How do #SportBits readers! Across the pond, it’s the perfect time for The Championships, Wimbledon. British fans have been gutted by their football (soccer) team’s loss to Iceland in the Euro 2016, and #Brexit has many feeling anxious. It’s a good thing the Brits have the traditions of the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament to give them some stability. But alas…it was a crazy first week at the third Grand Slam Tournament of the year, and here are the 3 most interesting stories surrounding week one at Wimbledon.
The rain wreaked havoc in week one. Bad weather disrupted play on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. The rain caused a #Brexit effect on attendance, as numbers hit a nine-year low. Crowds in the opening week failed to reach capacity on 2 consecutive days for the first time in 12 years.
Because of a rainy first week, the All England Club was forced to schedule matches on the “Middle Sunday” of the tournament for only the fourth time in its 139-year history. The 22,000 tickets for the “People’s Sunday” were snapped up online by 11,000 fans in just 27 minutes. By the end of the day, the tournament was caught up and down to the last 16 players in both draws.
Fans were gobsmacked when world No. 1 Novak Djokovic lost to American Sam Querry in the 3rd round. Querry, seeded 28th, completed a 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 3-6 7-6 (7-5) win on Saturday after rain had suspended play on Friday evening. The loss ended Djokovic’s hopes at a calendar-year Grand Slam, and was his first loss at a major since the 2015 French Open Finals.
THE NIKE DRESS:
Come on, it wouldn’t be #SportBits without out a little fashion news! For every Grand Slam tournament, apparel companies design outfits for their players to wear – unless you’re Serena Williams – who gets her very own dress made. The Nike “lingerie” dress, resembling the baby-doll style straight out of the 90’s, had everyone talking. It’s pleated and flow-y, and many felt it failed on both form and function.
The problem stems from the sheer, loose material. Most tennis outfits are tight and form fitting, so they don’t interfere with play. Swedish player Rebecca Peterson said:
“When I was serving, it was coming up, and I felt like the dress was just everywhere. In general, it’s quite simple, the dress, but it was flying everywhere.”
Nike quickly scrambled to make alterations, sewing up the sides hoping it would fit better. They also offered their players a shirt/skirt combo if they didn’t want to wear the dress. Some still chose to wear it, like Canadian Eugenie Brouchard.
Personally, I think it’s the bees knees! You?