Wimbledon is known for its grass courts, high quality of play, and it’s strict dress code.
While the professional side of the tournament play on Friday saw Roger Federer advance to his record 11th final, the highlight of the day came from the Ladies’ Invitational Doubles Tournament, one of three Invitationals Wimbledon hosts which serves as something of an exhibition for fans to come see older or retired players.
Away from Centre Court, Kim Clijsters was having a bit of fun in her match asking the crowd whether she should place her serve wide or down the middle. A man in the crowd suggested “BODY,” speaking of a body serve in which a player attempts the serve right at their opponent in an effort to jam them.
Clijsters laughed in reply, “You said body? Why don’t you go there?!” inviting him to the court to the great applause of the crowd. The man didn’t back down, borrowing a racquet and taking to the court, but at that moment Clijsters realized that the man’s Green Lantern t-shirt and blue Nike shorts weren’t up to the all-white dress code Wimbledon abides by. With this in mind, she ran to her bag, grabbed an extra skirt, and helped the man squeeze in to his new white garb.
The scene had the whole place roaring. The commentator announcing the match was in disbelief, only saying, “This isn’t gonna work. Kim, this isn’t gonna work. They’re not gonna get over the knees.”
But the skirt did get on, and the resulting image left Clijsters doubled over in laughter.
Now Wimbledon-ready, the man stood across from Clijsters awaiting her serve. Once Clijsters had recovered from her laughing fit, she sent a ball right at him and much to the surprise and delight of the crowd he was actually able to return the ball in play, but lost the point and the game on the next volley sent his way.
As the man calling the match so eloquently put it, “That’s a man…in a skirt…trying to return Kim Clistjers’ serve. It’s 2017 people.”