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Grunts, Groans and Wimbledon Moans


The Sharapova Scream

Wimbledon fever is burning high.

There is nothing as refreshing as the sunshine, soft green turf, strawberries and cream, soaring balls ( ahem!) and short skirts.

There I was catching up on the day’s Tennis proceedings downstairs. I kept the volume down, so as not to disturb the rest of the household. But despite the reduced sound levels out emerged the rhythmic grunting from the sizzling star Sharapova.

At first a bearable squeal, then a forlorn shriek followed by a rhythmic uh- uh-unh.

I squirmed a little, uneasy at what it may sound like upstairs to those who were sleeping.

Edward Munch- The Tennis Scream!

Edward Munch- The Tennis Scream!

The Sharapova Scream

A Grunt Mash-up

Grunts and Groans may break my Bones

The cadence went higher, hitting 101 decibels ( trust me, it is official)

I punched the remote control in alarm. The rhythmic u-huh, aah and eaaaargh sounded not dissimilar to some other sound... a sound usually associated with a totally different ball game. You know what I mean! I didn’t want to be accused of watching ‘alternate entertainment’ usually starring Randy, Brandy, Amber or Sasha and not Sharapova, Serena, Azarenka or Kvitova.

For I tell you, the grunts and groans have invaded the gentle lawns of Wimbledon and they are here to stay.

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And they could get me in trouble for all the wrong reasons.

So come join me my friends in a trip down the house of screams, grunts, groans and sighs,

Scream a little Scream for me...

Scream a little Scream for me...

Michell Larcher De Brito: The Screamer

Monica Seles TV Ad

Rise of the Scream Queens

Gone are the genteel British days of stiff upper lip, leisurely forehand and Pimms in the sunshine. The Scream Queens are here.While the Men's Grunts were occasionally protested ( Lendl complaining about Agassi at US Open) the women have taken the shrieks and groans to a whole new level.

At 101 decibels, Maria Sharapova is now officially the loudest. Although fellow tennis star Michelle Larcher de Brito is raising the bar as she was recently booed off the French open for sounding like a howling fox.The Williams Sisters are no strangers to grunts and screams either.

The honour of the original screamer, of course goes to Monica Seles. Her uh-heeerh, uh- heerh was so annoying that the normally peaceful Steffi Graf complained to the umpire that it was a distraction technique.

Monica Seles even parodied her own grunts in an American Express TV advertisement. uh- heerh, who is grunting all the way to the bank, eh?

Ex champ, Martina Navaratilova, never screamed. But then I didn't put her down as one anyway.

ya-hoo, uh-huh and heeeyaaaa

ya-hoo, uh-huh and heeeyaaaa

Why do they Grunt?

The Grunting epidemic has caught on well and truly. One wonders why the once genteel tennis courts, resonant with only the thwack, thwack of the rackets and the gentle oohs, aahs of appreciation from the crowds, are now sounding like orgy night at Emperor Caligula's palace ( Not that I know what the latter really sounded like, but one can imagine from the historical references of the goings ( and comings) on).

Some Tennis coaches say that this is an simple act of exhalation that follows physical exertion. I tried this at my Gym and was soon escorted out towards the cold showers. Apparently my anhhh, aaah.anhhh aaah. on the cross trainers was not endearing. Maybe I should try it at the Zumba class.

Others feel this is to unnerve the opponent. It must be truly distracting when all you expect is a thwack and a whizz of the ball coming towards you and instead you hear the banshee like scream. What next, a bowler rushing towards the batsman shouting wheeeeeeeee?

Faced by loud protests from television viewers, BBC has announced a device called Net Mix that allows viewers to adjust the sound levels so they can tune up the commentary and the thwack of the racket while tuning down the groans and screams.

You screaming at me? You screaming at me? well there is nobody else here, biyatch.

You screaming at me? You screaming at me? well there is nobody else here, biyatch.

The Master of Kiai

Quiet Please!


Battle cries are not new to Tennis. The Japanese have the term Kiai for the sound you make to unnerve the opponent. It may be a Hi-yah, a Aiyah!, a Eee-yah or a more reserved Hyah!

This short exhalation that may be uttered before or during a strike in martial arts refers to an inner gathering of energy that is released forcefully in a single explosion of sound.However, the emphasis here is not the sound but the focus and the concentration of energy. In certain Japanese martial arts, the students do not allow the Ki to escape.

The art of not letting your 'Ki' escape for prolonging the pleasure is also known as Tantric Sex. But that is another story, another hub.

Kiai is just an audible indication of good posture, powering up and proper breathing. Such lascivious screaming as done by our Tennis stars will be wasted energy.

The master of Kiai is of course the late lamented martial arts supremo, Bruce Lee.

In Japanese -Ki means mind , breath or spirit and -Ai means to unite. So perhaps the Sharapova scream is merely an indication of uniting her breaths. I said breaths, c'mon now!

Historically armies have attempted to Kiai their opponents. The approaching sound of a noisy army could shake even the bravest heart.

