Posts Tagged Serena Williams

Slow Mo Videos Of Top Women Tennis Players

I know these professional players are NOT ordinary people, but these slow motion videos are so mesmerizing and reveal such detail that I thought you’d enjoy seeing them. This is some of the beauty of the sport as depicted in a New York Times video by Dewey Nicks. (Try not to picture any grunting as heard in yesterday’s post.)

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Tennis Ladies Who Grunt

Here is copy from a Daily Beast article about tennis players who make sounds when they hit the ball. I always thought it was like a martial arts technique…to exhale when you exert, so that you rid yourself of the tension holding your breath requires. But its a relatively new practice on the courts. Loading The Beast’s videos didn’t work, so I found some others. The comments I selected at the bottom are as cute to me as the whines and wheezes the women are making. Some people like the yelps, others can’t stand them. What do YOU think?

First I have an excerpt from Wikipedia: Many people have called for grunting to be banned from tennis or at least be made punishable. In the 1988 US Open, Ivan Lendl complained about Andre Agassi’s grunting, “When Agassi went for a big shot, his grunt was much louder. It threw off my timing.”[7] In the 2009 French Open, Aravane Rezaï complained to the umpire about Michelle Larcher de Brito’s “shrieking”, which led to a Grand Slam supervisor being brought to the court. No action was taken against Larcher de Brito and she was booed off the court.[7] Afterwards former tennis player Martina Navratilova said that grunting was a form of cheating, “The grunting has reached an unacceptable level. It is cheating, pure and simple. It is time for something to be done.” She also cited Roger Federer as an example of a successful player who doesn’t grunt: “Roger Federer doesn’t make a noise when he hits the ball—go and listen.”

A Wimbledon official criticized women for grunting too loudly on the court Wednesday. Here is the countdown of five of the biggest scream queens in tennis.

5. Serena Williams

Ian Ritchie, the chief executive of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, told The Daily Telegraph Wednesday that female players grunt too loudly at Wimbledon. One player who might disagree with Ritchie is former world No. 1-ranked Williams. The younger of the Williams duo told The First Post in 2009 that grunting was no big deal: “I just play my game and sometimes I grunt and sometimes I don’t. I’m not conscious when I’m doing it… It doesn’t really affect me.” Williams’ emphatic grunt makes the tennis prodigy sound like she’s exerting a lot of effort, but is only worth the No. 5 spot on our list when it comes to volume and originality.

4. Elena Bovina

At 6’2”, Bovina’s scratchy grunt (just watch the first 10 seconds above) might qualify as more of a banshee’s roar. The Russian player was dubbed one of the “loudest grunters” by MSN, which also reported that her grumble reached a respectable 81 decibels. Bovina’s grunt might be an alto in a sea of sopranos, but what it lacks in pitch it more than makes up for in force.

3. Victoria Azarenka

The Belarusian player’s grunt—a cross between a sneeze and a chirp—registered at 95 decibels at this year’s Wimbledon match, just missing the 105-decibel record held by Maria Sharapova. In this video, the World No. 5-ranked player makes opponent Serena Williams’ grunt sound like a whisper compared to her distinguished howls.

2. Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova didn’t just upset Serena Williams with her game on the court—she put the tennis vet’s grunt to shame when she set the record for loudest bellow. At 105 decibels, Sharapova’s 2009 record was called a “pneumatic drill” by the The Telegraph and has been untouched since. Listen to the yelp that falls just five decibels short of a motorcycle.

1. Michelle Larcher de Brito

The Portuguese athlete might be the youngest of the players who’ve come under fire for their cacophonous bellows, but she’s hardly a stranger to criticism. In 2009, Larcher de Brito’s cries sent opponent Aravane Rezai reeling so much that she complained to the umpire at the French Open. Despite fielding criticism from other players and officials alike, Larcher de Brito told Reuters in 2009 that she has no intention of quieting down. “If they have to fine me, go ahead because I’d rather get fined than lose a match because I had to stop grunting,” she said. With her trademark high-pitched shriek, Larcher de Brito may be the ultimate scream queen on the court.

Some comments follow below: Read the rest of this entry »

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Can You Change Personalities And Become A Killer On The Court?

In the game on July 1st, when the other team was behind, one of my opponents told his partner to “Play for blood!” And that partner would then really get miffed with his own teammate when a point was lost: “Why didn’t you move back to the center? How could you miss that shot?” he would ask with annoyance.

I also noticed that after a point, when the first guy fed me a ball, so that I could serve, he hit it back to me low, hard, and with lots of top spin. I usually just lob the ball over in a gentle way when I feed the server.

I think of myself as an easy-going type. Though competitive, I can’t usually forget serious problems in the world or the troubles people I know are dealing with. So I don’t get upset if I lose. I mean it’s just a game, and we are out there to have fun. If my partner screws up or double faults, big deal. My main goal is for me to play well. I may become disappointed when I hit long or in the net. I may feel apologetic that I am letting my partner down or not giving the other guys a better game. But I don’t get angry.

Now I’d also heard for years that if you watch someone playing almost any sport, you can see their personality in action. If they cheat in the game, they probably do it in business. I am gentle, so I lob the ball back easily. Someone else is tough, he fires it back with vigor. But I also want to hit a hard, fast tennis ball in the game, so of course I should do it in practice and now maybe at all times on the court. I want to be tougher, rougher, gruffer and meaner in “play” than I am in real life. In fact:


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How Can You Reverse a Losing Streak?

How do you go from losing to winning? I played tennis initially like an old man on Thursday after four weeks away from doubles due to my ankle sprain. Lots of long balls and double faults in spite of the good practicing the other day. Still babying the foot on the runs to get some hard shots.

Then after losing 6-3 and being down 4-1, because I lost both games I was serving, something magical happened. My partner said “Let’s make a new start and change our attitude.” Miraculously we brought the set to 6-5 our favor and won the set 8-6. How did we turn it around? Read the rest of this entry »

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