In a USTA tournament, a player on the court next to me was making excessively loud grunting and groaning noises on every single stroke. Even the gallery commented on his loudness and they were sitting more than three courts away! These loud noises would often occur just as I was trying to hit. How could I have addressed this really obnoxious and unacceptable situation?

— Stephen Chertok, Forest Park, IL

First, as loathsome, repugnant and  detestable (shall I go on?) as you found the grunting emanating from another court to be, it would not be cause for you to claim a hindrance, even if you stopped play when it happened. A player on another court is effectively a “spectator” for other matches. And under USTA Comment 26.6, “the actions of a spectator . . . is not the basis for replaying the point.” You can complain and an official can go through a process under The Code, Item 37, to get the grunter to stop or be penalized.


Except where noted, answers are based on the ITF Rules of Tennis and USTA's The Code.

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