Red Herring At Wimbledon




Venus Williams

Venus Williams

When was the last time when the women players flaunted their underpants with such flourish by wearing contrasting colors, or to be blunt, red colored underpants, as it was done by William sisters during the Wimbledon 2010? It was the talk of the town, both the sisters wearing red under pants, and letting the public view it while either serving the ball or playing the shots.

Was it an intended attire to make a statement that they do not want to adhere to the code or what? As a matter of fact Venus Williams dress was talk of the town in French Open where it was speculated whether she was wearing anything beneath her skirt at all?  May be the William sisters would have been inspired by Tatiana Golovin, who three years ago at the Wimbledon had wore red under her white dress.  The tournament officials had to check it out and they decided that it was not shorts but underwear and as such t was permissible. But the William sisters have taken it to the other end. After some scrutiny, tournament officials, in an official statement, ruled it underwear, not shorts. Red underwear was permissible.

Wimbledon had its shock of the life for the first time in 1985, when Anna White appeared on the court wearing a tight body suit that left nothing to imagination. But the first brush with breaking the convention at Wimbledon by a woman player was made by player Gertrude Moran who wore a short skirt at Wimbledon which revealed the lace-trimmed undershots intentionally. The photographers on the court side tried to crouch as low as possible to get her shots. Moran obviously was appalled at this kind of attention, and she should thank her stars that 60 years ago technology in photography was still in its nascent stage!

It is not that only William sisters have used the platform of Wimbledon to make a statement of fashion. Maria Sharapova had done it in 2006 when she appeared on the court in a tuxedo inspired dress, which became talk at Wimbledon. Though it drew attention and admiration from the friends she could not win the tournament.

It is not that only women players have flirted with rules at Wimbledon. New breed of players of the likes of Nadal and Federer also flirted with code, Nadal wearing 3 quarter shots and Federer promoting his own brand after wining Wimbledon. May be the occasion is such that players tend to go over board.

By: Suman Rai

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