Shhh! Tennis battles to shunt the grunters
June 26, 2012 -- Updated 1737 GMT (0137 HKT)
World No. 4 Maria Sharapova has long been known for her on-court shrieks and the Russian has recently attracted criticism as a result. The three-time grand slam champion claimed she will continue to make the noises until they are outlawed.
Blast from the past
It's not just the women...
- The sound of grunting is common in women's tennis
- The WTA is tackling the problem with coaching and is considering further steps
- A device which measures on-court noise could be introduced in the future
- World No. 1 Maria Sharapova is famous for her loud shrieks during matches
(CNN) -- It's something the world's two leading female tennis players have in common, and it's not the grand slam titles both Wimbledon top seed Maria Sharapova and No. 2 Victoria Azarenka have to their names.
Both stars have earned reputations as grunters, with Sharapova's screams puncturing the usual calm of London's All England Club on day one of the annual grass-court grand slam.
But tennis' rule makers have set in motion a chain of actions which could make baseline bellows a thing of the past, including the introduction of a device to monitor on-court noise levels and possible steps to sanction excessive shouts.
Death of a tennis art: Is this the end for serve and volley?
"The WTA, ITF, and grand slams aim to drive excessive grunting out of the game, while ensuring that we do not drive our current generation of players -- who were taught to play this way -- out of the game," read a WTA statement.
Janko Tipsarevic's goal for Wimbledon
Kvitova and Navratilova's Wimbledon
"This is a start of a sport-wide plan responsibly dealing with the issue through player education and objective rule changes."
While the body which governs women's tennis is eager to eradicate unnecessary shrieks, the organization is also cautious of negatively impacting current stars whose games have developed in a certain manner.
"It's time for us to drive excessive grunting out of the game for future generations," WTA CEO Stacey Allaster told USA Today.
"What is clear from experts is that it would have a clear, damaging effect on performance of the existing generation.
"It's going to take some time. I don't want to get ahead of ourselves because it's a collective effort of the sport and we need everyone to buy in."
Allaster said significant research needs to be conducted before any rule on noise could be formally introduced, and she stopped short of describing the device, which is still in development, as a "grunt-o-meter."
"The bottom line is that we want to bring forward across all levels of competition an objective rule through use of technology to make it much easier for athletes and chair umpires," she said.
"What is too loud? What is too long? We need to give the official an objective measurement tool.
"Can you imagine on a critical point an umpire going, 'Oh, I thought you were too loud.' You have to take all of that out of the equation. It's not fair to athletes, the chair or the sport."
Part of complete coverage on
September 11, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
September 9, 2014 -- Updated 0636 GMT (1436 HKT)
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
September 14, 2014 -- Updated 1334 GMT (2134 HKT)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
Today's five most popular stories