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The Tennis Players Of The Future Will Have To Cut Out The Screaming Or Face The “Grunt-O-Meter”

After years of listening to the guttural cries of the world’s top ranked tennis players reach incredibly loud heights, the governing bodies of the sport have had enough. A new plan calls for educational campaigns in youth programs to teach kids not to scream when they play, as well as the use of a “Hawk-Eye for noise” that will measure players’ on-court grunting.

In a meeting that took place last month featuring representatives from the four major tournaments, the International Tennis Federation and the Women’s Tennis Association players’ council, it was clear that everyone felt the same way: screaming has got to go. And though it can be argued that both men and women do their fair share of grunting, the women’s side has always taken the brunt of the criticism.

Here are the steps that all the parties agreed would need to be taken going forward:

• The development of a handheld device for umpires to objectively measure on-court grunting levels (though WTA CEO Stacey Allaster said she wouldn’t call it a “grunt-o-meter” per se).
• A new rule setting acceptable and non-acceptable noise levels based on acoustical data gathering and analysis.
• Education at large tennis academies, national development programs and at all levels of junior and lower-tier professional events.

It is apparently too late to save the tennis players of this generation — grunting is too much in their nature (and too helpful in concealing the sound of the ball hitting the racket) to penalize them for it now. So we look to the future and hope the next generation won’t feel the need to expel air loudly every time they unleash a forehand.

The question some are asking is: Is this a sexist reaction meant to single out women, or do tennis players need to just, like, shut up?

Here’s a video from a 2010 tournament match between Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki. Azarenka is channeling her inner Casper on these points, but both sides unleash screams that would make anybody who values their eardrums stop watching (via Business Insider):

If you watched that and, like former tennis great Martina Navratilova (who called the women players “louder and more abrasive”), found the grunting to be an unnecessary part of the players’ game, then you’re probably happy that these steps are being taken. Whether players like Azarenka (who said “Good luck with that” when asked about implementing the plan) and Maria Sharapova agree with you remains to be seen.

  • Tyrell Turner

    Fucking retarded,

  • PolishKoExperience

    It IS pretty ridiculous and unecessary. What’s the point of grunting/screaming anyway? It doesn’t add more power. As far as getting rid of it? I do find it entertaining, but that’s about it. I’d rather watch a tennis match than a round of Golf. If you want a place that’s quiet where you can read a book, go to a Golf tournament. If you want to hear Women “overdoing it” with their grunts, watch the hotties play Tennis…better then WNBA you’ve got to admit.

  • Lolopo1

    Considering how much money these people make, that fans have had enough of it and because there are plenty of champions out there that don’t make noise, it should be instituted now.  Part of their nature.  Please.  They need to exhibit sportsman like conduct.  Making obnoxious noises is hardly sportsman like.  Anything but. 

  • Lolopo1

    It is one thing to yell out after a point.  It is a whole other thing to fill a stadium with yelling on every swing of the racket.  Plus, there are times when the biggest offenders don’t make noise at all.  I read that Victoria Azarenka made some comment like “good luck with that”.  She needs to remember who pays to watch her play.  The noise making along with milking the 25 seconds between points (totally for the camera) need to end.  How many times did Chris Evert, Bjorn Borg, Steffi Graf and Roger Federer make disgusting noises and waste time?  It is all a bunch of diva  drap.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kimberly.nelson.52012 Kimberly Nelson

    I don’t mind some noise on the serve occasionally, but every single hit is getting ridiculous.  Conserve the power to your arms and not lose so much to the lungs please!

  • Gene

    I watched the last half of the women’s US Open today. Only well into the 3rd set did I turn on the sound. I couldn’t believe the noise coming from Azarenka. I’m sorry, but this is not grunting!
    Watching was far more enjoyable with the sound off, fwiw.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rayanne.parkertamayo Rayanne Parker Tamayo

    So the audience has to stay quiet; commentators stay quiet; the players grunt and moan! It’s distracting and ridiculous. They can train themselves to not do it.

  • Frank Booth

    These dumb cunts need to shut their goddamned dick holsters. It’s fucking annoying and I don’t even watch tennis.

  • http://twitter.com/Oishiimaru Sauron The Dark Lord

    That ugmo Azarenka is the worst- sounds like an utter retard. It’s so obvious it’s a ploy to put the other player off.

    Tennis nowadays is garbage in almost every respect.

  • sfs

    women sports=lame shit like grunting

  • Les Brown

    it’s not whether if helps the screaming player or not, but about the people who have to listen to it. I love tennis myself, but it’s just that annoying noise that makes me change the TV channel, hence reducing the number of women player fans, who would normally tune in, by one. Apparently I’m not the only one to feel this way. I’ll watch the men play because it’s not accompanied by screaming, and i’ll watch the woman play when there are no screamers playing, and that’s sad because i’m a patriot and would enjoys seeing our USA girls play. But the screaming I can’t listen to.

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