Lisicki complains over opponent's grunting
Big-serving German Sabine Lisicki made an official complaint over the consistent grunting of her Wimbledon opponent Bojana Jovanovski on Wednesday, claiming the din masked the sound of the ball.
Lisicki, the 15th seed who made the Wimbledon semifinals last year, claimed the Serb's constant barrage of noise out on Court 12, which echoed around the arena, was distracting.
"You usually hear the sound of the ball, but I couldn't really hear it because of her grunting," said Lisicki, who still won the second round match 3-6, 6-2, 8-6.
"That why we have the hindrance rule. That's what I talked about to the judge.
"Grunting is part of the game, but it shouldn't be off putting and be an advantage for the opponent, the one who is doing it."
Lisicki admitted that she too sometimes turns up the decibels, but insisted her noise levels were acceptable.
"Sometimes I do, yes, but I hope it's not as bad. No one ever complains," she added.
Sapa-AP reports that the WTA says it is working with Grand Slam tournaments and the International Tennis Federation to "drive excessive grunting" out of tennis.
In a statement, the women's professional tour says it is developing a "sport-wide plan" to keep future players from grunting by educating them and instituting rule changes.
The WTA had said in January it was looking at ways to deter players from grunting, noting then that "some fans find it bothersome."
USA Today reported that the plan includes developing a device for umpires to measure grunting during matches, and a rule to set limits on how much noise is acceptable.