‘Can’t Be Healthy’ – When Boris Becker Remained Dumb-Founded Over Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova’s Excessive Grunting

Published 08/24/2022, 4:46 PM EDT
Boris Becker seen in Paris during the tennis Roland Garros tournament. Boris Becker splits from wife Lilly. On May 29, 2018. (Photo by Mehdi Taamallah/Nurphoto)

Former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker once stated that female tennis players like Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova should be banned from grunting as “it can’t be healthy.

Additionally, Martina Navratilova voiced her opinion about a specific aspect of the game—namely, grunting during matches, which she obviously disapproved of. She believes that the umpires should be in charge of punishing the concerned players.


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Many tennis players are famous for grunting while they hit their shots. People also call it “shrieking” or “screaming”. Fans and pundits argue that tennis players grunt to sharpen their focus and exert more effort. While others consider it a form of cheating as they think of it as unsportsmanlike and disruptive to opponents.

Boris Becker spoke about grunting by female tennis players

The former world No.1 player, Boris Becker, once stated that women’s grunting during their tennis matches was unnecessary.

Former tennis player Boris Becker arrives at Southwark Crown Court for his bankruptcy offences trial in London, Britain, April 5, 2022. REUTERS/Tom Nicholson

I’m amazed whenever I watch Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova,” he stated, referring to the Russian tennis superstar.


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Although several players still grunt, Serena’s once went over 100 decibels, an unwanted record in women’s tennis. Citing such excessively loud grunting, Boris added,

I can’t help thinking it’s bad for their vocal chords. It can’t be healthy and it can’t go on.

Serena once brushed off a question about grunting

The American tennis legend, Serena Williams, was asked by a reporter about her opinion of the crowd’s response to female players grunting. This incident happened after she defeated Victoria Azarenka in the Wimbledon 2015 quarterfinals.


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 07: Serena Williams of the United States reacts during her Women’s Singles final match against Bianca Andreescu of Canada on day thirteen of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 07, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

The recurring subject of grunting by female tennis players didn’t seem to interest Serena at all. She stated,I’m done with controversy. I can’t. I’m tired. I have to do ice bath.” She added, “If you have any other questions, I’m cool, but, you know, I’m done with that.

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Many female tennis players like Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova have endured a great deal of controversy and criticism throughout their careers. However, these players never gave up and always stood firm in their beliefs.

What are your thoughts on grunting by players, both in the men’s and women’s circuit?



Anurag Gusain

435 articles

Anurag Gusain is a Tennis Author at EssentiallySports. He has completed his Bachelor’s degree in English from Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, Delhi University. Being a huge tennis fan, he enjoys watching Rafa Nadal play.

Edited By: Tony Thomas