Published November 20, 2014
With Wimbledon in full swing, the Women’s Tennis Association yesterday announced a crackdown on players who shriek, shout and grunt as they hit the ball.
Some super-grunters, such as top-ranked Maria Sharapova can top 100 decibels. A lion’s roar is only 110.
The solution? A hand-held device for umpires to measure sound levels on the court.
The WTA’s players council and representatives of the International Tennis Federation and the four grand-slam events approved the crackdown at a meeting this month in Paris.
“It’s time for us to drive excessive grunting out of the game for future generations,” the WTA’s CEO, Stacey Allaster, told USA Today.
But it won’t apply to the current generation.
After consulting coaches, experts in sports science and top players past and present, including Billie Jean King and Serena and Venus Williams, officials determined it would be unfair to force today’s grunters to change the way they play.
Nor will the new policy affect men — whose ranks have included world-class grunters like Andre Agassi and Jimmy Connors.