Back in 2009, Serena Williams claimed that she modeled her grunt after Monica Seles.
Seles is one of the greatest players in tennis history and won nine Grand Slam singles titles in her illustrious career. However, she was also well known for her loud grunts and Serena Williams claimed that she modeled her grunt after the legendary player.
Serena Williams, who used to grunt loudly during her playing days, spoke on the matter while appearing on the television show, "Late Show with David Letterman", shortly after winning Wimbledon 2009.
The American was asked if her grunts were a distraction for her opponents and she responded:
"I often wonder that."
Serena Williams recalled an incident when she was playing the women's doubles final with her sister Venus Williams. Both were grunting loud and she wondered after a point if the noise was distracting for their opponents Samantha Stosur and Rennae Stubbs.
"I'm thinking like we were playing just recently in the finals and Venus and I were grunting really loud in the doubles and the other girls weren't doing anything. And after the point, I was thinking, 'Wow, that was pretty loud. Was that distracting for them?''' Williams said.
Serena Williams added that she modeled her grunt after Monica Seles, calling the latter one of the first people who used to grunt "really loud and really hard".
"She's like the first person that I know that really used to grunt really loud and really hard, so that's kind of how I modeled my grunt after,'' Williams said. Yeah, because you have to have role models when it comes to grunting," the American said.
Serena Williams faced Monica Seles five times
Serena Williams and Monica Seles locked horns five times, with the former leading 4-1 in their head-to-head.
The first meeting between the two came in the quarterfinals of the 1997 Ameritech Cup in Chicago. Williams, who was only 16 at the time, defeated second-seeded Seles 4-6, 6-1, 6-1.
Their next meeting came two years later in the Round of 16 of the 1999 Lipton Championships (now known as the Miami Open). Williams came out on top once again, winning 6-2, 6-3. That year, she also beat Seles 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the US Open.
The only time Seles beat Williams was in the quarterfinals of the 2001 estyle.com Classic when she won 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(2). Their last meeting was in the semifinals of the 2001 Rogers AT&T Cup (now known as the National Bank Open) in Toronto, with Williams winning the match by a 7-5, 7-6(5) margin.