Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Women's tennis faces grunt ban

tenhero2.jpg
tenhero3.jpg
tenhero.jpg

Female tennis players are set to face penalties for letting out a shriek with their serve.

The Women's Tennis Association plans to phase out loud grunting because the noise bothers fans.

"It's time for us to drive excessive grunting out of the game for future generations," WTA CEO Stacey Allaster told reporters, as she unveiled the organisation's plan to quieten future tennis players.

Elena Baltacha, above, is known to make a racket on the court

The WTA aims to develop a handheld device - dubbed the "grunt-o-meter" - for umpires to measure the decibels of each serve-scream, along with a set of rules defining acceptable noise levels.

It will also educate tennis academies, so junior players are clear on their acoustic limitations.

Allaster added, "The bottom line is that we want to bring forward across all levels of competition an objective rule through use of technology to make it much easier for athletes and chair umpires."

However, the likes of Maria Sharapova - World No. 1 and noted grunter - need not worry too much about downgrading their howls - the rules will apply only to non-established players.

Tennis veteran Monica Seles, above in 1990, is credited with introducing "screaming" to the game

"What is clear from experts is that it would have a clear, damaging effect on performance of the existing generation," Allaster admitted.

While court legends Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova welcomed the WTA's decision, some critics pointed out that the lack of such legislation for male players - the likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic being among known "grunters" - created further division in a sport that has been criticised for its gender pay gap.

In March Stylist launched the Fair Game Campaign to stop sexism in sport and is awaiting a response from the Culture, Media and Sport select committee on its petition requesting an inquiry into issues of gender inequality.

Do you think female tennis players should make less noise? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments section below.

Words: Anna Pollitt. Pictures: Rex Features

Related

womens-football-team-1.jpg

Foul Play: Why is there sexism in sport?

maria-sharpova.jpg

Forward-thinking tennis star thinks female players should be paid less

spa-hero.jpg

Top 5 spa and sport escapes

Comments

More

Katy Perry talks body positivity

"There have been decades of bad messaging and we are rewiring now." by Hayley Spencer

05 May 2016

Join the stars behind the scenes at the 2016 Met Gala

From backstage beauty prep to late-night partying by Nicola Colyer

03 May 2016

Emma Thompson endorses the Women's Equality Party

“I do not want to die before closing the pay gap” by Victoria Gray

03 May 2016

No cheers here, please: a week of woeful sexism

Misogyny is live and kicking by Harriet Hall

29 Apr 2016

This week's best A-List Instagrams

From birthday celebrations to throwbacks by Nicola Colyer

29 Apr 2016

Kim Cattrall opens up about her battle with insomnia

by Moya Crockett

29 Apr 2016

Dakota Johnson is sick of Fifty Shades sex scenes

“I'm over it. It's pretty tedious” by Amy Lewis

28 Apr 2016

Feminists have perfect response to Trump's sexist #womancard

"Can I trade it in for equal pay?" by Sarah Biddlecombe

28 Apr 2016

Why it's time to take a stand against Bitchy Resting Face

“Gizza smile love, it may never happen” by Alice Stride

28 Apr 2016

A 12-year-old girl just ran a half-marathon by mistake

Legend by Moya Crockett

27 Apr 2016