Sydney, Dec.19: Australian grand slam champion Judy Dalton says today's players should forfeit matches against Maria Sharapova in a bid to beat her grunting.
At Wimbledon, the London tabloids' famous grunt-o-meter first used to measure the squeals of Monica Seles, has recorded Sharapova's noise level at 101.2 decibels - the equivalent, apparently, of a police siren at close range or a small aircraft landing nearby. Dalton now believes a locker-room pact is needed to end what she considers a blight on the modern game: Grunting. A former Wimbledon finalist, Dalton was one of nine women who signed symbolic one-dollar contracts that led to the formation of the Women's Tennis Association almost four decades ago.
The winner of nine grand slam doubles titles, five of them partnered by the great Margaret Court, Dalton (nee Tegart) claims she would be prepared to forfeit a match against world No.5 Maria Sharapova if officials did not act on complaints about the Russian's infamous shrieking.
"If that was me and I was playing Sharapova, I would be saying, 'If you continue with that, you can have the match - I'll walk off and I'll lodge a complaint'," Dalton told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"Will it happen? I don't think so. I don't think the players today would be game enough to do it. I don't think they have that same feeling for each other. I think everybody's just out for what they can do for themselves," she added.
Dalton also said the Williams sisters - Venus and Serena -- were two of the other main offenders on the WTA Tour.
Dalton like John Newcombe believes the grunt is used by the players to prevent opponents from hearing the sound of the ball on racquet.
She laments the WTA's unwillingness to deal with the issue for fear of alienating the big names.
Sharapova, Seles and others argue the noises are involuntary, and the chair umpire must be convinced they are excessive and intentional.