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Home ยป ‘I Went On The Pill To Stop Bleeding’: Female Tennis Stars Welcome Wimbledon’s Underwear Rule Change

‘I Went On The Pill To Stop Bleeding’: Female Tennis Stars Welcome Wimbledon’s Underwear Rule Change

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In 2007, French tennis player Tatiana Golovin sent tournament officials at Wimbledon into a tailspin when she wore bright red shorts under her white dress.

After much discussion about hemlines and the Club’s all-white dress code, she was allowed to continue wearing them – although as her Wimbledon was quite short-lived, so was the underwear conversation.

But if Golovin was competing this year, her bright red shorts would be acceptable under new dress rules for female players.

For the first time, the All England Club will relax the rule on white clothing to alleviate “period anxiety”.

Image: France’s Tatiana Golovin playing at Wimbledon in 2007 Coloured shorts under white skirts will be the new normal at SW19 and the female players could not be more relieved.

It has been a source of stress to many, including British player Heather Watson, who has been outspoken about the effect of periods on female sport and performance.

“When Wimbledon announced about the undershorts I was so happy because it makes such a difference,” she told Sky News.

“I speak openly about my period, I don’t think it’s a taboo subject and I would love for people to talk about it more.

“Last year I went on the pill to stop myself bleeding because I knew I had to wear white undershorts and I didn’t want any embarrassment.

“We’re running around sweating, doing the splits on court. This year I knew my period was going to be during Wimbledon again so I’m very happy I won’t have to do the same thing as last year.”

US tennis star Coco Gauff, 19, who is the 7th seed, is also very honest about her own experience of competing while on her period and says the new “relaxed” dress code is going to make a massive difference.

“I was on my period last year at Wimbledon and it was very stressful,” she said.

“”You have period underwear to help you but it’s still in the back of your mind. Sometimes when you go to the bathroom, you’re supposed to use the bathroom but sometimes I would go to check nothing was showing.

“I think it will remove a lot of stress for me and it’s very nice it’s being talked about.”

Image: Britain’s Heather Watson playing at Wimbledon in 2022. Pic: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP Gauff, who shot to fame as a 16-year-old at Wimbledon in 2019, when she beat Venus Williams, said she has experienced embarrassing incidents on court before.

“It happened to me at another tournament and it was noticed by the referee before anyone really saw,” she said. “It will make all the world of difference and I’m glad it’s not a taboo subject any more.”

Apart from the female players being allowed to wear coloured undershorts, Wimbledon’s traditional all-white rule remains the same – but it will be interesting to see how many women take the opportunity to add some colour under their outfits when play begins on Monday.