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Tennis: Grunting final duo under fire

The WTA are coming under renewed pressure to take action against grunting as the two loudest players in the game, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka, won through to the final of the Australian Open yesterday.

These two women have both clocked over 90 decibels on sound-measuring equipment over the past week, and there is every chance that the crowd on Rod Laver Arena tomorrow will start mimicking and mocking their shrieks.

Azarenka could hardly be described as a popular winner yesterday against Kim Clijsters, a favourite here ever since she dated Australia's former world No 1 Lleyton Hewitt in the early 2000s. But the Belarussian came through 6-4 1-6 6-3 in a high-quality encounter.

Sharapova then accounted for Petra Kvitova 6-2 3-6 6-4 in a replay of last year's Wimbledon final, although it had a different outcome. The winner of tomorrow's final will claim not just the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup but also the world No 1 ranking.

Irish Independent