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Thai name tricky tongue twister? Not for umpire

By Paul Majendie

LONDON (Reuters) - LONDON, July 2 (Reuters) - For Australian tennis umpire James Tucker, the name Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul holds no fears.

All 19 letters rolled smoothly off the umpire's tongue at the start of the Thai teenager's Wimbledon boys' singles match against Frenchman Johan Sebastien on Tuesday.

Tucker smoothly negotiated the task, making the name sound like an express train leaving the station. No sign of any pre-match nerves, no need to reach for a cough lozenge to ease the syllables out.

But then rain stopped play after just two games at a drizzly and gloomy Wimbledon.

The reason Tucker was so calm? He had already chaired the lanky teenager in Australia and gave himself a quick pronunciation refresher course before launching smoothly into the linguistic challenge once more at Wimbledon.

The same could not be said for the scoreboard - it ran out of space after 12 letters and had no room for the full Trongcharoenchaikul in all its glory.

Playing at Wimbledon for the first time, Trongcharoenchaikul said he did not recall Tucker umpiring his match in Australia.

That was clearly meant as a compliment as the umpire from Brisbane had passed his linguistic test with flying colors.

"I could not remember," Trongcharoenchaikul said. "Everybody has done a good job pronouncing my name, even in the match yesterday and even in the qualies. I am proud of them," Trongcharoenchaikul said.

But surely it must be exhausting signing autographs for fans?

"No, no. I just sign my first name," Wishaya explained to Reuters, taking shelter from the rain when his match had been brought abruptly to a halt by persistent drizzle on court number four.

Asked if he might be tempted to change his name to Smith, the equable Trongcharoenchaikul said with a broad smile: "Let's see. Never know."

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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