June 28, 2007 / 1:25 PM / 13 years ago

Wimbledon sees red over underwear

LONDON (Reuters) - Wimbledon is getting its knickers in a twist.

France's Tatiana Golovin serves to Austria's Tamira Paszek during their singles match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 28, 2007. Golovin had the Wimbledon referee reaching for his rule book when she sought to appear on court wearing red underwear. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Tatiana Golovin had the Wimbledon referee reaching for his rule book when she sought to appear on court wearing red underwear.

Was she violating the “predominantly white” dress code laid down by the tournament that is such a stickler for sartorial etiquette?

The fashion guardians of good taste at the world’s most genteel tennis tournament gave the French player the go-ahead after much discussion about hemlines and where they stopped and started.

Explaining the decision, a Wimbledon spokesman said on Thursday: “They were cleared with the referee in advance by the player. On the basis that they are underwear, they do not have to conform to the predominantly white rule.

“If they are above the hemline they are deemed to be underwear and not shorts.”

The 19-year-old Golovin, who beat Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei 5-7 6-3 8-6 on Wednesday, returned to the court on Thursday apparently unperturbed by the headlines her choice of underwear had prompted — and wearing red knickers again.

Not many post-match news conferences at Wimbledon start with the question “Can I ask you about your knickers?”

Unabashed, the Russian-born player had replied “They say red is the color that proves that you’re strong and you’re confident so I’m happy with my red knickers.”

Strength and confidence were not enough on Thursday, however and Golovin lost 6-2 3-6 6-1 to Austrian Tamira Paszek.

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