A 9-year-old girl has been banned from playing tennis by her local club because she grunts too loudly.

Lauryn Edwards was told at the weekend that she could no longer play her favorite sport after a complaint by an opposition player.

The Mt. Carmel Tennis Club, in Sunbury, Australia, told Lauryn's stunned parents, Duncan and Ruth, that the grunting had become too much.

Duncan Edwards described the ban as pathetic and has contacted Tennis Australia and Tennis Victoria for advice.

Lauryn's favorite player is Russian star and notorious grunter Maria Sharapova.

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But Edwards said his daughter's grunting was nowhere near Sharapova's level and had been exaggerated.

"It's pretty slight and now and again she hits it hard and makes a loud noise and that's it," he said.

"From just one comment, this has all blown up stupidly.

"There's no rule against it, so they've made a rule against it."

Edwards said the club had asked him for an assurance Lauryn would remain silent on the court.

"They told me to guarantee she won't grunt or she can't play," he said.

"How can I guarantee that? She's been doing it since she was really little. She's her own person. What do they want me to do? Put Band-Aids over her mouth? They made her cry on the court when they told her."

Lauryn, who has attention deficit disorder, has been playing tennis since the age of four, after it was recommended by her school psychologist at Sunbury Primary to burn energy and keep her focused.

Dubbed Lauryn Sharapova by an old coach, she said she played better when grunting.

"It feels natural to do my noise. I'm not faking it," Lauryn said. "It makes me play better. When I don't do it, I don't play my best tennis. And now people have told me I can't play if I do it."

Lauryn plays for Mt. Carmel in the Northern Suburbs Junior Tennis Association.

Mt. Carmel vice-president Paul Hackett was tight-lipped yesterday.

"No comment, sorry," Mr Hackett said.

"No one is not allowing her to play. Sorry, I can't say any more than that."

NSJTA president Russell Baldry said he was unaware of the issue.

Baldry said it was disappointing that the club had appeared to take matters into its own hands.

"They just had to ask her to try and be a little quieter, not make a federal case out of it," he said. "This is not in the association's interests and not in the girl's interests. The association will have to discuss it because we certainly have not stopped her from playing."