Wimbledon may be soaring the London skies with anticipation and excitement but it is also high in the noise factor. No, these aren’t the applauding noises that the spectators cheer on or the racquet’s racket upon the clay court upon frustration or even the brunt of the ball against the strings but instead these are coming from the players themselves.
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The broadcasters are having trouble showcasing the matches with the players’ high-pitched grunts; noises that come during a serve or a play otherwise, ironically more from the females.
BBC’s newly-launched ‘Wimbledon Net Mix’, downloadable product a noise-reducing application, is one which the listeners can manually adjust noises coming from the court and that of the commentators, concurrently. The free product consists of a slide scale which the listeners of BBC Radio 5 Live can use to adjust the volumes.
Ian Ritchie, head of Wimbledon, declared that the grunts that come from the payers are not only a turn-off for the viewers but they also bother the opponents. Rupert Brun, who is the head of technology for BBC’s Audio and Music department in an interview to the Daily Telegraph, said that broadcasters are continuously having a problem in trying to balance “the ambient sounds of a sports match with the commentary”. He also said the team had to build some device that would take heed to this issue and “which put the control back into the hands of the audience”.
This will surely bring relief to those who like to enjoy the sport at home or work and have to bear the unwanted noises of the players.
Wimbledon 2011 started on Monday and the Belarus Victoria Azarenka’s rant which reached 95 decibels, made news right after that second-long wail. Other players who are top on the grunt chart include Maria Sharapova, with the highest-ever grunt of 105 decibels back in 2009, the Williams sisters and Andre Agassi. These undoubtedly are world-class players however the grunts are becoming recurrently louder and the BBC resolves to this issue with their new ‘Wimbledon Net Mix’.
The grunts, besides being a hindrance to the audience and the opponents, are becoming a problem to this known prestigious play, the poise of the players, the game ethics as well as decorum of the sport. Not only this, but the players have started to use this as a form of winning-tactic and it’s found utterly a disgrace to the sport by the opponents, the viewers, commentators and the board.
With all those grunts amidst survival of the fittest, it’s a jungle out there!