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‘It Is Cheating’ – Martina Navratilova Criticized Players Like Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams Over One Aspect of Their Game

Published 06/26/2022, 4:11 PM EDT

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It’s no doubt that Martina Navratilova is one of the greatest players ever to play the sport. Nowadays, she often appears on various channels or networks to provide her expert opinion about matches, particularly Grand Slam matches.

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During the Wimbledon in 2009, she gave her input in one particular aspect of the game, i.e. grunting during matches, which she clearly did not like. According to her, umpires should take the responsibility to give punishment to the players.


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Martina Navratilova talked about the grunting of a few players, like Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova

During that 2009 interview, the 18-time Grand Slam champion spoke about the grunting of players, as she said, “I should not have to make that noise to handicap the other player. So, it is not direct cheating, but it is cheating in a way because you are making it difficult for the opponent to hear the ball hitting the racket and that should not be.”

“The fact of the matter is the grunting, and it’s not even granting, it’s shrieking has got to subside if not disappear altogether because it’s not necessary. There’s no reason to be making that noise when you are hitting a ball. We are not lifting 200 pounds over our head,” she added. 


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“It is a hindrance when they are yelling that loud it’s a hindrance and the umpire needs to step up to the plate and say ‘you need to calm down and if you don’t, it’s a point penalty’. I guarantee you, once you start giving out point penalties, they are gonna stop it,” she further said. 

Notably, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova grunt probably the loudest on the tour. Although Navratilova did not take their name directly, she was most probably talking about them and their loud grunting noises during the game.

Navratilova’s dominance at Wimbledon

Martina Navratilova had a unique style in the women’s game, as she used to serve and volley a lot during matches. Her style of play suited grass-court tennis, as she has won the Wimbledon singles title a record nine times in her career.


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Watch This Story: Martina Navratilova’s epic appearance on Dancing with the Stars


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Apart from that, she won the French Open 2 times, the Australian Open 3 times, and the US Open 4 times in her career. Also, she has won 2189 total matches in her career, which is the highest number of matches won by any man or woman. She has done this all with her incredible serve and volley game. Additionally, many also call her the greatest all-format player of all time, including the great Billie Jean King.

Is Navratilova the greatest ever? Let us know in the comments.

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Written by:

Debkinkar Maity


One take at a time

Debkinkar Maity is a Tennis Author at EssentiallySports. His desire to become a sports journalist inspired him to take up a degree in journalism and mass communication, and he hasn't looked back ever since. Following the sport for over a decade now, Debkinkar has an ardent love for Roger Federer.
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Edited by:

Tony Thomas