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Last Updated: Monday, 10 July 2006, 19:24 GMT 20:24 UK
Navratilova wants ban on grunting
Maria Sharapova
Sharapova's grunting has come in for criticism
Martina Navratilova has urged tennis officials to ban players from grunting.

The issue became a hot topic after Elena Dementieva complained about the noise opponent Maria Sharapova made during their recent clash at Wimbledon.

Dementieva, who lost 6-1 6-4 to her fellow Russian in the last eight, said Sharapova's grunting was "too much".

Navratilova, 49, agreed, telling Radio Five Live: "They should outlaw it. It's really unfair to the opponent and it's terrible for the public."

Navratilova, who will end her tennis career at the end of this season, felt it was particularly difficult for players who attack the net.

When you're at the net and you don't hear the ball being hit it becomes dangerous

Martina Navratilova

"At the net, you need to hear the ball hit the racket so that you know how fast it's travelling," she said.

"You first hear the ball, then you react to the sound and then the flight of the ball.

"When you're at the baseline, you're OK, but when you're at the net and you don't hear the ball being hit it becomes dangerous because you don't know how fast the ball's coming at you.

"You should try and play tennis with headphones on and not hear the ball hitting the ground or hitting your opponent's racket to know what I'm talking about."


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