U.S. Open: Expect grunts, shrieks and hoots

  • Russia's Maria Sharapova hits a return to Italy's Sara Errani during their Women's Singles final tennis match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, on June 9, 2012 in Paris.

    Making a lot of racket

    (CBS/AP) Grunts, shrieks and hoots.

    That's what fans can look forward to next week at the U.S. Open, where earplugs will be optional while watching some of the world's top players.

    On the women's side, the high-pitched shrieks get the most attention. The WTA in June announced plans to educate young players and coaches to keep the decibels down. There's also been talk about chair umpires using a hand-held "grunt-o-meter" — not unlike a radar gun on serves.

    Last year the chief executive of the All England Lawn and Tennis Club blamed younger players for the racket, saying there was an "education problem" about the noise issue.

    "Certainly my postbag, if you say 'what do you get most letters about', I would say that grunting is high up," Ian Ritchie said.

    Opponents say it's unfair because the noisemakers make it hard to hear when a ball hits the racket, which helps in timing a return. Players also can be penalized under the hindrance rule, if the chair umpires believe it's deliberate and creates an advantage.

    Tennis fans have the option of turning down the volume on their TVs or, if watching in person, getting radio headsets.

    Here's a look at offenders past and present, the hindrance rule and how to tame the grunters.

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