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The Sound and the Fury: Wimbledon Executive Tells Grunting Tennis Players to Keep It Down

Wimbledon's top executive is telling grunting female tennis players to turn down the racket. 

Ian Ritchie, the chief executive of the All England Lawn and Tennis Club, tells the Daily Telegraph that tournament officials are growing uneasy about the loudness of the grunts.

"We have discussed it with the tours and we believe it is helpful to reduce the amount of grunting," he told the Telegraph, adding they would "prefer to see less grunting."

One female player was loudly criticized for wailing during her opening match this week.

Noise machines recorded Victoria Azarenka reaching 95 decibels during her match against Magdalena Rybarikova, according to the Telegraph. Not only were her shrieks loud every time she hit the ball, but it also lasted for more than 1.5 seconds.

The 21-year-old tennis player defended her grunting.

"I cannot change it, that's what helps me to play. I have to keep going with the thing that helps me play," she told the Telegraph.

Ritchie blames younger players for the issue.

"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," he told the Telegraph.

The loudest known grunt came from Maria Sharapova in 2009, reaching a decibel level of 105.