Maria Sharapova and the Worst Grunts in Tennis Today
It's safe to say that grunting has grown out of proportion in today's tennis, specifically in the women's game.
As a result of the excess and unnecessary noise, the WTA is considering putting in a grunt monitor—or "grunt-o-meter"—in future matches. This will detect if the noise made by the players is of an acceptable level or not.
"It's time for us to drive excessive grunting out of the game for future generations," WTA chairman and chief executive Stacey Allaster said (via USA Today).
The plan is to discourage grunting in the tennis academies of the future pros. Although this plan is great moving forward, grunting will nevertheless still be a part of the game in the coming years.
From Sharapova's famous screams to Venus Williams' angry shrieks, let's take a look at today's recognizable and obnoxious tennis grunts.
8. David Ferrer
World No. 5 David Ferrer, nicknamed "Little Beast" for his amazing foot speed and stamina despite his small build, also has a distinctive grunt.
He even gets creative with his voice when he hits a winner, as shown in the video against Andy Murray.
7. Rafael Nadal
Yes, many could argue that Rafael Nadal doesn't grunt on every point like Maria Sharapova. Having said that, he still has a very distinct yell, unlike most players on the ATP tour.
Nadal tops the list for the men with the loudest and, quite frankly, the most obnoxious grunt. Novak Djokovic is not too far behind, either.
Fernando Gonzalez also deserves an honorable mention. He, too, displays an excessive grunt in the video.
6. Elena Bovina
Unfamiliar to the everyday tennis fan, Elena Bovina, who is currently ranked outside the top 200, certainly makes the top tier in women's grunting.
Her form sounds very similar to Serena Williams, but she elongates the last part of her grunt for a little too long. Bovina would be a good candidate for the new "grunt-o-meter."
5. Serena Williams
Serena, like Venus, is the queen of the "angry" grunt. Every yell sounds like she wants to inflict as much pain on the ball as possible.
However, unlike her older sister, Serena's grunt is a little less threatening and imposing.
That being said, if an opponent has Serena on the run, expect a louder, more authoritative grunt directed across the court.
4. Venus Williams
The 2005 Wimbledon women's semifinal could easily rival the January Australian Open final in terms of exchanging grunts.
As Mary Carillo puts it, "It's not even grunting anymore, its roaring."
Venus Williams vocalizes an even harsher grunt than Serena and Sharapova, but doesn't grunt after every shot.
This prompts the question: Is the grunt a necessary part of Venus' game? Sharapova has said it is for her own.
By the way, during the first service game of this semifinal, not a grunt was exchanged.
3. Maria Sharapova
When you think of tennis grunting, Maria Sharapova's name is probably at the top of the list.
Since emerging on the tennis scene 11 years ago, Sharapova's beauty and high-pitched grunting has caught the attention of the sporting world.
Whether you find it annoying or hilarious (as they did in Australia), Sharapova has greatly shaped the grunting aspect of the women's game.
2. Victoria Azarenka
Victoria Azarenka's grunt can be described as a more high-pitched sound than Sharapova's, which makes it harder on the viewers' ears.
Plus, if you're going to scream after a bad point, you shouldn't be screaming during the point. That's just too much.
1. Michelle Larcher de Brito
Just when you thought grunting couldn't be any more obnoxious than Sharapova, Azarenka or Williams, it got worse.
Michelle Larcher de Brito has mastered the scream to accompany her groundstrokes.
The Portuguese teenager skirts the line of common courtesy, not only with her opponents' timing, but the audience as well.
If Larcher de Brito is the future of grunting, no wonder the WTA is making necessary arrangements to kill it.
Let's be honest, could anyone stand to watch Larcher de Brito live at an event?