Wimbledon girls are there to sell sex: former champion

June 21st, 2009 - 5:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Serena Williams London, June 21 (IANS) Women tennis players have reacted with fury after a leading sports commentator and former Wimbledon champion accused them of “selling sex”.
Michael Stich, an expert commentator with BBC Radio 5 Live and the 1991 Wimbledon champion, said the role of female tennis stars is as much about “selling sex” on court as it is about their sporting prowess.

The Mail on Sunday newspaper said Stich made the comment Saturday night during an argument over the loud grunting of many of the game’s top women.

The 40-year-old German said the noise detracted from the players’ “sex appeal”.

“Just play it back to the women. It sounds disgusting, ugly, unsexy!” he said.

When challenged that it was the women’s role to play the best tennis they could rather than look sexy, Stich stuck to his guns, telling the Mail on Sunday: “That’s what they sell.”

“They want to look good, they pay attention to their looks and everything.”

Harriet Foxwell of the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation, criticised Stich, saying: “Unfortunately, commentary about female tennis players isn’t always about their skill on court. Our wish is that rather than talking about what they are wearing or the noises they make, they are judged on their professional performance.”

But American tennis star Serena Williams told the paper: “Sex sells! It’s great for Angelina Jolie and it’s true across the board.”

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