A catch-cry made famous by the footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has caused confusion and a degree of annoyance among tennis players and on-lookers alike, with shouts of “siuuu” heard from the stands at this year’s Australian Open.
The cheer that sounds like a boo was omnipresent during the opening two days of play at Melbourne Park, leaving some players uncertain about their popularity with the often boisterous Open crowds.
Andy Murray, in an on-court interview following his epic five-set win over Nikoloz Basilashvili on Tuesday, was at one point interrupted by the noise. “Painful stuff … those guys,” the Scot said.
But he later said: “Initially, I thought it was [jeering], because there were some people booing during my practice yesterday. I have no idea what for, so originally that’s what I thought it was,” he said.
“But then after a few times it was like, no, they’re doing that, I think it’s like ‘siuuu’ or something that Ronaldo does when he scores. And, yeah, it was incredibly irritating.”
The cry has been made famous by Manchester United forward Ronaldo, who started using it along with his trademark goal celebration when at Real Madrid. It comes from the Spanish “si” for “yes”, although the five-times Ballon d’Or winner says he doesn’t know why he started to do it, but it just came to him “naturally”.
Raucous crowds are not uncommon at Melbourne Park, especially in the evening session and on the usually partisan John Cain Arena, where home favourite Nick Kyrgios opened his campaign on Tuesday night.
“Siuuu” was again heard during the Australian’s straight-set win over Liam Broady, although Kyrgios appeared to be more aware of the origins of the shouts than Murray initially appeared.
“I wasn’t getting booed. That’s not getting booed,” Kyrgios said. “They actually weren’t saying ‘boo’.
“I can’t believe they did it so much. They were doing some Ronaldo thing … Ronaldo does it every time he scores. I thought they were going to do it for like 10 minutes [but] they did it for two-and-a-half hours, like every point. It was a zoo out there.”
Broady, who said he found the overall experience of a night match in front of a partisan crowd on John Cain Arena “absolutely awful”, seemed to think he was booed onto court before the clash.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever walked onto a tennis court and been booed, which for me was a crazy experience,” the world No 128 said.
“You get sledged from the sides like you can’t believe, [which] they don’t pick up on TV.”