It’s perhaps the most grating sound in world sport, but tennis pros have been screaming their lungs out for decades. So just who are the biggest groundstroke grunters?
Perhaps the most famous shriek in sport, the Russian glamour girl can reach such a pitch that the only option is to watch her matches on mute. The screams can vary depending on her position in the court, but invariably sound as if she is in severe pain.
Try it yourself: Imagine you’re hurling a bag of bricks as far as you can off a bridge while a pit bull mauls your leg.
Michelle Larcher de Brito
It’s unfortunate – or fortunate – that Larcher de Brito doesn’t make more main draws of the big tourneys because this chick is de Boss when it comes to screeching. It’s so bad that her former coach Nick Bollettieri – who just so happened to coach Sharapova as well – was accused of training her to do it. He strenuously denied the accusation.
Try it yourself: Do your best impression of a Formula One car screaming by at 350km/h.
The original women’s screamer, Seles often had opponents complain about her noisiness. It reached the point that she started taking the mickey out of herself in commercials, including one where she caused a stir in a grocery store grunting as she tried to reach the top shelf.
Try it yourself: It’s almost a very exaggerated and prolonged clearing of the throat: “Aa-heeh.”
Jimmy Connors is often credited as the founding father of grunting in tennis, but the American had nothing on Guga. The three-time French Open champ’s howl sounded like how you’d imagine a man-baby would cry when he was having a real whinge.
Try it yourself: In your deepest, most manly voice, moan, “Bu-werr!”