I'll admit, I'm pretty torn on this whole "tennis grunting" controversy. I played tennis for an entire week of hell so I honestly couldn't tell you if grunting that loudly is required to hit the ball with such velocity. Either way, listening to it can either be rather entertaining or super distracting. Now the whole grunting debacle is making the news yet again. Maria Sharapova is throwing in her support of a ban for women's tennis -- even though her screams have been measured at more than 101 decibels, which is comparable to a chain saw.
"Bottom line is the right answer has been taken by the tour," Sharapova told Reuters in response to the ban, which would require umpires to have hand-held devices that can measure the noise on the court. This all sounds pretty insane and ridiculous to me, but apparently fans and other competitors have complained enough for this to be an actual necessary thing.
Is this measure sexist? Is it extreme? Is it unintentionally hilarious? These questions are far too deep for a Monday -- and whether or not the grunting is natural or a ploy to distract the opponents (not gonna lie, I certainly get distracted by it just as a casual viewer), I'll admit, the grunting can be rather comical. Or annoying. Depending on how you're feeling that day.
So let's take a look at some of the best (or worst) tennis grunting, because really, what else do you have to do?
Here are the top 5 Wimbledon tennis grunters, with helpful decibel measurements included:
Some funny moments and screams coming out of the mouths of Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki playing in Tokyo:
Here are 30 seconds of "The Screamer," aka Michelle Larcher de Brito at Wimbledon 2009.
And for the woman in the spotlight herself, here's Maria Sharapova from Wimbledon 2011:
Do you think tennis grunting should be banned?
Image via sub_lime79/Flickr