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

This week's best A-list Instagrams

From Beyoncé and Blue Ivy in Paris to Cara Delevingne's beautiful ring by Nicola Colyer

27 Jul 2016

Woman takes herself on “self date” after being stood up on Tinder

Because self-love is just as important as romance by Moya Crockett

27 Jul 2016

Lena Dunham and America Ferrera slam Donald Trump’s sexism

“Hi, I’m Lena Dunham and according to Donald Trump, my body is probably a two.” by Harriet Hall

27 Jul 2016

“Screw the scales”: fitness blogger pens uplifting essay about weight

“Stop letting your weight have any affect whatsoever on your self esteem” by Sarah Biddlecombe

27 Jul 2016

Disabled teenager heartbroken at being excluded from family wedding

There are times when it's OK to leave a family member off the guest list. This wasn't one of those times by Moya Crockett

27 Jul 2016

Model who hid vitiligo for a decade shares inspiring post about beauty

Sick of hiding her face from the world, Breanne Rice has penned an empowering post about how we define beauty by Kayleigh Dray

27 Jul 2016

Cold Feet: new cast photo released ahead of reunion series

Cold Feet fans, are you ready to see how much James Nesbitt and co have changed? by Kayleigh Dray

27 Jul 2016

Jessica Ennis-Hill on Rio, her son Reggie, and pre-Olympics nerves

by Zoe Beaty

26 Jul 2016

Alicia Silverstone to star in new TV show about 1970s feminism

The TV gods are smiling on us today. by Moya Crockett

26 Jul 2016

Demi Lovato opens up about mental health struggles in powerful speech

“Like millions of Americans, I am living with mental illness” by Moya Crockett

26 Jul 2016