Wimbledon diary: Venus objects but outdated underwear rules still enforced
Rodionov forced into smalls change
Of all the rules at Wimbledon – and there are many – surely none is more outdated than one referring to players’ clothing. Not the part that insists they should wear “almost entirely white” attire, something players do not mind. But rather the one that refers to the colour of their underwear and how visible it is during play. First Venus Williams was asked to change her pink bra in a first-round match, which drew a suitably clipped response to a media inquiry: “I don’t like talking about bras in press conferences. It’s weird.” On Wednesday, four junior doubles players were asked to change their underwear because it could be seen under their white shorts, and on Thursday the 18‑year‑old Austrian Jurij Rodionov was asked by a supervisor to show her his underwear. “Yesterday I wore black pants and nobody said anything and today I wore blue and suddenly it’s a problem,” he said. “It was a big surprise for me.” Rodionov said Wimbledon provided him with two white pairs. “One was a little bit too big but these ones were OK,” he said. Asked if the rule was outdated, he said: “Wimbledon is always special. Maybe it’s a little bit too much but I like that the players only have to wear white. It’s tradition.”
Bjorkman not afraid to cosy up
On the eve of the championships, Andre Agassi said he did not want to consult Novak Djokovic’s former coach Boris Becker to get an idea of what to expect as he began his new role working with the Serb, because he was trying to avoid going in with any preconceptions. That is definitely not the case for Jonas Bjorkman, who has been coaching Marin Cilic since August of last year. The Swede was spotted chatting to Cilic’s former long‑term coach Bob Brett after the Croat’s victory against Gilles Muller, possibly about how to get the better of Sam Querrey in the semi-finals.
Martina eclipses ‘Magdalena who?’
Magdalena Rybarikova captured the imagination of the Wimbledon crowds with her run to the semi‑finals, the first time she had been beyond the third round of any of the grand slam tournament. It was big news in Slovakia but she is not going to have any trouble walking around without being noticed, it seems. While doing a TV interview the day before her defeat by Garbiñe Muguruza, several people walked past without even spotting her. At the same time the nine-times champion Martina Navratilova, wearing a hat, was chased down the street outside Wimbledon by two people who had not fallen for the (slim) disguise.