Here's Why You Should Pay Attention to the Players' Grunts at Wimbledon

New research reveals those grunts can be very telling.

If you want to predict the result of a tennis match, it could be worth listening to the players' grunts.

According to researchers at the University of Sussex, the pitch of the grunts and groans can help predict will win in a match. They found that players' grunts had a higher voice pitch during matches they lost than in the games they won.

In addition, the study, published in the journal Animal Behaviour, showed that players displayed differences in the pitch of their grunts before the scoreboard suggested whether they would win or lose the point.

The team analyzed footage of 50 matches featuring some of the world's top 30 tennis players. The grunts were measured during serves, backhand and forehand shots, and at what stage of each match the grunts were made, as well as whether the players won or lost.

The recordings showed that the pitch of grunts increased as the games went on and that the result became clear early on in the match.


Jordan Raine, a researcher who carried out the study with mammal communication experts Professor David Reby and Dr. Kasia Pisanski, explained: "This suggests that this shift in pitch is not due to short-term changes in scoreboard dominance. But instead, it may reflect longer-term physiological or psychological factors that may manifest even before the match. These factors could include previous encounters, form, world ranking, fatigue, and injuries."

The differences in grunts were also identifiable without any scientific analysis. When tennis players were played short clips of other players' grunts, they were able to recognize which of two grunt sequences produced by the same player came from a match that the player lost. According to Raine, this "may provide opponents with a valuable window into the other player's mindset during a match."

But this is no different from the nonverbal communication between other mammals, he highlights. "Male red deer use the roars of competing males to assess their size, and therefore who is likely to emerge from conflict victorious," Raine added.

From: Country Living

*This story originally appeared on
* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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