The Art of Grunting in Tennis: Why It Matters and Why Players Do It?

The sound of grunting has become synonymous with tennis. For some, it may seem like a distraction or annoyance, while for others, it is a necessary part of their game. But why do certain players grunt?

The Art of Grunting in Tennis: Why It Matters and How to Do It Right

The Benefits of Grunting in Tennis

Grunting can provide several benefits to a player's game. One of the most significant advantages is increased power. Studies have shown that players who grunt can generate up to 3.8% more racket head speed than those who do not. This added speed can translate to more power in a player's shots, allowing them to hit the ball harder and with more force. Grunting can also enhance focus, helping players stay in the moment and concentrate on each shot.

The sound of a grunt can act as a form of mindfulness, as it provides a rhythmic sound to focus on during play. Additionally, the sound of the grunt can help players control their breathing, which is essential for maintaining stamina and endurance during long matches. Another advantage of grunting is the intimidation factor.

The sound of a loud grunt can be intimidating to opponents, making them feel like the player is hitting the ball with more power than they actually are. This can lead to opponents making mistakes and feeling pressured to match the player's intensity.

The Science Behind Grunting

A recent study explored whether grunting in tennis can actually interfere with an opponent's performance. The researchers showed participants videos of a tennis player hitting a ball either with or without a grunt and asked them to quickly indicate which side of the court the ball was hit to.

The results showed that the presence of a grunt interfered with participants' performance, making their responses slower and less accurate. These findings suggest that players who grunt may indeed have a competitive edge in tennis.

It's not yet clear why this is the case, it could be that the sound of the grunt masks the sound of the ball being hit, or that it distracts the opponent's attention away from the ball.

Controversies Surrounding Grunting

While grunting is a common practice among tennis players, it has also been controversial. Some players, coaches, and fans argue that grunting is distracting and should be banned from the sport.

However, others argue that grunting is an important part of the game and should be allowed. Tournaments have implemented rules to regulate grunting, but it remains a contentious issue.


Grunting in tennis is a complex and controversial topic. However, the benefits of grunting cannot be denied. Grunting can provide players with increased power, enhanced focus, and an intimidation factor.


Q: Is it necessary to grunt in tennis?
A: No, it is not necessary to grunt in tennis. However, many players find that grunting can provide benefits to their game.

Q: Will grunting make me a better player?
A: Grunting alone will not make you a better player. However, incorporating grunting into your game can provide benefits such as increased power and enhanced focus.

Q: Can grunting bother my opponent?
A: Research has shown that opponents are more distracted by a sudden change in the sound of the ball hitting the racket than by the sound of grunting. However, some opponents may find grunting to be distracting.

Q: Do all professional tennis players grunt?
A: No, not all professional tennis players grunt. However, it is a common practice among many players.