Sunday, September 03, 2006

Game, set and match

I read the funniest article the other day. It's an old piece by Martin Amis, "Tennis - The Women's Game", collected in his anthology "Visiting Nabokov". If you're a tennis fan, you'll get the humour. If you don't know your Sharapovas from your Pavlovas, trust me that it's very funny. Here's a morsel...

The contest [between Canadian number one, Helen Kalesi and Monica Seles] looks elegant but sounds barbaric. Helen is a 'grunter', and Monica is a 'whoofer', emitting a duosyllabic shriek with each contact of ball and racket. 'Uhh!' 'Ugh-eh!' 'Uhh!' 'Ugh-eh!'

Jimmy Connors started the grunting, with his legendary 'Hworf!' Then, as Clive James notes, Bjorn Borg responded with his own nordic variant: 'Hworjf!"

The next evening, under the lights, little Monica plays Chris Evert, who knows a thing or two about child prodigies, having traumatised them by the dozen year after year...Chris steps forward, sternly smiling, as straight and crisp as the pleats in her skirt, and shining with money dignity and hardened achievement. 'Mm,' says Chris as she strikes the ball (for Chris is no whoofer: more a gentle moaner). 'Mm.' 'Ugh-eh!' 'Mm.' 'Ugh-eh!'

1 comment:

puffybunny said...

This reminds of this episode of the morning show on Power98. Have a listen:

Available on this page: (MP3: "Tennis Grunts" courtesy of Denise & Sean!)