Grunting Female Tennis Players, Stop!

by The Insider on June 24, 2009 · 31 comments

in WTA News

There has been a lot of talk about grunting at this years Wimbledon. I saw on the news the other day that Nick Bollettieri mentioning that he will be providing grunting lessons at his academy after the tournament. I do think that with Maria Sharapova, Michelle Larcher de Brito, Serena Williams and others, there is just too much grunting on court at the moment.

I previously I used to grunt a little bit myself and found that it was more habit than anything, but it was always a small noise compared to Sharapova is producing these days.

So what do you think about grunting and its current situation in the game?

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeremy June 26, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Its a bit extreme the grunting that Maria Sharapova does when shes in the court, loved what the commentators said though once, its more like yelling not grunting which is exactly what it is.

Like what Nick Bollettieri said its more of a habbit but thats not a habbit I dont think yelling that loud, think something needs to be done to either tone them down or train them in removing the habbit completely.

The fact that Maria Sharapova got complaints put through to wimbledon from another court next to centre court, says something about her volume when aparently grunting.


The Insider June 26, 2009 at 5:56 pm

@Jeremy I completely agree. If she is getting noise complaints from another court thats when you know it is getting bad, but when the complaints are from a court away from Centre court at Wimbledon then it is already too bad.


S T July 2, 2009 at 12:04 am

I agree with your sentiments but I’m not sure how rules could be imposed. If like in Cricket enough people frown upon excessive gamesmanship then it would die down. This is good article on it


Dom July 4, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Grunting is totally unneccessary and should not be allowed. Planet Fitness (gym) has established a rule against grunting. It is possible, and helpful to expell a large volume of air when exerting oneself….It does NOT have to have a vocal component. Whether in the gym or on a tennis court, it is distracting to everyone else, and as I said, should not be allowed


sam July 5, 2009 at 1:12 am

i think it should be a rule that you lose the set if you exeed lets say 75db, because its such an annoying and completly pointless habit, to screech as some female tennins players do, and another thing, surely it is disracing for the opponant? to be shouted at, i mean im a gymnast, and if someone scremed at me when im on rings holding crusafix i would alomst certainly be put of my game!, its pointless, annoying and their should be a rule against it!


David August 23, 2009 at 4:37 am

The only substantive issue is whether or not it can be construed as a hindrance. If no one is bothered, it makes no difference. It is not about the grunter’s innocent motives or ugly gamesmanship. It is about whether if genuinely creates difficulty for the opponent. In my opinion, if the opponent complains that the grunting level is bothering them, the umpire should issue a warning, then make hindrance calls and assess point penalties. If Sharapova (whom I greatly admire) learned that her grunting could cost her many points and matches, she would quickly find an less noisome way to exhale as vigorously as she likes.

I am not a Pro Circuit player by any stretch of the imagination. But I imagine that very loud grunting would make it more difficult for me to return one of Maria’s killer shots, if I could even see it. 🙂


Karen Phillips September 14, 2009 at 1:48 am

I’ve been playing tennis for years and have never grunted. This is disgusting. I don’t watch women’s tennis anymore because of this and most of the girls at the club don’t either. They HAVE to stop this annoying habit…NOW!


James January 27, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Grunting may be a necessary evil in the sport. But, what these women do is not grunting. When was the last time that you heard Roger Federer, possibly the greatest player ever, do this? Never. I can understand noises that come with extreme shots. But, grunting on easy forehand/backhand volleys…. Whats next? Screaming while hitting a drop shot? I prefer watching mens over womens tennis. The noise is just another reason to NOT watch womens tennis. And for the people that say, “who care if it is annoying as long as the opponent has no problem.” No fans = no tournaments = no money


Summer March 27, 2010 at 5:25 am

Why are you only addressing female players? What makes it okay for male players to do it but not for female players? In most cases they’ve done it all their lives and it seems to be working well for them. If it bothers you to the point where you don’t wanna watch anymore, then don’t. Chances are, you’ll never even have to play any of these people, so stop complaining.


Matt April 20, 2010 at 5:17 pm

What male players are doing this? I don’t watch a ton of tennis, but have never noticed it w/ the guys.


TrevLon May 23, 2010 at 1:39 am

@ Alot of male tennis players grunt, Nadal comes to mind.

I may be alone on this, but the grunting doesn’t bother me as I find it hilarious and down right funny to watch and listen to. Whether or not it is being done in the intensity of the moment or pure gamesmanship, remains to be seen, but I still get a good laugh out of it. And I agree with what someone said earlier on the board, that if it is not affecting the opponent to the point where they are complaining about it, I don’t see what all the big fuss is about. They are the ones who have to endure it and play the match. And if you don’t want to listen to it then don’t watch or don’t go to the match … plain and simple.


Jonathan W Washburn September 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm

I am bothered by many things that never rise to the level of complaining. If you are unaware of the broad level of criticism leveled at grunting, then your comments are narrow and of limited value. In addition to the players, the spectators have a right to enjoy a tournament which is played as an entertaining event. The origin of sport is a fellowship of spirited competition, not harassment of the opponent. I believe the grunt-er to be psychologically addicted and should address that issue.


