Tennis

Azarenka: Nothing will stop grunting

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World No. 4 Victoria Azarenka said Wednesday no rule change would stop her grunting on the court, adding she would tell any opponent who complained to "mind their own business."

Her comments came a day after world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki said the players who shrieked the loudest had an unfair advantage because their opponents could not hear how the ball had been struck.

The Dane said those who do not grunt in practice but who do so in matches were effectively cheating and that officials "could definitely cut it," The (London) Times reported.

Maria Sharapova has been recorded at more than 100 decibels, but it is Azarenka's elongated sound that has created the bigger stir. The Belarussian, however, claimed Wednesday that she is incapable of stopping it.

"I'm the way that I play since I was actually 8 years old, and it's become part of my movement and part of my game," she said. "So I cannot change it, and I'm not going to."

The WTA said it plans to educate junior players about the perils of grunting, but Azarenka said that trying to force changes would not work.

"It's not about the rule," she said. "You cannot stop people from doing what they do on the court. It's not [that] you're trying to distract anybody. It's just normal."

Samantha Stosur, the US Open champion, experienced the Azarenka shriek first-hand Wednesday when she was beaten 6-2 6-2, leaving her 1-1 in her round-robin contests at the WTA Championships in Istanbul this week.

The Australian said she did not really hear Azarenka on court, but whenever she watched her on television, it sounded "horrible."

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