Maria Sharapova showed up for her first round match at Wimbledon on Tuesday dressed in a racy take on a men's tuxedo, fueling early commentary that has focused as much on fashion as tennis. (AFP via Google News)
What the commentators said
The battle at Wimbledon is no longer only about who wins on center court, said Marie Claire magazine online. Serena Williams set the “style stakes” by taking the court with a “white belted trench coat, that even she admitted wasn't designed for its sporting practicality.” Sharapova’s tux made quite a statement, too. And “it's not only the girls vying for style attention.” Roger Federer conjured up memories of tournaments in the 1920s with a white leather bag and a cream cardigan.
Federer certainly didn’t look like a man with his mind on winning, said Michelle Kaufman in The Miami Herald. “The top-ranked Swiss looked like he was strolling to his backyard for a picnic as he walked onto the Centre Court lawn in a cream-colored herringbone cardigan, which was hardly necessary on this warm and sunny afternoon.”
All that was missing to complete Federer’s ensemble was a pipe and slippers, said Paul Majendie in Reuters.com. And Williams’ outfit grabbed the headlines—“Game, Set, and Mac,” London’s Daily Express proclaimed. “It felt more like a day on the catwalk than the opening of the world's most famous tennis tournament—but fashion has always been an integral part of Wimbledon with its strictly enforced ‘predominantly white’ dress code for players.”
“Anyone for tennis?” said Damian Whitworth in the London Times. “Sorry about the cliché, but it's a serious question.” Sharapova “dressed as if auditioning for Swan Lake,” and this year’s get-up was even more embarrassing, although since she wore shorts—“Ooh! Shorts!—for the first time we are no doubt in for a feverish debate about whether this is “the end of the knicker-flashing tennis dress?” Reducing the court to a catwalk demeans tennis, and if the players don’t “stop preening” and play the game they’ll ruin it.