Screaming tennis players are a distraction for opponents and the current crop of female stars have taken the problem to new levels, US legend Chris Evert said in Sydney on Monday.
Number eight seed Victoria Azarenka and Portuguese teenager Michelle Larcher de Brito have been at the centre of fevered debate at this year’s Wimbledon about the decibel levels during matches.
Now the International Tennis Federation is believed to be considering outlawing such distractions as “noise hindrance” under its code of conduct.
Nine-time Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova believes the scream queens are gaining an unfair advantage and Evert, her one-time great rival, agrees with her.
Evert, winner of 18 Grand Slam singles titles in the 1970s and 80s, said a particular concern was that the noise from grunters often appeared to increase on key shots.
“Grunting is one thing but the shrill sound that you hear with players nowadays and especially (when) they get louder when they hit a winner, that’s the thing that I observe as a player,” said Evert, in Sydney with golfer husband Greg Norman.