German Female Tennis Pro, Born a Hermaphrodite, Under Scrutiny


Posted on March 14, 2009

Sarah Gronert, a 22-year-old pro from Germany, finds herself under scrutiny from her opponents and their coaches, who believe that a unique gender issue from birth should make her ineligible for the woman's tour.

Three years ago, those issues almost caused Gronert, ranked No. 619 in the world, to abandon her career. Though she has since returned to competitive tennis, the dialogue that continues to surround her relates not to her ability, but to her biology.

Gronert was born with male and female genitalia. After undergoing surgery, she's now medically certified as a woman. That's not good enough for some, though.

"There is no girl who can hit serves like that, not even Venus Williams," said Schlomo Tzoref, the coach of Julia Glushko, who Gronert recently beat on her way to winning the Raanana tournament in Israel in early March. "When I heard her story, I was in shock. I don't know if it's fair that she can compete or not. She does have an advantage, but if this is what the WTA have decided, they probably know best. If she begins to play continuously, within six months she will be within the Top 50." Tennis.Fanhouse.com (3/13).
Rankings
ATP - Sep 29 WTA - Sep 29
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Simona Halep
3 Roger Federer3 Petra Kvitova
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Maria Sharapova
5 David Ferrer5 Na Li
6 Tomas Berdych6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Kei Nishikori7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Milos Raonic8 Caroline Wozniacki
9 Marin Cilic9 Ana Ivanovic
10 Grigor Dimitrov10 Angelique Kerber
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