NEW YORK – In a bold move, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) have jointly announced a severe punishment for what many fans and players feel has become the number one distraction in the game today: Excessive Grunting.
In a major step towards a quieter, more classic sounding game, beginning next week at all tournaments, including Grand Slam events and breakfasts, any player who is warned three times in a match for grunts exceeding 37 decibels above the ambient sound at courtside will be forced to don the Grunt Stopper XE (patent pending) for the remainder of the match or suffer a default of the match.
Habitual offenders face suspensions, fines and, in a ruling implemented that the unions are still fiercely fighting, be forced to wear the device before matches have even begun.
Although fans and broadcasters wholeheartedly applaud the ruling, the opinions of players vary depending, not surprisingly, down the grunter/gruntee lines.
“At one match,” said Nadia Svetmaudene. “My opponent, who shall remain nameless but whose initials are Cheryl Anne Dinkmeyer, grunted so loudly when she’d sit during changeovers planes from a nearby airport had to be diverted around the stadium.”
There has also been anecdotal stories of flocks of geese being wildly thrown off course during some events. Although the scientific data has not come back conclusive, the stories run rampart within the tennis and goosing communities.
When contacted for comment the aforementioned competitor and offender, Ms. Dinkmeyer, could not comment due to a retroactive implementation of the ruling on a 24-hour basis due to last weeks grunting escapade which cracked the head of a players racket while Ms. Dinkmeyer was changing in the locker room for her upcoming match.
Another excessive grunter, Alexiadeuamentea Fluglebindersmith commented that, although she may be forced to wear the Grunt Stopper XE at some matches, her major complaint was more esthetic.
“Have you seen the thing? I haven’t put something that ugly in my mouth since, well, let’s just say for many years. They’d better come out with a blinged out version or I’ll just take my sweet, sweet ass to the LPGA where my good friends be at.”
Although controversial, the Grunt Stopper XE (pictured below) seems a step in the right direction to not only appease fans, so vital to the continued growth of the game, who wish to revisit the sports more genteel roots but also the migratory geese so vital to the worlds survival.