22 year old German tennis player Sarah Gronert was born intersex, had surgery to correct her ambiguous genitalia, and identifies as and was raised female.
Should be an open an shut case in terms of her gender identity, correct?
Not when you're playing professional tennis and you have people like Schlomo Tzoref ignorantly asserting she has an unfair advantage by dint of her intersex status.
"This is not a woman, it's a man. She does not have the power of a woman and no woman has such a technique."
Tzoref's comments have the strong whiff of sour grapes. They came in the wake of Gronert serving 20 aces to beat down Julia Glushko, one of the tour players he coaches in the quarterfinals of a tournament Gronert went on to win.
Gronert is making rapid progress climbing up in the world tennis rankings. She's currently as of this writing ranked a career high 555th in the world. She has played in 9 tournaments over the last three years, won two of them, but has yet to win a major.
There is growing unrest among some people in tennis who claim her intersex birth status may give her an edge over other cisgender female players. Under WTA Tour rules, if there is "any question as to the eligibility" of a player, the WTA has the right to "require a player to submit to gender verification to determine sexual status".
Gronert has also been subjected to cruel and derogatory comments similar to Tzoref's to the point that she nearly quit playing the sport.
Despite a WTA spokeperson admitting that he wasn't directly aware of any complaint being filed against Gronert by other players or coaches, her case was recently reviewed by a Women's Tennis Association Tour medical delegate to make sure that she satisfied all the requirements to compete in the women's game.
The delegate concluded that there was "sufficient independent and verifiable evidence" to show that Gronert was eligible to play women's tennis. The positive ruling means that Gronert is eligible to compete in any tennis event that her rankings and wild cards allow her to play in.
"The Tour's gender determination rule is similar to the International Olympic Committee's rule, and under this rule, Gronert is allowed to play Tour events as a female," a spokesman said.
That affirmative gender determination also clears Gronert to play in International Tennis Federation tour events as well.
An ITF spokeswoman said that like the WTA, the governing body had never received any formal inquiry or complaint about Gronert's eligibility.
"Sarah Gronert is legally and biologically a woman," the spokeswoman said, "and as such perfectly entitled to compete in ITF Pro Circuit events and, at some point if her ranking warrants it, in WTA Tour events."
Yo Schlomo, Sarah can play, so deal with it. While you're at it, deal with your intersexphobic behavior as well.