Keep that grunt to a whisper, please

Shh ... there’s an athletic competition going on.

Quiet down, now. This is tennis, the elegant game. Forget the fact you’re trying to swat 100-mph balls laced with top spin or back spin, and sometimes do so over and over until one player is so mentally and physically drained they flub a shot and sometimes buckle with hands on knees to prevent a collapse.

Do it quietly, for Pete Sampras’ sake. And when you’re done, get a napkin and dab the corners of your mouth. Have some dang respect.

Because reports are many, such as one in January by USA Today, that the WTA is seriously considering a crackdown on player “grunting,” based on increasing complaints from fans and players.

Sure, it’s annoying. But why? What does it remind us of that triggers so much annoyance?

Pain? Hard work? A chorus of killdeers? (Google it — trust me.)

Time to get over it, people.

It’s a sport — an extremely exhausting sport — not Chutes and Ladders.

Try telling Maria Sharapova, who, according to a 2011 Time article, once hit 105 decibels on a sound monitor, that she needs to tone it down.

That’s right, Maria. While you’re at it, we also need you to wear this wool sweater and wooden shoes and swing a wooden racket. Classy is what we’re going for. You understand, right? Don’t answer too loudly.

See, a lot of these girls have been using this martial-arts-like punch of noise to punctuate a swing since they were kids.

But some fans are upset. And some players — players! — are distracted.

The world’s elite athletes, trained to be particularly focused and mentally tough, all with world-class sports psychologists a Fave 5 away, are distracted.

Get this. At a Tuesday high school volleyball match at Grand Junction High School, Fruita Monument’s Joelle LeFevre on multiple occasions served a Volvo away from about 100 raging teenagers.

LeFevre had five aces that match. Fruita won.

Her explanation of the success may be stunning to easily-distracted professional tennis players.

“I just breathed and focused,” LeFevre said.


Unfortunately, a wild child has invaded the elegant game.

But she is here to stay.

So is he. Jimmy Connors began grunting in the 1970s. And he had reason for added oomph. Remember wooden rackets?

Monica Seles became the first woman on the boom. Now the WTA has exploded with swing-shriekers, and apparently, if the swing ain’t broke ...

But the high school and college players remain mostly unaffected.

“We don’t see that a lot in high school,” Grand Junction tennis coach Carol Elliott said. “Thank God.”

Finally, a solution for complaining WTA fans.

Go to the nearest high school or college tennis match.

Or hit the Bingo hall. But mellow out on the Bingo shouting, will ya?

The rest of us are trying to sleep.


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