Female tennis players warned to stop grunting

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Updated: June 23, 2011

Female tennis stars have been warned that they are spoiling the game by grunting too loudly and are in danger of distracting their opponents. Ian Richie,the head of Wimbledon issued the ultimatum in a newspaper interview on Wednesday.

Ritchie, the chief executive of the All England Lawn and Tennis Club , said fans were also annoyed with loud players who spoil the sport for others. He went on to lay the blame at the door of younger players who he said had an “education problem” when it came to grunting.

Mr Ritchie admitted that officials of Wimbledon would definitely “prefer to see less grunting”. He continued: “The players have an ability to complain about it, if one player is grunting too much and the other player doesn’t like it and it is distracting, they can complain to the umpire. We have discussed it with the tours and we believe it is helpful to reduce the amount of grunting. We are one tournament in a global circuit. But we have made our views clear and we would like to see less of it.”

“I think there is an education problem with younger players. And certainly my postbag, if you say ‘what do you get most letters about’, I would say that grunting is high up.So we are aware, whether you are watching it on TV or here, people don’t particularly like it”.

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