Loud screams of some women’s tennis players have been irritating their opponents, as well as a large portion of tennis fans, and the WTA chief Larry Scott has finally decided to consider that constant problem.
“There are rules in place,” said Scott. “There are hindrance rules. Chair umpires are empowered to issue warnings, point penalties if there is a feeling that it’s gamesmanship affecting play.
“But I don’t think we’re at that point of sort of changing the instructions to the chair umpires. It’s just being monitored a little bit more closely right now. I haven’t had players come to me in my six years as head of the WTA to say this is a competition issue. At least up ’til now, it has been more of an issue about the presentation of the sport, and it hasn’t really been a competition issue.”
Famous grunter herself, Victoria Azarenka, stood before all of those that can’t play without producing noise.
“People can do whatever they want but I hope they can respect all the players who grunt, which are about 70 percent of the whole tour,” said Azarenka, who has just reached the fourth round of Wimbledon by beating Sorana Cirstea.
“I have been doing it since I was 10 years old. I wasn’t really strong and that was what helped me to accelerate more, to put more power to the ball. I cannot change it, that’s what helps me to play. I have to keep going with the thing that helps me play.”
I have to say that I don’t find grunters annoying; they don’t distract me as a spectator. However, I have to use this opportunity to proclaim Michelle Larcher De Brito the queen of them all! (sources: ESPN, Reuters; photo: Ralf Reinecke)