Along with Jeff, one of our original supporters, I’m a big fan of tennis. Earlier this afternoon, whilst enjoying my 3pm cup of Earl Grey, I managed to catch a few minutes of the Maria Sharapova match at Wimbledon. She later went on to win, Jeff tells me, so she’s through to the semi-finals, pleasingly. But her grunting is a big distraction. You can turn the sound off, of course, but then you miss the commentary.
The BBC is now showing the Serena Williams (#1 seed) match against Victoria Azarenka, and Serena is a set down. Regardless of how energetic Azarenka’s shot is, she lets out a noise like a shrieking harpy on acid. Neither Jeff nor myself could watch the match for more than a few minutes.
I watched a lot of professional tennis in the 1970s and 1980s, and none of the female players grunted. Now many if not most of them do.
From the Wikipedia page of Chris Evert:
Christine Marie ‘Chris’ Evert, known as Chris Evert-Lloyd from 1979 to 1987, is a former World No.1 professional tennis player from the United States. She won 18 Grand Slam singles championships and three doubles titles. She was the year-ending World No. 1 singles player in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, and 1981. Overall Evert won 157 singles championships and 29 doubles titles.
Evert reached 34 Grand Slam singles finals, more than any player, man or woman, in the history of professional tennis.
… and she achieved all this without grunting or shrieking once.
If the male players grunted, it would doubtless be described by feminists as an example of ‘toxic masculinity’. It’s time for the rules of tennis be be changed, to ban all players from grunting and shrieking.