Jun 19 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EAR-SPLITTING Michelle Larcher de Brito has pleaded with British tennis fans not to boo her 109 decibel war cries at Wimbledon next week.
The Portuguese youngster caused a storm at the French Open when Aravane Rezai complained to the umpire about the noise generated by de Brito.
But at the Liverpool International yesterday, Michelle admitted she didnít know what all the fuss was about.
ďIt was different at Paris because I was playing against a French player,Ē she said. ďI really hope the English crowd respects me as a player and not just some annoying little 16-year-old.
ďIím not trying to be a nuisance or anything.
ďI hope they can understand that Iím just trying to become the number one player in the world. Iím trying to become a good tennis player, not just screaming my head off!
ďIíve been on court for two-and-a-half years now and itís never been an issue before. Iíve been on TV, Iíve played live matches and no-oneís ever complained before.
ďIím not the first one to shout on court. Weíve had Monica (Seles), Sharapova, Azarenka. Iím not the only one who does it. Maybe Iím just a little bit louder than them. Iím not the only one.Ē
The Calderstones Park crowd wouldnít even have known that Larcher de Brito was playing yesterday.
Parisian tennis fans complained that they could hear Portuguese screamer three courts away at Roland Garros.
With her rain interrupted clash with Canadian Eugenie Bouchard being contested on one of the outside courts, barely a murmur filtered through to the Centre Court as de Brito finished off a comfortable 8-2 triumph.
ďI do it all the time,Ē she shrugged afterwards. ďIíve won matches and lost matches doing it. Iíve lost 6-0 6-2 but Iíve still been grunting.
ďGrunting is something I always do. I do it from the beginning of every match Ė winning or losing. Itís not tactical or anything. Itís just a tennis thing.