booed off court after offering her French opponent only the most cursory of handshakes.
Rezai now plays Dinara Safina, who beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-0, 6-2. The quarter-finals could feature a rematch of last year's final between Safina and Ana Ivanovic, who beat Iveta Benesova 6-0, 6-2. Venus Williams went out in the third round for the fourth time in five years when she lost 6-0, 6-4 to Agnes Szavay.