Tennis Grunts Face Ban

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It used to be that someone was said to grunt like a pig. Well, that was until “grunting” became a phenomenon in the sport of tennis. Top seed Maria Sharapova is not just the number one female player, but she also ranks as the loudest “grunter” in tennis with decibels as high as 101 – the equivalent of a small plane.

This grunting — which for many years has been a hot issue, especially among long-time tennis fans who say it’s too barbarous for the sport — could soon be a thing of the past. The Women’s Tennis Association, the International Tennis Federation and all four major tournaments are proposing a new handheld device for umpires to measure on-court grunting levels. The response to this has created as much noise at the grunting itself.

Some fans and players were quick to call the suggestion ridiculous, but the WTA emailed a statement to The Takeaway standing by their previous recommendation:

The WTA, ITF, and Grand Slams aim to drive excessive grunting out of the game, while ensuring that we do not drive our current generation of players — who were taught to play this way — out of the game. This is a start of a sport-wide plan responsibly dealing with the issue through player education and objective rule changes.

Emily Hardan is a recent graduate of Syracuse University who just began playing professional tennis. Amanda Augustus is the head women’s tennis coach at UC Berkeley.


Amanda Augustus and Emily Hardan

Produced by:

Joe Hernandez and Maquita Peters

Comments [7]

Dave from Melbourne

I can't understand why you would want to watch womens tennis in the first place? BORING!!!!!

Jan. 27 2013 12:52 AM
Russ from Arizona

I have quit watching women's tennis a long time ago since the senseless screeching began. Martina Navratilova was right the first time she played Monica Seles and complained that it was cheating. It is not racist to ban grunting. The Williams brothers did not screech at the beginning of their career,they picked it up later to help distract their opponents. If you watch Sharapova's first Wimbledon win, she did not screech then. Unfortunately it is creeping into the men's game too. I wholeheartedly support a ban on all of this low class grunting and screeching.

Dec. 12 2012 11:35 AM
sincere from texas

next there are not going to be able to breath next. i think its a setup to get serena and her sister a hadicap so the others can compete and win. racist

Oct. 01 2012 09:11 AM
Scott from Desk

Yes, we should ban breathing, that bothers me. Banning things always stops what annoys us snd what annoys us is ALWAYS the same, Human rights Schuman Rights!

Oct. 01 2012 08:37 AM
AG Starling

Well get ready, Serena and Azarenka will be going at it. What do you suppose Elizabeth Bennet would say about such an exhibition? Check out the hilarious video on youtube. The women grunt but it's McEnroe that has the final say.

Jul. 04 2012 11:37 PM

I understand that this is an old issue that comes up every once in a while since Monica Seles started 'grunting.' More recently, as the decibels get higher, players are not grunting but 'shrieking.' Grunts don't register very high on a decibel meter. Just say the word shriek out loud. Does it not sound like Maria Sharapova?
Celeste did mention the this is 'taught'. Yes an no. What IS taught, in some sports and some Martial Arts, is to exhale deeply as you strike.
(The body is thought to be strongest at that point.)There can be a corresponding sound, but it's not required.

Jun. 27 2012 01:05 PM

All the young players can move to golf and leave tennis to mature ladies in long skirts and big hats. Those ladies won't want to hear themselves grunt.

Jun. 27 2012 10:07 AM

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