THE grunting of Maria Sharapova is to be protected under the United Nations world heritage programme.
The move means Sharapova’s passionate yelps will be excluded from a threatened Wimbledon grunting crackdown.
The UN acted after a deluge of panicked emails from lonely men who stressed the lithe, blonde Russian’s intense barking constituted their entire sex life.
A UN spokesman said: “You can’t compare a Sharapova grunt to that of some six foot-wide Bulgarian hermaphrodite. That’s like comparing Machu Pichu to a shopping centre in Coventry.”
Roy Hobbs, a single man from Hatfield, said: “I have a full-sized cardboard cut-out.
“Before a match I close the curtains, light some candles and pour some Pinot Grigio. Maria is impressed with my knowledge of films and then gives me a ‘come hither’ look. And that’s when I switch on the telly.
“We then become one for up to 90 minutes of extremely heavy grunting.”
He added: “I hate these early rounds because it tends to be emphatic, straight sets victories that last about half an hour. It makes me feel as if I can’t satisfy her.”
But a Wimbledon spokesman insisted: “While we have to respect the United Nations we also have to think about Cliff Richard.
“Do we really want him to go to his grave with the grunts of something that looks like a Serbian bodyguard ringing in his gentle ears?”
But he added: “I know what you mean about Sharapova, though. I reckon she’s got something up there.
“I believe they are called ‘love eggs’.”