Chances are if you’re watching Wimbledon, you’ve become annoyed at the amount of grunting by several top women players. It has gotten to the point where I really can’t watch anymore. The repeated grunts are just too jarring.
Obviously, I’m not the only one who feels this way. ESPN’s Outside the Lines (Sunday, 9 a.m.) will examine the issue. Check out this preview if you need to be reminded why it is a huge problem for women’s tennis.
Here’s more from ESPN:
The world’s two top women’s players, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka, have become well known for something completely different than their tennis: they are among the loudest grunters in the sport, each letting out high-pitched shrieks on nearly every stroke. Hall-of-Famer Martina Navratilova says fans complain to her constantly about the noise and now, for the first time, the Women’s Tennis Association says it’s going to take action. Sunday, Outside the Lines interviews Navratilova, who first complained about the issue at Wimbledon 20 years ago, and reports on how the new policy will affect current and future players. Kelly Naqi reports.
“It’s hurting the game. It’s not just the players that are affected, it’s the fans. We’re losing fans. I cannot tell you how many times people come up to me and say, ‘Can you do something about the grunting? It’s driving me crazy.’” – Martina Navratilova, winner of 18 Grand Slam singles titles
“If you made an ultimatum to (current pro players to) stop it now, not a squeak, I believe that would hurt them, because it takes time to break a habit.” – Nick Bollettieri, founder of IMG Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Fla. and former coach of Monica Seles, Venus & Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova
“We aim, hopefully, to ultimately have a noise meter that would be just for the chair umpire, and if the noise level got too high, it would set that off. So we want to use science as a way to help us define what that noise level should be, and then they will have an objective rule that we can implement.” – Stacey Allaster, CEO, Women’s Tennis Association.