Google Down the Line!: THE LOW DOWN: To grunt or not to grunt, that is the question...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

THE LOW DOWN: To grunt or not to grunt, that is the question...

Grunt it up: We don't call her Maria "Shriek"apova for nothin'. And apparently former Wimbledon finalist Judy Dalton agrees with our assessment of the former World No. 1. Judy, holder of nine Grand Slam doubles titles, believes, however, that the grunting must be stopped and told The Age she would even forfeit a match if faced with Maria "Shriek"apova on the other side of the net saying,
"If that was me and I was playing Sharapova, I would be saying, 'If you continue with that you can have the match, I'll walk off, and I'll lodge a complaint,' [...] The other girls should say 'Fine, I'll forfeit the match.'[...] Will it happen? I don't think so."
But is grunting considered gamesmanship, or worse, cheating? According to the article, "Under the rules of tennis, the chair umpire must be convinced that they are excessive and intentional. If so, 'any continual distraction of regular play, such as grunting, shall be dealt with as follows: for the first offence, a let should be called and the player should be told that any such hindrance thereafter will be ruled deliberate. Any hindrance caused by a player that is ruled deliberate will result in the loss of a point.'"

Maria's noise level was famously measured by the London tabloids "grunt-o-meter" during Wimbledon at 101.2 decibels — "the equivalent, apparently, of a police siren at close range or a small aircraft landing nearby."

A small aircraft landing nearby? Wow, that's pretty loud Maria, but we still love your grunting ways. Is it excessive? Probably. Is it dramatic?? Of course, but so is Judy's claim that she'd forfeit a match (what about a Grand Slam final, Judy?) Besides, we'd have to drop Maria's nickname and that's never fun.

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