Has Grunting, Shrieking and Wailing On-Court Gotten Out of Hand? How About Your Game?
Maria Sharapova is commonly referred to as "Shriekapova" by bloggers world wide. Grunting, shrieking and even wailing as was the case with Michelle Larcher de Brito is making headlines. Larcher de Brito was warned at the French Open last month about her distracting noise-making bringing the topic to the forefront.
Exhaling while hitting has long been considered a good relaxation technique in tennis but has it gotten out of hand with the added sound? The L.A. Times reports today that Maria has been recorded at 101 decibels. It's not just the women either. Rafa Nadal grunts too although not quite as loudly.
Nick Bollettieri and Martina Navratilova are two prominent industry reps who agree the noise has gotten out of hand, distracting for opponents and unpleasant for fans. Wimbledon representatives have indicated that they will impose a crackdown on grunters and the ITF is considering new rules and penalties concerning noise hinderences. We'll see how it plays out.
Are you a grunter? I hear it on junior tournament courts although never as loud as at the pro level. Would it be tough to take it out of your game?