At Roland-Garros, it’s the slab: will you be able to recognize the cries of the tennis internationals?

Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov during his victory over German Daniel Altmaier on June 3, 2023.

The first cries of players on the courts date back to 1959, if we are to believe the old glories of tennis, but it was not until the 1990s to find “screamers” in series. Among the men, we remember Jimmy Connors or Andre Agassi, great specialists in slab on court.

The phenomenon has continued to grow since then, to the point that the very serious BBC launched a “grunt-o-meter” in 2015 (grunt: grunt in English) in order to measure the cry of male and female players. The now retired Maria Sharapova reached 101 decibels – as much as an unbridled motorbike – and Belarusian Victoria Azarenka 95 dB.

According to science, this is a winning strategy: a study of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research from 2014 estimated 4.9% more power when serving, shouting when hitting the ball – another study estimated 3.8% gain during rallies.

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