It's been the first thing in her pro-life that I consider a big thumbs-down.
Honestly, was Wednesday's "top" story in women's tennis more about other players' grunting or Caroline Wozniacki's whining?
We need to talk about grunting. Except that, really, nope, we don't. This subject seems a tired trope, fanned by the media. Most players say it hardly affects them. So it's odd when the freshly cemented year-end No. 1 opts to take on grunting as an allegedly timely on-court issue. At the season closing championships. In Istanbul. As if it hasn't been the case all year.
This just in: Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, and others are hardly WTA upstarts. And whether they clamor with a shriek-y cadence (Sharapova), yelp post-point—even on opponents' errors (Kvitova), or, worst, coo all the way through their foes' next shots (Azarenka), players largely pay it small mind. Whether the tennis is played indoors or outside, there remains nothing new under the sun.
Thus for all of her consistency and her patented dearth of unforced errors on court, the shot that Wozniacki took here was poorly timed. It came on a day when her headline should have revolved around that year-end No. 1 status, something no female player has managed twice in a row since Justine Henin in the mid-2000s, and a feat that no other active woman has pulled off twice aside from Serena Williams herself (2002, 2009). Instead, Wozniacki—in cahoots with the media—changed the narrative. And to what exactly? "Wozniacki Says Players Grunt 'On Purpose.'" How terrifically boring.
Well, at least the UK's Telegraph had fun with it. That paper counted down the arguable Top 10 grunters of all time. I repeat: Who doesn't love lists? Michelle Larcher de Brito owes her notoriety entirely to the most heinous sound every uttered on a tennis court, but the player who counts her truly counts her lucky stars to be included on the rundown (gruntdown?) is one Elena Bovina. (To those thinking, "Who?" ... enjoy
Notably bringing up the rear at No. 10 on that well-Telegraphed list was none other than Elena Dementieva, who I affectionately dubbed Demented for that unsightly but endearing serve toss and general headcasing. When she retired at 2010's WTA year-end championships in Doha, oh, tennis fans' collective viscera did groan.