Victoria Azarenka, one of the serial grunters of women's tennis, said last night she would tell an opponent to "mind your own business" if anyone complained about the noise coming from her side of the net.
Speaking after beating Sam Stosur 6-2, 6-2 in her opening round-robin match here at the season-ending WTA Championships, Azarenka said that she had made a noise as she hit the ball – the Belarusian makes more of a wail than a grunt – since she was eight. "It's become part of my movement, part of my game," she said. "I cannot change and I'm not going to."
As The Independent revealed yesterday, Caroline Wozniacki believes some players deliberately make a noise and that it can give them an advantage over opponents. The Women's Tennis Association is to educate young players with the aim of stopping them grunting.
However, Azarenka insisted: "You cannot stop people doing what they do on the court. You're not trying to distract anybody. It's just normal... it is just a part of me, a part of who I am."