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'Put your grunt-o-meters down'

Russian starlet Maria Sharapova lashed out at the media on Thursday for focusing too much on her grunting and what she is wearing and not enough on her tennis.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2006 18:34 IST
AFP
AFP
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Russian starlet Maria Sharapova lashed out at the media on Thursday for focusing too much on her grunting and what she is wearing and not enough on her tennis.

The 18-year-old, who makes millions of dollars in endorsements, complained that the focus was shifting from what she was achieving on the tennis court.

"I know you are reporters and I know this is your job, but take your note pads, take your pencils down, take your grunt-o-meters down, the fashion police, put everything away and just watch the match," she said.

Sharapova's high-pitched squealing and grunting during points has again attracted attention at the Australian Open, with former great John Newcombe saying it is illegal.

Reports have said her grunts had been measured at 100 decibels, roughly the equivalent of the volume of a small aircraft landing nearby.

She again produced a full repetoire of squeals and grunts in her semi-final loss to Justine Henin-Hardenne at the Australian Open on Thursday.

There has also been intense focus on the baby-doll, nightie-style dress she has been wearing here.

She also berated the media for what she perceived as being negative.

"For me to be able to go out there and play the quality of tennis that I did today, I think it was great," said the fourth seed.

"And I know that probably I'm going be seeing headlines, you know, 'Maria can't get past the semis, Maria can't finish it off in the third.'

"But take all that away and just look at the tennis that we both played today. I think that shows a lot."

First Published: Jan 28, 2006 18:34 IST