Ipi- Kiyai , Mutha- Thwacker!

Ipi- Kiyai , Mutha- Thwacker!

uh- hoooo, uhn hooo - Azarenka vs Sharapova

Anything you can do, I ...

waaarh -vs aaargh

There are no rules against grunting or groaning. It is left to the discretion of the umpires ( Some of whom seem to be enjoying being in the middle of the orgiastic outpouring).

There is a section in the official rules of the Lawn Tennis Association at Wimbledon that says ' if a player willfully hinders an opponent, points will be deducted. If it done unintentionally then the point will be replayed' .

The only known victim of grunting related tennis ban is poor little Lauryn Edwards, who at the tender age of 9 years old was banned from playing tennis at Mr Carmel Tennis club in Sunbury, Australia, after complaints from an opposition player. Boooo!

But it doesn't qualify what 'hindrance' is. And it says nothing about eeeeaaaargh.

With the crowds getting increasingly disgruntled, the quieter players protesting, maybe the rule will be amended.

I hope not, for I'll miss those screams, groans and grunts. For how else will I give an excuse for the noises coming from my television?

Altogether now, unnhaaaah unhaaaah.

Now, it reminds me of that famous scene in Katz Cafe....

Copyright © Mohan Kumar 2011

I'll have what she is having!

Yay or Nay to Grunts?

Did I just do that loud? Didi I? Did I?

Did I just do that loud? Didi I? Did I?

Docmo's other hubs

Thank Yaaaaaoooouuu!

Thank you for your time and hope you enjoyed this hub.

Please leave some comments below as it is nice to know what you think. If you like this and think others will too, do share on Facebook and Twitter or other sites using the buttons below and don't forget to vote your opinion.

Do visit often and read the other hubs if you like the writing. There's plenty to entertain you!

Thank you!


Copyright © Mohan Kumar 2011

Keep your eye on the ball, mister!

Keep your eye on the ball, mister!


Alecia Murphy from Wilmington, North Carolina on November 06, 2012:

This is funny to me. I only started watching tennis in college because my friends liked it but thinking about it- it sounds like it has more to do with focusing energy than anything. Just wish they could sound a little less agitated sometimes :). Great hub!

Mary Craig from New York on November 06, 2012:

For the life of me I can't figure out how I missed this treasure! Oh the thoughts coursing through my mind...first your unsaid innuendos about the sounds these 'girls' are making, then the vision of you being escorted out of the gym...hilarious! I really think the grunts and groans should be left to the more intimidating martial arts.

Now, when Harry Met Sally at Katz, everyone was weeping with laughter...whenever I go to Katz Deli I have to control the urge to giggle uncontrollably.

This was a great hub so even though I'm late I'm sharing it! Voted up, funny, and interesting.

Dianna Mendez on November 06, 2012:

This should be in Sports Illustrated! What a fun look at how tennis is played- grunts and all. I do find done a bit much, but its the nature if the game.

Daisy Mariposa from Orange County (Southern California) on November 05, 2012:

Mohan (Docmo),

I came back to read this article again... I was looking for a Hub to illustrate *communication.* This is another brilliant article, polymath. Well done!

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on September 06, 2012:

Thomas... This hub can always be the 'cover' story and can be used as an alternate tab to flick over to if watching sensitive 'alternate' entertainments such as ' Forrest Hump' and ' Glad-he-ate-her' . Not that I know anything about them. Just sayin'.

Now I cant recall my history lessons outlining the sounds of a Caligula orgy //but then it wasn't my major!

Now that we've 'swoosh' for basketball, wonder what sound one could make for 'ping pong'?

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on September 06, 2012:

Thank you Linda., I agree! Power to the banshees, I say. Now I would love to hear your 'swoosh' you should record it for a Basketball hub. 'Swoosh, Swoosh' Slam dunk!

ThoughtSandwiches from Reno, Nevada on September 06, 2012:


Well...I was listening to the grunts and whatnot just now and my room mate came into my room and said, "So now it's not even porn anymore? We have to worry about tennis?"

haha...I told her you have to worry about tennis...and maybe ping-pong...not too sure yet.

Excellent funny read! So yeah...I was a history major and many of the primary documents suggested that the sounds being emitted from a good Caligula orgy could be compared to a tennis match. I won't get into what a bad Caligula orgy sounded like...


Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on September 06, 2012:

Jools- love the term 'Tennis Tourettes'! I agree effin and blindin may make it even more enjoyable. Of for the wonderfully sweary McEnroe : 'YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!'

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on September 06, 2012:

Too funny!! I say let them be and more power to their grunts and groans. If body builders and weight lifters could vocalize their lifts and bends, I say so can tennis players. Actually when I play basketball I often catch myself saying "swoosh" but I think I'm just hoping on making a dunk! Excellent hub!!

