“It can’t be that good,” player shouts at amorous couple.
By Doug Fernandes | Sarasota Herald-Tribune
MANATEE COUNTY — There’s love at every tennis match, but not the kind spectators were expecting Tuesday night during the Sarasota Open.
The amorous doubles team, grunting and groaning enough to make even Monica Seles blush, couldn’t be told to get a room.
They already had one, inside a condo located about 200 feet from the court at James T. Driscoll Stadium on which Americans Frances Tiafoe and Mitchell Krueger were attempting to play a first-round match without being subjected to a case of, you know, tennis interruptus.
An audible one.
“Yeah, because it’s quiet while you’re playing, obviously. You could hear a pin drop and it was, yeah, interesting,” said Open director Tony Driscoll.
Taifoe and Krueger played along when sounds of the “playing along” from an open window became a distraction.
Everyone did, including announcer Mike Cation on the Challenger Tour livestream broadcast, who mistakenly said a phone was going off in the stands. He then attempted to clarify, calling the sounds coming from the cell consistent with those of an “adult video.”
Krueger started the player participation portion of the Sarasota Wish-The-Window-Wasn’t-Open by swatting a ball — “INCOMING!” — in the direction of the dynamic duo. When that failed to put a sock in it, the 19-year-old Taifoe turned toward the shameless love makers and shouted, “It can’t be that good.”
Even if your typical 19-year-old wouldn’t know “good” from “meh,” it served to restore some semblance of dignity to the proceedings. At least it gave some of the spectators who weren’t chuckling a chance to remove the hands covering their ears.
“It was light-hearted and then the players got involved in it, making comments,” Driscoll said, “so it became very light-hearted, so it was taken in a good way.”
It continued afterwards, with Cation tweeting it sounded like “you guys had a good time.” Krueger tweeted he wondered if the incident would make him “viral.” Tiafoe responded that the two went viral a “long time ago.”
The incident has given Driscoll and his tournament more publicity than could be had through a thousand appearances of Roger Federer. He’s gotten emails from countries in Europe, as well as all the tennis federations and outlets.
“Everybody,” Driscoll said. He’s busy running the tournament, so he’s having his staff handle media interested in the Sarasota remake of “Rear Window.”
The whole sordid mess took less than a minute, but for those interested in what the racket’s all about, go to sarasotaopen.com, then follow the “live stream” and “archive” links.
Don’t worry. Except for the legs of tennis players in shorts, there isn’t any nudity.
“It’s only public because the players got involved,” Driscoll said. “We don’t solicit those actions and we don’t want that, but it’s also a part of the natural surroundings.”
Yeah, sorta like “Naked and Afraid,” minus the fear. Years ago we had Pee Wee in the movie theater. Now, the randy couple in the condo.
Because as everyone knows, love means never having to say … “PIPE DOWN!”