Time magazine and others report that officials at this year’s Wimbledon tournament might crack down on loud screams during play – possibly banning it.
With new attention brought to it Martina Navratilova’s call for grunting to be deemed cheating, the International Tennis Federation is poised to crack down.The ITF is considering broadening the measures that officials can take in penalizing repeat offenders such as Maria Sharapova. Umpires already can award a point against players if their grunting is deemed to have hindered their opponent. But now the ITF is weighing up whether to include “noise hindrance” in its code of conduct, according to Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper.
Under the new rule, persistent offenders could be defaulted from a match under a penalty scale which, at first, calls for the docking of points and then games. Sharapova is one of the worst grunters while several male players have also been criticized for the habit.
Here’s a quick list of the 4 worst screamers in tennis:
- Venus and Serena Williams have hit 90 decibels
- Monica Seles’ screech was measured at 93 decibels at Wimbledon in 1992.
- Maria Sharapova occasionally topping 100 decibels.
- Michelle Larcher de Brito – 109 decibels – a level slightly lower than a jet taking off
Apparently, some players find the screeching distracting. Here’s a quick video of Maria Sharapova and de Britoe having a fight of the grunting Queens.
Here’s a quick history of grunting in tennis:
1974: Grunting pioneer Jimmy Connors wins first Wimbledon title
1988: Ivan Lendl complains about Andre Agassi at US Open
1992: Monica Seles spoken to by officials at Wimbledon
2005: Maria Sharapova’s grunt reaches 101 decibels
2009: Michelle Larcher de Brito receives unofficial warning at Roland Garros
Do you think grunting should be banned in tennis or does it add to the game? I think it’s starting to become annoying. Even the New York Times agrees.