Research shows grunt advantage

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova and other tennis players might gain something by grunting.

That's according to researchers at the University of British Columbia and University of Hawaii, who say that tennis players who grunt during points might be getting an advantage over their opponents.

Their study, posted online Friday by the Public Library of Science, looks at the effects of noise on how people perceive where shots are going and says: "The presence of an extraneous sound interfered with a participant's performance, making their responses both slower and less accurate."

One of the study's authors, Scott Sinnett, says he plans further research on the subject.

Occasionally, professional players complain about opponents' grunting during rallies.