With Monica Seles just being inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame, it reminds us that she was one of the first women to create a stir not only with her great play, but with her great grunts.
Today’s game, especially in the women’s side, has changed from “grunts” to “shrieks.” Is it too much?
According to outgoing WTA chief Larry Scott, “I’ve been used to hearing that controversy this [Wimbledon] fortnight over 20 years. The other 50 weeks of the year I would not say it has been a significant issue.” “[But] this year it has expanded beyond that. At Roland Garros, I agree, we started hearing about this and reading about it in a way we hadn’t before outside Wimbledon. Based on that we have started a process of looking at it more carefully,” he said.
As a grunter myself, I am sympathetic to players who release air from their lungs on a serve or tough shot; but the volume level has gotten too high. And what is the rule during play?
Theoretically, I believe you can actually take the point if your opponent’s noise bothered you DURING YOUR STROKE; but no one ever tries to call – or calm – their opponents. In a friendly singles match with Joe McAleer over the winter, I served and did NOT play his return of serve; because I mistook his grunt for a “Noooo” call on my serve. We played two; but what was the rule?
And what can the pro’s do about the noise level? Tough to make a rule on “how loud” you are allowed to be when you exhale!