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Martina Navratilova on tennis players’ screams: "They aren't lifting 300 pounds, they're hitting a tennis ball"

Martina NavratilovaTennis legend Martina Navratilova is by no means against excessive screaming on the tennis court.

Of course, Navratilova's main target was the currently loudest player of all, Maria Sharapova.

"If I were the commissioner of tennis I would outlaw (screeching during matches). Maria's level gets louder the closer the match and quite frankly it's not necessary, they aren't lifting 300 pounds, they're hitting a tennis ball."

Navratilova also mentioned the case of 9-year old Lauryn Edwards, who was banned from her local tennis club because her screams were too loud.

"Here you had this little kid who was just barely getting the ball over the net yet the noise coming out of her made you think she was hitting the ball 200 miles an hour. She was concentrating more on making the noise than hitting the ball."

That’s true, kids definitely imitate professional athletes, and even if they don’t naturally have the need to scream when hitting a ball they will start doing it because their idols do it.

BTW: Sharapova’s screams aren’t giving the best example to the young tennis players, but they sure are perfect for waking you up in the morning. (via Down the Line)

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6 thoughts on “Martina Navratilova on tennis players’ screams: "They aren't lifting 300 pounds, they're hitting a tennis ball"

  1. Mr. Scott

    I've been more annoyed over the years with Venus and sometimes Serena for their increasingly loud shrieking as they think the point or their enthusiasm requires it. And in my book,after Larcher perhaps, Venus is far more annoying even than Sharapova's escalating tendency given their perceived need to pump themselves up and/or intimidate their oppponents. Azerenka is nothing and Monica Seles surely never "bothered" me. She did it every hit and with great consistency. So, if the ITF is going to crack down then they should start with the Williams sisters; they never seem to be in this conversation, and should.

  2. Alex

    I'm surprised that the screaming isn't banned. Top players listen to the sound that comes of the opponents racket and from that they can tell a lot about how hard it is hit, spin and angle. I'm not even that good and I can tell what a ball will do when it comes of the opponents racket from the sound it makes – I could disguise a drop shot by screaming at the top of my voice as I play the touch shot – even a basic player can tell whether the ball has hit the sweet spot or the frame. The screaming stops the opponent from catching the sound of the ball leaving the racket – not forgeting just how distracting the noise is. There should be a limit on what is acceptable before it becomes cheating – and the umpire should have a discretion. Anyway despite all her annoying screaming and lack of gamesmanship she lost – its funny in her acceptance speech she didn't even give Kvitova credit for how well she played – in my view the best person won.

  3. James Gladden

    This is really a new issue that probably began with Monica Seles. During my time on the courts in the 1960's and early 1970s in the US, Germany and England ( I was a member of the Rohampton Club) you never heard such obnoxious noise. There is a problem when fans have to turn the volume down on their viewing screens! If the WTF does not act responsibility with new rules and regulations, they may lose not only the respect of the non-offending players but of the patrons as well.

  4. Eiliv Konglevoll

    A fanatic follower of women tennis, but for the first time in 25 years, I won't watch the women final. Because of the screaming. Maybe something good will come out of it yet, the two main screamers will make a parody of it. The men sure play good tennis without too much noise.
    Set a certain date for end of screaming, then give warning, the take away point and so on. Only solution and it's simple. It sure will work.
    And why does not Nadal get warnings using over 30 seconds between each serve? Got a 30 seconds jump on recording on my remote, easy to check. Limit is 20?

  5. Marija Post author

    I don't mind the screaming as a spectator, but since players claim that it distracts them the tour should do something about it.

    Yes, limit is 20.

  6. pat smith

    It sounds very sexy to me.. I like it. I would not watch boring tennis except for pretty women and their sexy yells

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