In one of the most shocking — and noisy — upsets in recent memory, Michelle Larcher de Brito knocked off Maria Sharapova on Wednesday in Wimbledon's second round, 6-3, 6-4.
But it was neither the shock of Sharapova's loss nor the athleticism on display that drove the topic of conversation. Instead it was the hyperactive, ultrasonic screaming.
Both players shouted like they were being stabbed on every point. For players, is the grunting fair or foul? Opinions vary, but as a spectator it's painful to watch and takes away from the true skill of the players. Here, just listen to the final points:
As for the upset, Larcher de Brito is ranked 131st in the world. Sharapova was seeded third in the tournament and appeared to have a clear path at least to the finals, but it wasn't to be, as she was outplayed at every turn. Sharapova did slip several times on the Wimbledon grass, receiving treatment on the sidelines, and at one point appeared to indicate to the umpire that the court was "dangerous."
After the match, Sharapova offered a possible reason for her footing problems. "There's lot of grass that's been cut and not been swept up. So there's a lot of dead grass, so it's not been easy," Sharapova told the BBC. "It's a tough court to play on."
According to ESPN Stats & Info, this was Sharapova's third loss to a player ranked 100th or above in a Grand Slam, and the first since 2008. Along with Rafael Nadal's sudden defeat in the first round on Monday and Victoria Azarenka's withdrawal on Wednesday, this Wimbledon is quickly losing some of its marquee attractions.
-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-
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- Sports & Recreation
- Maria Sharapova
- Michelle Larcher de Brito