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on September 06, 2012:

Docmo, loved this hub - all that noise is like a form of tennis tourettes :o), so I suppose it could be a lot worse, it could all be effin' and bindin' on centre they would be tennis matches worth watching.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 26, 2012:

Interesting hub but those grunts and groans aren't easy on the ears. I guess they have come to stay and one will have to live with them.

Voted this hub up and all the way across too.

Melanie Chisnall from Cape Town, South Africa on May 25, 2012:

I have wondered the same when watching the ladies play tennis. Sure, some of the guys also grunt and moan - but, not as much as the women! Maybe for some of them it is a ploy to put off their opponent. Surely you don't have to moan like that EVERY time you hit the ball? Great article - voted funny and interesting :)

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on May 25, 2012:

KDuBarry and Ruchira - thank you very much for your visit and comments. Much appreciated.

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on May 25, 2012:

Daisy - thanks for rediscovering this little nugget from last Wimbledon. I had a lot of fun writing this after spending a lazy afternoon watching the Wimbledon Tournament. appreciate your comments!

Ruchira from United States on May 25, 2012:

Great hub and informative about the

I don't usually mind the grunts 'cause I agree it's helpful to distract the opponent and everything is fair and square in war ;)

KDuBarry03 on May 25, 2012:

Very very funny article, Docmo!

Daisy Mariposa from Orange County (Southern California) on May 25, 2012:


What a funny article! Maria Sharapova's screams are ear-splittingly loud. I always think she's calling out the name of some man she wants to hit with her tennis racket.

Ankush Kohli from India on October 11, 2011:

Yes, It has been a point of discussion among various sports' commentators. Often it has been compared with men's grunt as well but they simply lose out against women. I think it is irritating for opposite player but most of ladies have now included in their armory to upset the opponent.

Ruchira from United States on September 05, 2011:

Enjoyed reading your hub Docmo.

The facts were laid out well and found it funny when you were asked to leave when you made that grunting noise in the gym...LOL.

Movie Master from United Kingdom on July 18, 2011:

Hi Docmo, well we saw some great tennis this year, but oh those grunts they are so irritating!! You have just about got it all covered here, well written, loved it!

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on July 04, 2011:

I must say that i watched all week ( I love Tennis ) The grunts really do get on my nerves. You have a wonderful Hub, beautifully written. I might add, when Fed. lost i actually cried, but i did the same when Pete lost too. Thank's again

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 03, 2011:

Very entertaining hub. I have been in Zumba classes and never heard grunts and screams, so this apparently is a new trend in expressing oneself on the tennis court, although a bit annoying. I think you did an excellent job on covering this topic thoroughly!

Christina Lornemark from Sweden on July 03, 2011:

I can imagine that grunts isn't appreciated everywhere and I think you are right; it might be more suited on the Zumba class, at least the music will mute the worst of it:) This was an interesting and enjoyable read in your corner Docmo, you did a great job as usual. The videos told the rest:) Voted up of course.


Tricia Mason from The English Midlands on July 03, 2011:

Hi :)

Very good! Very amusing!

But what about Petra Kvitova's whistles and squeals?!

Amy Becherer from St. Louis, MO on July 02, 2011:

Hilarious take, Docmo, and one I'm sure everyone who's listened has taken note of! I had my TV on also and went into the bedroom to find out what was on. MacGregor, my pup, started protesting to the ear piercing, relentless, rhythmic cadence by growling that culminated in barking. I changed the channel as it was obviously not occasional, but a constant in the new wave of tennis. I would expect some vocalizing in the exertion of such a strenuous physical sport, but I found it annoying after about 15-minutes, yet easily remedied at the click of the controller. Great writing on an amusing observation. Smashing, Docmo!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 02, 2011:

Thanks for a hilarious hub! I loved the article and the videos. I used to watch Wimbledon tennis every summer as a child, but I haven't seen it for years. What a difference from my childhood! The sounds in your videos are amusing, but I think I would find them annoying if I had to watch a whole tennis match with those noises!

UltimateMovieRankings from Virginia on July 02, 2011:

Great collection of grunts....nice idea.....I rarely watch tennis anymore....but I do not remember grunts being so loud as they are now...voted up, funny and useful.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on July 01, 2011:

What a great job you did, Mohan, with this odd but funny topic. And the grunting videos were definitely the icing on the cake. Thanks for the treat.

miss_jkim on July 01, 2011:

A nicely written hub, funny and entertaining; I couldn't help but chuckle at your insinuations.

Voted up and funny

Twilight Lawns from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on July 01, 2011:

A brilliantly well constructed, funny, raunchy, naughty hub.


UP and FUNNY... of course.

I loved it.

visionandfocus from North York, Canada on July 01, 2011:

Great hub! Loved the hilarious vids and photo captions! Sharapova may have the loudest and most annoying squealing grunts but Francesca Schiavone has the scariest screaming/shouting grunts I have ever had the misfortune to hear. I have to mute the sound every time I watch her play.

Btw, I hope they didn't escort you out your Zumba class. ;)

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on July 01, 2011:

Great, funny Hub, Docmo!

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