Tennis Needs To Tell Maria Sharapova To Shut Up

As anyone who has ever seen Sharapova play knows, we’re not talking about the occasional whoop after winning an important point. We’re talking about full-bodied shrieks and screams after EVERY STROKE IN EVERY POINT.

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

Shrieks that have no utility other than to try to send a message to the woman on the other side of the net that Sharapova has just hit the living shit out of the ball.

According to US Davis Cup coach Patrick McEnroe, who weighed in on this issue after the match, Sharapova doesn’t scream like this in practice. That means her shrieking is not a weird, uncontrollable physical defect. That means that Sharapova is doing it intentionally (if unconsciously by now) and that she could stop doing it if someone with some authority told her to stop doing it.

Sharapova’s screaming is just a bogus physical intimidation technique like a howl with a karate chop and it should be banned. And Sharapova shouldn’t be singled out here: All the other screamers and shriekers on the tour–including the Williams sisters, who first popularized this method of intimidation–should be muzzled, too.

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