Maria Sharapova was in typical feisty form yesterday at the Australian Open, when she defended her right to grunt. The “grunt-o-meter” typically records Sharapova’s shrieks at 94 decibels, and players have asked whether anything can be done about this. Agnieszka Radwanska is one of them. The Polish player, who lost in the quarter finals to the other major grunter in women’s tennis, Victoria Azarenka, said:
“To be honest, I’m kind of used to it, especially with Vika. We’ve known each other for many years. About Maria, what can I say? For sure that is pretty annoying and it’s just too loud. Of course everybody can make some noise. This is tennis. It’s really hard work over there. I don’t think it’s very necessary to scream that loud. I don’t think this is very nice to watch, those kind of players that scream so much all the time. So that’s why I think the WTA wants to change something. If they want to do something, why not?”
When asked to respond to Radwanska’s comments, Sharapova said:
“Isn’t she back in Poland already? When did she get a chance to say that?”
Ouch. She followed it up with:
“I’ve been the same over the course of my career. No one important enough has told me to change or do something different.”
Game, set and match Maria Sharapova.
But what do you make of it? Does extremely loud grunting give players an advantage? Should the WTA step in and have a quiet word with Sharapova?