Wednesday, June 22, 2011



"If one player is grunting too much and the other player doesn’t like it and it is distracting, they can complain to the umpire. ... 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. So we are aware, whether you are watching it on TV or here, people don’t particularly like it."
—Ian Ritchie, the "head of Wimbledon," addresses tennis grunting, although can Victoria Azarenka's ghost-wails even be called grunts? (YouTube grunts, too.)

26 Comments / Post A Comment

Katie Heaney

as a tennis player I am like, pro-grunting in moderation or whatever, but what THIS lady does?!?! I don't care if I was playing for the cup. I'd aim my serves for her face every damn time.

Artressa Vandelay

@Katie Heaney: I agree, moederate grunting is expected. I know I've been guilty of it when running my ass off to get to those near impossible shots. This nutball; however, sounds like she she just sunk someone's battleship for the win on every shot.

Katie Heaney

@Artressa Vandelay right?! there is NO WAY she's not using that as a cheap tactic to distract her opponents. if you're going to make noise, be like Serena. Seriously.


I'm atrocious at tennis (and other sports), so what do I know, but it seems like all that yelling is just more exertion that could be spent on the tennis itself. Sharapova makes bizarre noises too, maybe it's a Russian thing?


Is she secretly a kookaburra?

Setec Astrology

I thought we weren't using the word "postbag" anymore.


She sounds like an Angry Bird!

When I did crew in high school, our coach said that if we were making any noise louder than an RRRRRRGH through gritted teeth, we were wasting energy that we should be directing toward our strokes.


@Clare In martial arts they teach yelling as a way to increase power. East vs West!


I find it adorable.


Which, really, more women athletes should aspire to be. Sorry - I meant "lady athletes." Athlettes.

Matt Langer

Ok, true, Azarenka's ghoulish sustain is particularly annoying, but her grunts top out at just 83.5dB, a whisper compared to the 101dB we hear from Sharapova.

Also: is television viewers complaining about grunting the new television viewers complaining about vuvuzelas?


I love the way it has to be quiet for tennis and golf, but other sportspeople have to play under the nosiest conditions possible. Toughen up already.


@Kneetoe I think trennis is great sport to watch but I think it would be better if there were more crown noise, chants and stomps and such. Like when you have a long volley and you can hear the murmur of the crowd rise steadily to a big cheer when someone gets a point. More of that.


Edith notes this, but seriously there is no definition of grunt that includes that noise. I totally get that sometimes if you're exerting yourself physically you make strange noises, but that noise she makes is just so obviously artificial.


So I'm the ONLY one who wonders what kinds of sounds these athletes make in bed?

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@atipofthehat Not anymore...

mademoiselle cait

@Butterscotch Stalin AAAAnd now I'm just thinking about Angry Birds coitus.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@Caitlin Osbahr@facebook "Quiz: Which Angry Bird are you in bed?"

Steve Clarke@twitter

shame, when I saw a post on women's tennis I was all "woo finally some talk on the hairpin on my favorite thing!" and then it went all lame with "omg these girls grunt so louuuud". seriously, anyone who has been a fan of women's tennis will typically have no problem with the grunts. you remember monica seles? snooze. there's so much of women's tennis that is hairpin-worthy! So many awesome, strong ladies being pretty much the only sport where they are basically placed on par with the men. and the fashionnnnn.


@Steve Clarke@twitter I like tennis too but, having been without a tv for a while, I have never seen Azarenka before and I was pretty interested by this ghoulish wail thing.


My dog DOES NOT LIKE the sounds in this video. PLEASE TURN IT OFF, she says.

screwball cate

After the video, youtube linked to a bunch of similar ones (Sharapova, etc.) What kills me is that in most of these videos you can hear all the spectators just loudly laughing their asses off for the whole round because of the yells (not sure if "round" is the right term). Also, one of the videos made me sad because it was a 9 year old girl who got BANNED from her tennis league for being too grunt-y (it was more like karate grunts and less like the weird howls that other lady was making). So, tennis is weird I think.


@screwball cate : Didn't this start being A Thing like sometime in the 80s? During a brief period of tennis semi-fandom (was Boris Becker not the cutest?), I vaguely recall a bunch of sportscasters being all "OMG WHAT'S WITH THE GRUNTING" and "Her coach says it helps her blah blah blah." The player in question was... I want to say it was Monica Seles? So maybe you can blame her for this.

Also, yes, this chick has either lost her bananas completely, or is deliberately being weird, or something. There are no circumstances under which I could repeatedly make that noise - which sounds like a cartoon ghost sneezing into a flute - without cracking up.


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