© Reuters Pictures
One of the most controversial issues that belies the game of tennis is grunting and whether it should be banned from the sport or be made punishable. Grunting is more common in women’s tennis than men’s and is something that has been rigorously employed by European players over the years.
Nick Bollettieri, the famous American coach who has taught grunters in the likes of Maria Sharapova and Michelle Larcher de Brito, prefers the term “exhaling”. Bollettieri believes that as you exhale when the ball is hit, energy is being released conservatively. On the other hand, tennis legend Martina Navratilova is opposed to grunting, stating that it is used a form of cheating to put off their opponent during their stride, labelling Roger Federer as a successful player who doesn’t grunt within points.
Although grunting is starting to dominate the game, it would be unfair to take action against players who grunt as it is natural to them and something that has been a facet of their game from a young age. However, it should not come to a point where the opponent feels hindered or intimidated which in turn, affects their mental and physical game.