Doris Holt May 24, 2010 at 3:48 am

To my mind, grunting, screaming is more to the point, is gamemanship, pure and simple. I notice they scream loudly when they REALLY want to distract the other player. Players don’t complain because they don’t want to seem petty or be condemmed for complaining. Its up to the OFFICIALS to stop it, not the players who are the opponants of these gamemanship moves. Playing on the club level, I have seen all manner of gamemanship, and it takes away a lot from the game. At pro level, they have done a lot to stop it, but need to do something about THIS too, as it is a form of cheating. There will always be people who want an unfair advantage–the pro game should protect players from these kind of players.


Alec June 9, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Probably, Miss Sharapova grunts and grunts and grunts cause of her shorts are too tight.
Anyway it’s a pleasure to hear the grunting from her,
she’s very, very sensual.


The Insider June 11, 2010 at 9:52 am

Im not sure sensual is the word


Prestin June 13, 2010 at 4:21 pm

I was playing tennis with my husband on a neighborhood court yesterday morning. On the other court was a woman apparently teaching a young boy to play tennis. She didn’t let him actually hit the ball a lot, as she chose to spend most of the time on verbal instruction.

What she did encourage him to do whenever she let him hit the ball was to grunt as loud as he could and praised him when he did.

I found it totally distracting and annoying.


The Insider June 14, 2010 at 9:26 am

@Prestin That is just crazy! That coach should be sacked!


Suzi June 28, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Historically, tennis has been a ‘classy’ sport. This grunting is sending it into the gutter! I find it unbearable to watch and listen to the disgusting noises coming out of these players’ (both sexes) mouths! Shut up and play, I say!


Bruce November 13, 2010 at 11:39 pm

My wife and I are over 60 now with bad knees and backs so we don’t play any more. We now have even quit watching Wimbledon and other tournaments because the very un-womanly grunting is disgusting and unprofessional. We didn’the care for Connors and King and the others 30 years ago and we abhor the women who sound as if they have been stabbed when they serve. It is awful. Grunting belongs on football, rugby and soccer fields, not on the tennis court.


john g. May 16, 2011 at 8:57 am

sure, men tennis players grunt, too, but there is a difference. rafa grunts, so does novak and many other male players. the difference is… they actually do “grunt,” they don’t scream out loud at the top of their lungs like some of the women players — especially sharapova, who is the queen of grunting. i feel it more of an o.c.d. issue than a physical need. rafa grunts due to the extreme physical exertion of his incredible topspin shots off both wings. even so, its not a scream. sharapova and the other females “screamers” need to S-T-O-P! I never watch women’s tennis when a screamer is on the court. its time for some sanctions in tennis to end this annoyance.


Rayl June 26, 2011 at 1:56 am

The screams are gamemanship. The fans are requested not to Call Out during play. One presumes it spoils the concentration. Surely then it follows that players screaming/shrieking will have the same effect.
The players should also consider the Fans. Sitting through 2 hours of Shrieks is pretty awful.
The Answer is to allow the Fans to scream and shriek if the players are doing it. I just bet that would fix it..


Kiwi June 27, 2011 at 9:17 am

Correct – several Male players do grunt, but it IS an obvious effort “grunt” !
What Sarapova and Williams do is far more accurately called a “scream”.
How anyone can sit through a match listening to that is beyond me. Like many others, i only watch mens tennis because of it.
The officials need to clamp down on this, and award points to the opponent until it stops. It should have nothing to do with player opinion.
Next time you play with your buddy, you should each scream like these “women” – you will laugh your knickers off !


SkyBlue36 July 2, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I have stopped watching women’s tennis as I find the animal noises they emit are disgusting. The women’s game is more about selling sex than anything else and these noises are killing off that factor as well. Pretty soon no-one will watch it.


Dislexic Landlord July 3, 2011 at 9:55 am

Grunnting is awfull

It should be stopped full stop

its very off putting and not great to watch

I have stopped watching women tennis too


The Insider July 6, 2011 at 5:06 pm

It is the worst thing about womens tennis by a long way!


GRUNTING January 25, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I think that people that complain about grunting do not understand that players hit differently some are aggressive and some are waiting for their opponents errors. The aggressive ones usually grunt. The female player is only noticed because their DNA is different to the male players . eg have you noticed that men speak deeper than women of course you have. Also it has been scientifically proven that by grunting the player increases their power shots. So my comment would be to stop complaining and enjoy watching these athletes play tennis!!!!!!!


The Insider January 25, 2012 at 2:58 pm

This is just rubbish. Its not in their DNA.. its what they learn to do to get some extra power when they are younger, plus on occasions it puts off the opposition. Grunting can happen, but it does need to be controlled.


GRUNTING January 25, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I said they get noticed because of their DNA in other words because they are women their grunting is more high pitched compared to men that are deeper. Both men and women grunt


Tennis nut January 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm

That is true both men and women grunt!!!!!! I have also read about grunting and that it does give you slightly more power. It is a shame that the public aren’t educated more on this.


sporty January 26, 2012 at 9:25 am

Its 2012 The game is athletic of course people need to grunt

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