A controversial tennis grunting ban that could silence the next generation of women’s players found an unusual supporter today in Maria Sharapova.
Sharapova, who is one of Tennis’ worst grunting offenders, said that the younger generation should be taught new breathing techniques. Sharapova, who has had her playing screams measured at more than 101 decibels, said that it’s too late for her and other current players but said that the next generation of players should be taught to play without grunting.
“Bottom line is the right answer has been taken by the tour… I started grunting since whenever I can remember. I see videos of myself and I’ve grunted for that long. Nobody told me to do it in Russia or in Florida. It’s just a natural habit. The information going towards coaches and academies that are developing talent from a young age is teaching them a certain breathing technique. Because when you start something from a young age and continue it, it’s a habit – whether you do grunt or don’t grunt.”
According to the Independent, the WTA believes that the best plan is to enforce the tennis grunting ban on younger players.
“The WTA created a plan. That’s the smart way to go about it, rather than like taking someone’s forehand and grip in the middle of their career and telling them to change it.”
Some players, like nine-time Wimbledon singles champion Martina Navratilova, believe that some women grunt as a way to distract their opponents. Tennis coach Nick Bollettieri — who has trained players like Sharapova, Serena Williams, and Monica Seles — has been accused of instructing his players to grunt in order to get a competitive advantage.
What do you think: Should there be a tennis grunting ban?