Chris Evert Wants You to STFU (Wimbledon)
All that grunting and groaning on the tennis court — we are looking at you, Maria Sharapova and Michelle Larcher de Brito — has got to go, at least according to Chris Evert. The former tennis great indicated she, too thinks the grunting in tennis isn’t necessary and these sounds can distract from the game. As an aside, I’ve noticed something; something I’m even guilty of: These criticisms are directly aimed at the women tour members.
Normally, when the grunting resurfaces as a hot-button issue, the male players aren’t the ones being put on notice. In fact, Evert referred to Sharapova by name to make her point. Furthering the point, on YouTube, the “tennis, grunts” search reveals pretty much nothing but female players yelling and screaming as they return shots, as well as parody videos like this one.
Anyway, back to Evert. Demonstrating an “as long as it’s the guys that do it, I’m fine” mentality, Evert blasted the practice of female vocal exertion on the tennis court:
“The next time you watch say a Maria Sharapova — the grunting is consistent but all of a sudden when she has a set up to hit a winner.
“I don’t understand, they say you’ve got to blow air out when you hit the ball.
“Steffi Graf hit the ball a ton and she didn’t grunt. There were a lot of players, hard-hitting players, and you never heard a peep out of them.
“I don’t understand the philosophy of it.”
Apparently, the lesson here is because previous great women players didn’t do it, Sharapova and Larcher de Brito shouldn’t either. Oh, and Evert might want to familiarize herself with the concept of “kiai,” paying close attention to why martial artists use such battle cries.