News24

Azarenka 'won't stop' grunting

2011-10-26 22:47

Istanbul - Victoria Azarenka did not mince her words when she was quizzed again about her on-court sound effects at the WTA Championships on Wednesday.

The Belarussian's incessant groans after pretty much every ball she strikes irritate crowds and television viewers alike but world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki is the most high-profile player to call for quiet.

"It's the way I've played since I was eight, it's part of my movement, part of my game so I can't change it and I'm not gonna," Azarenka told reporters after beating Australian Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-2 in her opening White Group match.

"You can't stop people from doing what they do on court. I mean you're not trying to distract anybody."

Wozniacki went on record this week, accusing some players of deliberately making a noise as a form of gamesmanship.

Although she did not name names it was clear her comments were aimed at the likes of Azarenka, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams who are all known for grunting.

Asked what she would do if a player made an official complaint, Azarenka's answer was emphatic.

"I would just say 'mind your own business' I guess," she said with a smile.

Azarenka is regularly quizzed about her grunting but always says there is nothing she can do about it and added Wozniacki had not spoken to her on the subject.

Stosur was not put off by Azarenka's groaning although she said she did not like to hear it when she was watching on television.

"When I'm out there I don't really notice it," she said. "But I don't like hearing it on TV, it's horrible."

WTA chief executive Stacey Allaster, mindful of public perceptions, said on the eve of the tournament the ruling body was looking into the aspect of grunting on court.

Wozniacki stirred up the issue earlier this week.

"I think there are some players who do it on purpose," she was quoted as saying.

"They don't do it in practice and then they come into the match and they grunt. I think they [officials] could definitely cut it."

Reuters