Womens’ tennis always been the cutting edge of pushing standards of “acceptable behaviour for ladies”.
Take wearing your underwear on the outside for instance.
I could go on but I won’t. OK, I will for a bit. There’s whacking the shit out of people; swearing on live TV and aiming for the crotch in mixed doubles then kissing the boys afterwards. All these things are good for the game, as well as good life skills for us all – it’s real girls playing sport without the airbrushing.
But as for grunting, I draw the line.
Hearing that blood-curdling scream is just not cricket, let alone tennis. Generally I watch with the sound down, but I pity people who have forked out big moolah to spend an evening hearing meerkats mate. If Tennis Australia are looking to put bums on seats – muzzle Sharapova and the others who followed her, thinking that they need to scream to win.
Screaming has become a tool of the trade, but really it’s just like sleeping your way to the top – it’s a big cheat and somewhere along the line someone finds out and it’s all very messy and unpleasant and in ten years time someone will do it back to you.
Unless players are sponsored by Strepsils – the authorities need to enforce a rule of no screaming. Fining won’t do any good. Here’s my solution: screamers need to clean a toilet in Hisense Arena for every scream. That’ll make them want to scream – this time for real.