You’ve often heard the tennis players on TV grunting every time they hit the ball, and we’ve all probably made a joke or two about it, but in all seriousness, their grunts may actually be a good way to tell who might win the match.
After watching video footage of 50 tennis matches, researchers analyzed various grunts, and compared them to the final scores. The results determined that, whether male of female, the lower-pitched a grunt, the higher chance of that player winning. They also determined that the pitch of a grunt will change throughout the match, and that it’s related to various factors, including form, injury, previous encounters with an opponent, how tired the player becomes, and even world rankings.
The grunts were compared to other animals and the basic biological instinct of intimidation. The example given was that male red deer will listen to the “roars” of other males competing for a mate, and they can determine the size of the other deer, and basically size-up a fight. It’s basically the same thing.