Wimbledon Out Loud

A Pong-Inspired Interpretation Featuring Maria Sharapova and Yung-Jan Chan

To mark the tennis calendar's biggest event, London-based motion graphics producer Alexander Purcell has created a digital art piece that pays homage to the sport's top women, whose gutteral cries have become a celebrated part of the game. The digital mash-up features the vocal chords of Maria Sharpova (who has been clocked at 100 decibels) and Yung-Jan Chan, the audio sourced from their third-round match in this year’s French Open and complemented by visuals from 1970s video game Pong. Since Monica Seles's 1992 Wimbledon loss to Steffi Graff, during which the referee ordered Seles to “turn it down,” speculation has been rife that a grunt-powered racket makes all the difference. Brunel University professor Alison McConnell recently put the theory to the test: “There's some evidence to suggest that the vocalisation is part of a breathing strategy that adds stability to the trunk thereby optimising power production during the racquet stroke,” she says, adding that for female players, the technique could be a game-maker. “Women’s upper bodies tend to be weaker, so there may be a greater benefit to them in using this particular strategy,” she concludes. A match point, then, for the ladies who pump up the volume.


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Conversations (1)

  • philmang
    The "grunt" is also known to cover up the sound of the ball hitting the racket. This sound can be used by a skilled player to gauge the type of return that has been made.
    • Posted By philmang
    • July 01, 2011 at 3:04AM
    • Share Comment:

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