Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pipe Down, Girls!

Victoria Azarenka - Loud Grunter!
Wimbledon 2011: grunting tennis players are spoiling the game
Exclusive: Female tennis players who grunt too loudly are putting off their opponents and spoiling the game for the millions of spectators, the head of Wimbledon says.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Ian Ritchie admitted tournament officials were becoming increasingly uneasy about the practice.

As the Championships celebrate its 125th anniversary this year Mr Ritchie, the chief executive of the All England Lawn and Tennis Club (AELTC), said fans were also becoming frustrated with loud players who they believe are spoiling the game. He blamed younger players, whom he said suffered from an “education problem” about the issue.
Maria Sharapova - Greatest Grunter!

On the first day of the SW19 championships, Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, a player often criticised for her wails, edged towards record noise levels as she made her debut on Court No 2.  Noise machines recorded her reach a level of 95 decibels as she shrieked her way through the first round match against Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova.
However, the record for the finest female grunt on record goes to Maria Sharapova, who hit a bone-rattling 105 decibels:

The loudest known grunt came from Maria Sharapova, who sent the sound monitor into new realms with a recording of 105 decibels in 2009.

Mr Ritchie added: “I think there is an education problem with younger players. And certainly my postbag, if you say 'what do you get most letters about’, I would say that grunting is high up.
Maria: Not Grunting here.
Of course, the women are grunting to focus their strength, and stiffen their upper body to help deliver the strike to the ball.  I learned a similar technique in Tae Kwan Do, where we learned to make a similar vocalization when striking.  It really works.  It certainly isn't unnatural, like say steroids, and I've never heard the men tennis players being taken to task for it.

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