Wimbledon wonder Maria Sharapova has been slammed by a TV presenter as “hideously grunting” her way to the oldest semi-finals in the world, and bringing ignominy on the civilized game of tennis by sounding like “an animal in pain,” as she cut, thrust, and aced her wild and wonderful way into the last four in Wimbledon.
In the genteel world of ladies’ tennis, Maria Sharapova is renowned for her fierce and frantic grunting. It’s what earned the Russian beauty the affectionate nickname, the Queen of Screams.
But the British tennis set are a prudish lot, and the flamboyant and ebullient shrieking of Sharapova, which at 109 decibels is only slightly quieter than a chainsaw, has ruffled a fair few feathers.
Wimbledon spectators were incandescent with rage and frothing at the mouth in an indignant fury after saucy Sharapova screeched her way to victory, 6-3, 6-7, 6-2, against unseeded American Coco Vandeweghe on Centre Court.
It may be because Sharapova’s Russian, or because she plays with a lot of vocal spirit, but as an uptight collective, Wimbledon just doesn’t seem to take kindly to the successful screamer.
The Telegraph reports that spectators said the excessive grunting and groaning on behalf of Sharapova was so distracting it spoiled their enjoyment of the match.
One disgruntled tennis fan, called Tyler Shurley, was so outraged by Sharapova’s howls of triumph they took to Twitter and snarled viciously, “You can hardly call the noise Sharapova makes while playing tennis a grunt. It’s more so a howl of a she-beast as it prowls in the night.”
Former Olympic swimmer Mark Foster wrote, “Not being funny, but I hope Sharapova does not make the final on Saturday. I can’t stand the grunting.”
Actor Richard E. Grant also joined in the haters party by tweeting, “How irritating out of ten is Sharapova’s shouting every time she wallops a tennis ball?”
Yet, it was British TV presenter Lorraine Kelly who led the charge of the venom brigade by throwing shade on Sharapova’s show in a way only ladies of a certain age are capable of.
“Sorry can’t watch this tennis match — Sharapova sounds like she’s in pain. Must be hideous to play against that level of noise.”
In the past, the Wimbledon wonder has been accused of deliberately putting off her opponents with her vocal gymnastics.
Something which Donald Trump wannabe, Lord Alan Sugar, definitely concurs with.
“Don’t you all think that the screaming of Sharapova is unfair and off putting for her opponents. Organisers should ban it.
If I was in the crowd and screamed out just as Sharapova was about to hit a ball, the umpire would tell me off and she would complain.”
However, far from being symbolical of cynical gamesmanship, Sharapova’s powerful grunting is a sign that she’s a born winner, according to clinical sports psychologist Dr. Victor Thompson, who said the noise was created as players breathed out hard, which helped them to apply maximal force.
“If there is a forceful exhalation of air at the same time that the core abdominal muscles engage it may give more power. This is why in sports where maximal power is required – such as shot put or javelin – there will always be a grunt.”
Haters gonna hate and winners gonna win. As Sharapova demonstrated with all the class and dignity of a true champ when asked about the noises after the match.
“I have nothing to say. There’s nothing new about it.”
Now put that in your pipe and smoke it!
[Photos By Shaun Botterill, Ian Walton / Getty Images)