As tennis players Frances Tiafoe and Mitchell Krueger squared off at the Sarasota Open on Tuesday night, a nearby couple was having sex – so loudly, in fact, that they interrupted the match.
“It’s so bizarre,” announcer Mike Cation said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “You guys know as broadcasters that you prepare for every scenario that you possibly can during a day, but it’s so out of context to have something like that happen.”
Initially, Cation thought someone was playing an adult video on a cell phone.
“It was so bizarre because I’m on the north side of the court, and the area where it was happening, if you will, the apartments, were about 30 yards behind the south side of the court, so I’m a little bit of a distance from it,” Cation said, setting the scene. “And everybody on my side, we really thought it was a phone going off. Everybody is looking around to see whose phone it is. Everybody at the south side of the court is looking at the apartments down the way.”
Emotional and physical reactions to the noise varied.
“You’ve got parents giving their kids earmuffs, other people are just embarrassed, and people who have had a couple of glasses of wine think it’s the greatest thing ever,” Cation said. “The guy who’s wining the match, Frances Tiafoe, (was) laughing. He’s the one who eventually yells out, ‘It can’t be that good’ at the couple. The guy who was losing the match, Mitchell Krueger, smacks a ball toward the apartments. (It was) an incredible 60 seconds.”
And it didn’t end there.
“About 30s seconds later, it was a little bit of silence,” Cation said, “and then about 30 seconds later, it ramped up again.”
The 19-year-old Tiafoe, one of the best young players in America, beat Krueger, 23, in straight sets (6-3, 6-2).
“(After the broadcast), I go talk to my co-workers, the cameramen, the producers, and one of them popped out of the production bus and said not only were the windows open; shades were open,” Cation said. “So apparently they not only wanted to be heard; they wanted to be watched. There is no doubt that they had to know that there’s a good crowd on hand, a few hundred people about 30 yards away. With tennis, there’s decorum and polite clapping. But if you’re 30 yards away from it, you know what’s happening. You know the amount of people that are out there.”