Louder than a lawn mower or a drill, grunting has dogged tennis for years. Now let’s get fired up for the 2017 US Open with a list of the hottest grunters ever in female tennis, from Sharapova to Seles.
1. Maria Sharapova, 101 decibels.
With the decibel close to an aeroplane landing, Sharapova is undisputedly the queen of grunts. In another sense, she is the one who popularized grunting in tennis. Unfortunately, she got knocked out of the US Open by 16th seed Anastasija Sevastova days ago.
Williams makes a grunt equivalent to the noise made by a jackhammer. Her grunts have powered her through to be a six-time US Open champ ! And probably more in the days to come…
Her warbling high-pitched scream conveys anxiety, and could plausibly be confused for the sound of a newborn foal sinking in quicksand. Her grunts in one of the most amusing matches in Wimbledon history against Sharapova in 2007 had the commentators sniggering.
Azarenka came into people’s view for her grunting in the absence of Sharapova from the tour. In terms of decibels, her shrieks are comparative to sounds recorded inside a train station. Unfortunately, she was unable to make it in the US Open this year due to a child custody case.
Anna favours a classic grunt that’s unlike the more modern breed of tactical, sustained screeching of her contemporaries. As far as decibel levels are concerned, it greatly resembles the back end of a bus. Known as the most famous tennis player to have never won a singles title, she didn’t make any big impression at this year’s US Open either.
Her grunting is more of a screech and stands out for its consistency and duration. Spectators of her game will be treated to an experience similar to that of standing in the crowd at a Formula One race. Let’s look forward to this rising star’s performance.
Dementieva usually grunts on two occasions: early points and match points, with quite a high-pitched screech. Definitely dictated by pressure. Although retired now, she once reached the finals of US Open.
Clijsters only grunts when she plays really hard, typified by a low gutteral sound when striking the ball. Brought on by effort, not tactics. She has won the championship of US open three times!
Bovina’s double-syllable shrieks are especially high-pitched. Her grunt sounds like a dying animal on every stroke, generating decibel levels similar to a pneumatic tool from 15 metres away.
What’s unique about Seles is that she toned down her grunting after being threatened with a fine at Wimbledon, but later expressed regret about doing so.