Portuguese 16-year-old Michelle Larcher de Brito and France’s Aravane Rezai traded insults on Friday after they clashed on court over the teenager’s ear-splitting screaming.
Rezai won their bad-tempered third round clash 7-6 (7/3), 6-2, but the tie was overshadowed by the Frenchwoman complaining to the chair umpire and then the tournament referee over her opponent’s deafening noise levels.
Rezai said the sounds were “unpleasant” while Larcher de Brito, who turned 16 in January and was playing in her first Grand Slam, accused the French player of deliberately making an issue out of it.
Larcher de Brito left the Philippe Chatrier Court accompanied by boos and jeers from the partisan French crowd.
The teenager said Rezai is the only player to have complained officially over the noise levels.
“She’s actually the first one. I guess that was a bit of her tactic to throw me off a little bit. I played her last time in Miami and she did the same thing,” said Larcher de Brito.
“When she did that, the crowd was on her side. Everybody supported her statement to the umpire. It threw me off a little bit, but I guess she has to find a way to win.
Rezai, six years her opponent’s senior, insisted she was right to complain and hit back at the Portuguese starlet, the youngest player in the tournament.
“She really shouts loud. Maybe it’s the way she tries to impress the opponent, but it really did upset me because it was really unpleasant,” said Rezai.
“I said (to the umpire) ‘she’s shouting too loud. There’s a limit. You can’t really shout that way. She (Larcher de Brito) said, ‘Sharapova has never been told that she was shouting too loud’.”
Rezai added that she had even decided to adopt the same tactic and increase her own decibel count to try and match the Portuguese girl’s.