PARIS -- I've heard the question asked many times and seen it posted in comment sections of tennis stories: Do players who shriek during matches, like Maria Sharapova, do the same in practice?
After watching Sharapova work out on Court Philippe Chatrier on Friday, I can legally testify to the following -- she is quite loud in an empty stadium. She is loud when the stadium is full, punctuating every serve and ground stroke with her signature shrill scream. But imagine her screams bouncing around an empty stadium amid a sea of empty green seats, save for about 15 of us baking in the hot, midday Paris sun.
The anti-shrieking posse, of which there are many, seem to theorize that players only scream during matches and wonder why players can't stop it during an official match if they, in theory, don't scream during practice.
Well, the truth is out: there is no mute button on the shriekers (at least Sharapova).