Caroline Wozniacki Ousts Grunters: Stacey Allaster Follows

Linus Fernandes@mktimeforsportsAnalyst IIOctober 27, 2011

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 26: Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark poses for photographers after seccuring the year end number WTA ranking during the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships Istanbul at the Sinan Erdem Dome on October 26, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

That grunting (and shrieking) is really getting on my nerves.

What is that horrible sound?

That is the sound of cheating, according to Caroline Wozniacki:

"I think there are some players who do it on purpose. They don’t do it in practice and then they come into the match and they grunt. I think they [officials] could definitely cut it. If you grunt really loudly your opponent cannot hear how you hit the ball. Because the grunt is so loud, you think the ball is coming fast and suddenly the ball just goes slowly. In tight moments, maybe the grunt helps them with getting less nervous."

So whom is the Woz’s remark aimed at?

The two biggest culprits on the women’s circuit are Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka.

Azarenka, a close friend of Wozniacki (who isn’t?), was quick and acerbic in her response.

“I’m the way that I play since I was actually 8 years old, and it’s become part of my movement and part of my game. So I cannot change it, and I’m not going to," said the Belarussian. 

"It’s not about the rule," she said. "You cannot stop people from doing what they do on the court. It’s not [that] you’re trying to distract anybody. It’s just normal."

WTA CEO Stacey Allaster, however, has different ideas:

"The guys are grunting as well, it’s not unique to women’s tennis. But our female DNA transmits it in a different way. I’m very focused on the fans and I have seen a slight increase in the fan comments that we’re receiving. So I do think on that basis that we should look at it. And if we’re going to make any changes, it needs to [start] with the junior players…It just comes down to education. They have to determine how they want their brand to be."


So now young girls are to be trained to be little ladies (or princesses) on court. Can they throw in a few curtsies while they are at it?

“Women’s DNA transmits grunting in a different way.” Whatever does that mean? That fans expect a gorilla, instead of a 6 foot plus Maria Sharapova when they hear that din? Ooooh, how unladylike. (Yet, she has such a nice prance.)

“They have to determine what they want their brand to be.” Someone ought to tell Ms. Allaster to take a long walk and be grateful that the women bother to shave their underarms and don’t let it all hang out like a certain Ms. Julia Roberts once did.

That didn’t quite hurt her brand? Or did it? I wouldn’t know but I’m sure that’s something Ms. Allaster has delved into. And to test her theory, maybe we ought to have another battle of the sexes—the quietest male player versus the noisiest WTA ‘lady’.

Any modern day Bobby Riggs out there? The strong, silent types?

How’s that for marketing genius?

Perhaps, Allaster should reconsider the WTA’s latest campaign and rephrase it as “Strong Is Beautiful (And Silent)”.

As an addendum, has anyone considered that the grunts and shrieks might be a defence mechanism against the endless cat-calls the women endure? I’m sure the grunts and shrieks shut up more than a few—shoving those wolf-whistles back down their errant throats.

All in jest. Have a great day.

Quote of the Day: 
Recommend to your children virtue; that alone can make them happy, not gold. 
–Ludwig van Beethoven