As Wimbledon reaches the business end of the competition excitement is building in anticipation of the men’s semi-finals and women’s final. Not that the focus has been squarely on results, however, as ‘Gruntgate’ has dominated headlines the past 48 hours.
‘Gruntgate’ you say? You know the noises some of the players make as they strike the ball, the sounds that resemble the ones you might hear coming from a cheap hotel room you can rent by the hour – yeah, some of the players more renowned for their on-court noises have come under fire.
The latest person to wade in on the debate is Prime Minister David Cameron, cracking a joke that hasn’t gone down all that well with some players. The PM made his ill-advised quip when addressing the English women’s football team, with this below from the Daily Mail:
England’s footballers headed straight to Wimbledon after attending a Downing Street reception to celebrate their third-place finish at the Women’s World Cup.
Mr Cameron told the England stars on leaving Number 10 ‘take your earplugs, they’re quite loud’, referring to [Maria] Sharapova and Williams’ on-court grunting.
When asked for her thoughts on Mr Cameron’s joke, Sharapova replied: ‘Next question please’.
For an illustration of the kind of noises Cameron is referring to check this video montage from back in 2011.
She wasn’t the only female player to bristle in response to questions about the on-court noises, with former world number one Victoria Azarenka also hitting out at criticism:
It’s so annoying because guys grunt,’ said Azarenka on Tuesday. ‘I was practising next to (Rafael) Nadal, and he grunts louder than me, and nobody notices that, why? I don’t understand why.
‘Both women on the court were trying their hardest and giving everything, and they make noises. Is that a problem for tennis? It happens in every sport.
‘So I think maybe it’s time to just put it aside and not talk about it all the time because this is not what is important when there are two players on the Centre Court.’
True that, there are far more pressing matters at hand than the noises these professionals make when striking the ball.
I couldn’t care less what noises Kevin Anderson had made had he beaten Novak Djokovic earlier in the week, the same logic should maybe be applied to each and every player across the board.
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