First held in August 1881, the US Open is quickly approaching and history shows the nosiest players usually win.
London, August 2018 – With the US Open starting shortly, a survey was conducted to find out if Britain think grunting helps tennis player’s performance. 29% of the British public agree and almost half admitted they are noisy too.
This suggests making a noise does help performance and Professor David Reby, who has studied voice pitch and sexual attraction in mammals, explains: “As with other mammal calls, the acoustic structure of human grunts contains information that may help us to infer contest outcomes.”
How the Predications Were Made
Various experiments have been conducted over the years and a revelatory new study by PLoS ONE discovered that grunting during sports does indeed give competitive advantage. When looking at previous winners of the US open, history shows similar results, with a positive correspondence appearing between performance and grunts.
For example, in 2017 Rafael Nadal won the Men’s Single Final and Victoria Azarenka, a former top-ranked player, commented: “Rafael Nadal grunts louder than me!”
Women’s Singles Results
At the start of the tournament Shuai Zhang and Serena Williams are standing out as strong competitors and research found they both have very loud grunts.
Shuai Zhang, is currently ranked one of the best female players in the world and when analysing her best five shots in 2017 they were followed by a rather loud grunt. Statistics show athletes are able to generate significantly more g-force, while grunting than without, and may be behind Shuai’s success.
Additionally, Serena Williams has a powerful sound and was ranked 3rd in the top 10 loudest women in tennis by Business Insider Australia: “On a scale from 1 to 10, we’ve ranked where we think some of the best players in women’s tennis fall on the ‘grunt-o-meter’. Therefore, players like Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, and Maria Sharapova are free to grunt and shriek as loud as they want.”
Predictions for Men’s Singles
Grunting while playing sport has proven better results and based on this information it is believed Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will compete for first place in the Men’s Singles. Both have a recognisable grunt and past plays suggest their chances are good.
Louise Deeley, a Sports Psychologist at Roehampton University, believes that grunting is part of the rhythm for tennis players: “The timing of when they actually grunt helps them with the rhythm of how they’re hitting and how they’re pacing things.”
However, this is all just a theory and although tennis odds predict similar results, only time will tell who will reach the final.
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