‘I Just Plan My Period Around It’ – Tennis Player Opens Up on Wimbledon’s Stringent Rule of Whites Causes Stress

Published 06/21/2022, 11:10 AM EDT
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 10, 2021 General view of Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova in action during her final match against Australia’s Ashleigh Barty REUTERS/Paul Childs

The Wimbledon Championship stands tall because of the level of tennis matches it provides and the traditions it has. However, there are factors that are problematic but pass every year under the cover of tradition. One such factor is the strict dress code. Every player participating must wear clothes that are white in color. And no other color should occupy a surface wider than 1cm on a player’s attire.

The issue with this rule is that it causes mental stress in female players who compete during their menstrual cycle. The stress of that a red stain will stand out on an entirely white outfit. Recently, Monica Puig, the Puerto Rican player, brought the matter to light on Twitter.

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Are the white outfits of Wimbledon an issue worth noticing?

With the Wimbledon at the doorstep, Puig took on Twitter and shared a thread addressing the fact that how much menstruation affects a player’s game and wrote about Wimbledon’s problem. “Definitely something that affects female athletes! Finally, bringing it to everyone’s attention! Not to mention the mental stress of having to wear all white at Wimbledon and praying not to have your period during those two weeks.”

Following the Rio Olympics gold medalist, Britain’s Heather Watson also opened up about the matter. She said, “I really like the tradition of it and I wouldn’t want to change that. My only stress is that I get my period, but I just plan my period around it.”

“I’ll probably go on the pill just to skip my period for Wimbledon. That’s the thought process and conversations that girls have about it.” Watson, whose home ground is Wimbledon and has a title from the 2016 mixed doubles tournament added.

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The color is favored over others at Wimbledon because of its resistance to white patches caused by sweat. Though the fact that it stresses female players going through their monthly menstrual cycle raises the question about the strictness around it.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 10, 2021 General view of Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova in action during her final match against Australia’s Ashleigh Barty REUTERS/Paul Childs

Several WTA players, such as Petra Kvitova, have spoken about the same earlier. Though the two-time Wimbledon champion didn’t have issues with wearing white, she admitted, “It’s never really easy to deal with one more tough thing. If we have to play the match or training or something, it’s difficult.”

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A rule that got amended

Wimbledon, after filing several complaints from players about the slippery surface of the center court, has decided to change one of its long-lived rules. After witnessing players such as Serena Williams, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic struggle to maintain a grip on the surface. The statement has been passed that the players will be allowed to practice in the center court before matches.

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By doing so, the moisture of the grass will decrease and the court will be more worn out. Thus, imposing less threat of physical damage on players while in a match. Also giving them a chance to read and settle in the court.

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Mahima Verma

404 articles

Mahima Verma is a Tennis writer for EssentiallySports. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Hotel Management from IHM Mumbai. A sports enthusiast, particularly Tennis since her childhood, Mahima believes that she is fortunate enough to witness the legends like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Serena Williams play.

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