Win for tennis fans disgruntled by women grunting
Summary of story from The Independent, October 26, 2011
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) is to take steps to combat noise levels during women’s tennis matches.
Wimbledon has already called for action on the matter, as viewers complain in their droves about loud on court grunting and shrieking coming from female tennis players.
Stacey Allaster, chief executive of the WTA, revealed that young players are to be targeted, including those who attend Nick Bollettieri’s tennis academy in Florida.
The Academy has produced some of the game’s noisiest players, including Maria Sharapova and Monica Seles, an early exponent of grunting.
World number 1 Caroline Wozniacki – who is not a grunter – says: “I think there are some players who do it on purpose.”
“If you grunt really loudly, your opponent cannot hear the ball, cannot hear how you hit it,” she said. “It’s a little bit different because you think the grunt is so loud, you think the ball is coming fast and suddenly the ball just goes like this [slowly].”
“Grunting can definitely be a little bit disturbing, especially for the crowd. I’ve had a lot of people come up to me and say, ‘It’s not really nice. We always turn the volume off’. That’s not what you want to hear.”
The shrieks of ‘Queen of Scream’ Maria Sharapova have apparently been clocked at 101 decibels, just nine decibels quieter than a lions roar.
But at 109 decibels, the screams of Portuguese star Michelle Larcher de Brito are the loudest at just 11 decibels quieter than a chainsaw.