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Teenage star proud to be loud

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:35

The 16-year-old is prepared to risk being fined rather than tone down the noise levels which have caused such a stir in the world of tennis.

Ironically, Larcher De Brito voiced her stand on a day when her grunting would barely have registered on a decibel counter as she beat Klara Zakopalova 6-2 7-5 to progress to the second round. But while she kept the lid on the grunting and groaning which has been the talk of tennis she insisted: “Nobody can tell me to stop grunting.”

She added: “Tennis is an individual sport and I’m an individual player. If they have to fine me, go ahead, because I’d rather get fined than lose a match because I had to stop grunting.

“I’m just here for myself. I’m not here really to be quiet for anybody. I’m here to play. I’m here to win. That’s it. If people don’t like my grunting they can always leave.”

The Portuguese girl believes she has been unfairly criticised since Aravan Rezei, her opponent at last month’s French Open, complained to the umpire several times about her noise – prompting the crowd to boo Larcher De Brito when she left the court.

Martina Navratilova, Virginia Wade and Michael Stich have all joined the condemnation of women’s tennis grunters, which some experts have deemed to be close to cheating.

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