Sisterhood Blog

Targets at Wimbledon: Women Who Grunt

By Allison Gaudet Yarrow

  • Print
  • Share Share

Months after a highly ranked tennis player was forbidden from playing in Dubai because she is an Israeli Jew, women’s tennis is back in the news. This time, the debate isn’t about nations, but instead, the noises women make on the court, and why they are irksome.

Michelle Larcher de Brito, 16. a fierce competitor from Portugal, has inadvertently become a target in this controversy because of the high-pitched screech she makes each time she volleys. Many women tennis greats from Monica Seles to Maria Sharapova have stamped their game by making sounds (confusingly dubbed “grunts” in tennis lingo) when they hit. The BBC breaks it into decibels.

Certainly, every sport has its noises. NPR’s Frank Deford parsed the sounds of sports recently, a task that elicited imitation grunts from Deford himself. He asks “What’s the matter with a spot of noise in tennis?” Exactly.

Many male and female tennis players grunt when they serve. Why is it only bothersome and receiving of media attention when women do it? Are they expected to kick-ass on the court in “ladylike” silence?

One hightly visible, non-grunting woman seems to be going after all women who grunt. Tennis great, Chris Everet, told ESPN: “It is distracting when you are hearing this and I think the grunts are getting louder and more shrill now with the current players.”

We’ll see who gets the last grunt at the Wimbledon finals this weekend.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Tennis, Maria Sharapova

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.