Quiet At US Open? WTA Plans Crackdown On ‘Excessive Grunting’
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Ah, the sounds of summer. What would late August in Queens be without the crack of the bat at Citi Field – and the shrieks from right next door at Flushing’s USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center?
We may soon find out on the latter.
A plan to crack down on ultra-loud grunting in women’s tennis has been “unanimously green-lighted” by the WTA players’ council, representatives from all four majors and the International Tennis Federation, according to USA Today.
“It’s time for us to drive excessive grunting out of the game for future generations,” WTA CEO Stacey Allaster told the publication.
Umpires would use a handheld device to measure the on-court sound and rule whether it exceeds a to-be-determined acceptable level, USA Today reported.
But there’s a catch. The current generation of screamers – like Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka – would get a pass. The plan also wouldn’t apply to the men’s game.
“What is clear from experts is that it would have a clear, damaging effect on performance of the existing generation,” said Allaster, who added there’s no timetable for the changes.
Caroline Wozniacki, runner-up in the 2009 US Open, openly complained about grunting shortly after last year’s tournament.
“I think there are some players who do it on purpose,” Wozniacki told The Guardian in October. “They don’t do it in practice and then they come into the match and they grunt. I think (officials) could definitely cut it.”
Do you have an issue with the plan? Think if there’s a restriction on women there should be one on men, too? Be heard in the comments below!