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21 Oct, 2019 12:00

'My throat hurts all the time': Russian tennis ace Maria Sharapova on how 'grunting' during her matches takes its toll

'My throat hurts all the time': Russian tennis ace Maria Sharapova on how 'grunting' during her matches takes its toll

Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova says that the unique style of audible grunts which soundtracks her matches has led to her experiencing constant pain in her throat.

The Russian former world number one is the owner of one of the more recognizable grunts in tennis, something which has earmarked her game since she made international headlines by winning Wimbledon in 2004 at the age of just 17 - but 15 years later, she says that it is causing her to have a sore throat after each match that she plays.

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Sharapova isn't alone when it comes to this, as many players in both the mens and womens game often use a similar tactic to concentrate their energy on a serve or return in an effort to maintain rhythm, but in Sharapova's case it comes at a cost.

"From all that grunting even my throat hurts," she said to Tennis World. "I have done that since I was a young girl and just kind of stayed with me.

"My throat hurts all the time after I play matches."

Sharapova, now 32, has seen her world ranking drop to 134 after a slump in form was underlined by a 6-1, 6-1 trouncing to Serena Williams at the US Open in August. A shoulder injury has cut short her 2019 season but she says she is targeting a return to the tennis circuit in 2020.

She last won a Grand Slam title in 2014 when she defeated Simona Halep in the final of the French Open at Roland Garros. 

Also on rt.com ‘I’ll never lose to that little b**** again’: Serena likely to hold winning streak against Sharapova