Shhh! Tennis battles to shunt the grunters
June 26, 2012 -- Updated 1737 GMT (0137 HKT)
World No. 4 Maria Sharapova has long been known for her on-court shrieks and the Russian has recently attracted criticism as a result. The three-time grand slam champion claimed she will continue to make the noises until they are outlawed.
Blast from the past
It's not just the women...
- The sound of grunting is common in women's tennis
- The WTA is tackling the problem with coaching and is considering further steps
- A device which measures on-court noise could be introduced in the future
- World No. 1 Maria Sharapova is famous for her loud shrieks during matches
(CNN) -- It's something the world's two leading female tennis players have in common, and it's not the grand slam titles both Wimbledon top seed Maria Sharapova and No. 2 Victoria Azarenka have to their names.
Both stars have earned reputations as grunters, with Sharapova's screams puncturing the usual calm of London's All England Club on day one of the annual grass-court grand slam.
But tennis' rule makers have set in motion a chain of actions which could make baseline bellows a thing of the past, including the introduction of a device to monitor on-court noise levels and possible steps to sanction excessive shouts.
Death of a tennis art: Is this the end for serve and volley?
"The WTA, ITF, and grand slams aim to drive excessive grunting out of the game, while ensuring that we do not drive our current generation of players -- who were taught to play this way -- out of the game," read a WTA statement.
Janko Tipsarevic's goal for Wimbledon
Kvitova and Navratilova's Wimbledon
"This is a start of a sport-wide plan responsibly dealing with the issue through player education and objective rule changes."
While the body which governs women's tennis is eager to eradicate unnecessary shrieks, the organization is also cautious of negatively impacting current stars whose games have developed in a certain manner.
"It's time for us to drive excessive grunting out of the game for future generations," WTA CEO Stacey Allaster told USA Today.
"What is clear from experts is that it would have a clear, damaging effect on performance of the existing generation.
"It's going to take some time. I don't want to get ahead of ourselves because it's a collective effort of the sport and we need everyone to buy in."
Allaster said significant research needs to be conducted before any rule on noise could be formally introduced, and she stopped short of describing the device, which is still in development, as a "grunt-o-meter."
"The bottom line is that we want to bring forward across all levels of competition an objective rule through use of technology to make it much easier for athletes and chair umpires," she said.
"What is too loud? What is too long? We need to give the official an objective measurement tool.
"Can you imagine on a critical point an umpire going, 'Oh, I thought you were too loud.' You have to take all of that out of the equation. It's not fair to athletes, the chair or the sport."
Part of complete coverage on
June 7, 2013 -- Updated 2101 GMT (0501 HKT)
For some of the biggest names in tennis, the French Open's red clay courts mean only heartbreak and shattered dreams.
June 6, 2013 -- Updated 1105 GMT (1905 HKT)
She drank alcohol on court, smoked "furiously" and horrified the establishment with her daring outfits and "unladylike" playing style.
May 28, 2013 -- Updated 1445 GMT (2245 HKT)
CNN's Open Court talks to the past five French Open women's champions ahead of the start of the tennis season's second grand slam tournament.
June 3, 2013 -- Updated 1337 GMT (2137 HKT)
CNN's Christina MacFarlane shows us how the French Open maintains its special surface.
June 2, 2013 -- Updated 1343 GMT (2143 HKT)
CNN's Christina MacFarlane shows us what it takes to be an umpire at Roland Garros.
May 27, 2013 -- Updated 1410 GMT (2210 HKT)
CNN visits the Paris jewelry store that crafts the replica trophies taken home by winners French Open winners.
May 21, 2013 -- Updated 0939 GMT (1739 HKT)
Nicknamed the "kissing disease," mononucleosis or glandular fever is a viral illness that is affecting tennis stars.
May 1, 2013 -- Updated 1129 GMT (1929 HKT)
She towers above him, but she can't do without him. Meet the man who has made Maria Sharapova the world's wealthiest female athlete.
April 22, 2013 -- Updated 1511 GMT (2311 HKT)
When Maria Sharapova underwent shoulder surgery five years ago, many thought her tennis career wouldn't last.
April 18, 2013 -- Updated 1258 GMT (2058 HKT)
Nine-year-old Rebecca Suarez stunned onlookers when she was pulled out of the crowd to team up with Del Potro against Nadal.
April 18, 2013 -- Updated 2115 GMT (0515 HKT)
Janko Tipsarevic is of the belief that his fellow professionals aren't doping -- or at least not on a widespread basis.
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 1429 GMT (2229 HKT)
Agnieszka and Urszula Radwanska are hoping to take their relationship to a new level by emulating tennis' most famous sisters.
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 1402 GMT (2202 HKT)
America's 18-time grand slam champion Chris Evert talks to Open Court about her career and training the next generation of players.
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 1344 GMT (2144 HKT)
CNN's Don Riddell speaks with 11-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal during one of his comeback tournaments in Mexico.
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
Germany's veteran star Tommy Haas opens up to Pat Cash about being away from family on tour, and his many injuries.
March 11, 2013 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
You'd think John Isner and Nicolas Mahut would be sick of the sight of each other, but their friendship has grown since that epic match.
March 4, 2013 -- Updated 1608 GMT (0008 HKT)
Almost a decade after Andy Roddick's sole U.S. Open victory, America is still waiting for its next male grand slam winner. What's gone wrong?
Today's five most popular stories