23 Jun 2011

Not everyone loves grunting women of Wimbledon

9:06 am on 23 June 2011

The grunting women of Wimbledon are raising the ire of tournament officials as their groans and growls distract opponents and annoy spectators.

Belarussian player Victoria Azarenka, often criticised for her wails, edged towards record noise levels as noise machines, or "gruntometers", recorded her at level of 95 decibels in her first round match against Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova.

The grunts, which typically exceeded 1.5 seconds almost every time she hit the ball, drew amusement from some spectators and annoyance from others before play was suspended due to rain, AAP reports.

All England Tennis Club chief executive Ian Ritchie told Britain's Daily Telegraph he receives numerous letters of complaint from the public about noisy players, and officials would prefer to hear less grunting.

The loudest known grunt came from Maria Sharapova in 2009 with a record of 105 decibels - louder than the average chain saw or pneumatic drill.