The video: Quiet down! That's the message from a top Wimbledon official to female players who've been coached to grunt loudly as they hit their shots. "We have made our views clear and we would like to see less of it," says Ian Ritchie, the head of the All England Lawn and Tennis Club, as quoted by The Telegraph. The loud cries are annoying both fans and opponents, says Ritchie, and younger players in particular suffer from an "education problem" about the issue. Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, 21, produced grunts measuring 95 decibels in her first-round match this year, a level approaching that of the "loudest known" tennis grunt, 105 decibels, by Maria Sharapova in 2009. (See video of the two noisemakers in action below.)
The reaction: "Can Victoria Azarenka's ghost-wails even be called grunts?" asks Edith Zimmerman at The Hairpin. The problem with Azarenka's shrieks is not just their volume, but their "prolonged nature," says Martyn Herman at Reuters. She is "still in full cry by the time the ball has reached her opponent's strings ." But "about 70 percent of the whole tour" grunts, says Azarenka, as quoted by The Telegraph, and "I cannot change it, that's what helps me to play. I have to keep going with the thing that helps me play." Watch a video of Azarenka and Sharapova grunting during a match last year:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- What could happen if the Supreme Court rules against ObamaCare
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- These 5 things will definitely happen after Obama moves on immigration
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The psychology of bribery and corruption
- Why are newspaper comics so terrible?
- 10 things you need to know today: November 20, 2014
Subscribe to the Week