Aussie tennis star reveals she had to SKIP her period to play on at Wimbledon

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The strict Wimbledon dress code has come under fire again, with Aussie tennis star Daria ‘Dasha’ Saville revealing that she had to ‘skip her period around Wimbledon’ due to the stress of having to wear all-white at the tournament.

The dress code has historical roots dating back to the 1870s – and in fact has gotten even more strict in recent times.

Players at the All-England Club ‘must be dressed in suitable tennis attire that is almost entirely white … white does not include off-white or cream,’ according to the official Wimbledon clothing and equipment rules.

Daria Saville plays a forehand during her round one match at Wimbledon, where she felt the need to skip her period due to the tournament's strict dress code

Daria Saville plays a forehand during her round one match at Wimbledon, where she felt the need to skip her period due to the tournament’s strict dress code

Saville (nee Gavrilova), who is currently ranked 98th in the world after a horror injury run, is a supporter of the dress code – but like other female players, she’s admitted it is stressful to adhere to. 

‘Recently just being at Wimbledon, I was talking with my friend saying that I love the all-white look, but then a few girls said they hate it because it sucks to wear all white while being on your period,’ she told The Daily Aus. 

‘It’s true, I myself had to skip my period around Wimbledon for the reason that I didn’t want to worry about bleeding through. We already have enough stress.’ 

Daria Saville plays a shot during her doubles match with fellow Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic

Daria Saville plays a shot during her doubles match with fellow Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic

Recently retired player Monica Puig agreed with Saville, calling for further discussion around the subject.

‘Definitely something that affects female athletes! Finally bringing it to everyone’s attention,’ she wrote on Twitter when replying to a post that discussed how menstruation is a factor for top seeds losing in the women’s draw.

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‘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.’

Puerto Rican player Monica Puig also called the Wimbledon dress code stressful

Puerto Rican player Monica Puig also called the Wimbledon dress code stressful

Saville’s period affected her tennis during her first ever Australian Open, in 2013, when she suffered a loss to Lesia Tsurenko. 

‘One time I got a period mid-match. I went to the bathroom and then was like, ‘Oh, surprise!’ We are only allowed two toilet breaks during a match,’ she wrote on Instagram. 

‘Thank God I had a female umpire. I explained to her what is happening and then I waited for someone to bring me a tampon because I didn’t have any. 

‘It was also 38 degrees on that day; that’s why I said it sucks to be a girl sometimes.’

Daria Saville playing during an Australian Open match where she got her period during play

Daria Saville playing during an Australian Open match where she got her period during play

British star Heather Watson has revealed she also had to skip her period due to Wimbledon's ban on players wearing any colour other than white

British star Heather Watson has revealed she also had to skip her period due to Wimbledon’s ban on players wearing any colour other than white

British star Heather Watson has also revealed that she, like Saville, has also had to skip her period during the world’s most prestigious tournament.

‘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,’ she said. 

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Obviously, female athletes dealing with bleeding and other symptoms from menstruation is nothing new. 

Steffi Graf lost a Grand Slam final when she was suffering from illness and her period

Steffi Graf lost a Grand Slam final when she was suffering from illness and her period

Twenty-two-time Grand Slam winner Steffi Graf suffered through it while losing to 17-year-old Arantxa Sánchez Vicario in the 1989 French Open.

Graf became ill after eating what she described as ‘bad pizza’, and looked visibly pale and weak throughout the tournament, losing several kilograms.

She was also going through her period during the final, and exited quickly from the court before telling members of the press, ‘I had my period.’ 

Daria Saville (left) wearing white during her wedding to fellow tennis player Luke Saville

Daria Saville (left) wearing white during her wedding to fellow tennis player Luke Saville

Saville, who married fellow Aussie tennis star Luke Saville in December last year, unfortunately lost in the first round of Wimbledon to Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova.

She has been in good form after recovering from foot surgery, and suffered from debilitating muscle cramps in the loss.

The happy couple share a kiss at their wedding in December, 2021

The happy couple share a kiss at their wedding in December, 2021

The 28-year-old has managed to beat high-ranked players like Ons Jabeur, Elise Mertens and Petra Kvitova over the last few months in a remarkable return to form.

Husband Luke Saville unfortunately went down in round one of the Wimbledon men’s doubles alongside Matwe Middelkoop.

Wimbledon dress code 

The following refers to all clothing, including tracksuits and sweaters, worn on The Championship courts both for practice and for matches.

1) Competitors must be dressed in suitable tennis attire that is almost entirely white and this applies from the point at which the player enters the court surround.

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2) White does not include off white or cream.

3) There should be no solid mass or panel of colouring. A single trim of colour around the neckline and around the cuff of the sleeves is acceptable but must be no wider than one centimetre (10mm).

4) Colour contained within patterns will be measured as if it is a solid mass of colour and should be within the one centimetre (10mm) guide. Logos formed by variations of material or patterns are not acceptable.

5) The back of a shirt, dress, tracksuit top or sweater must be completely white.

6) Shorts, skirts and tracksuit bottoms must be completely white except for a single trim of colour down the outside seam no wider than one centimetre (10mm).

7) Caps (including the underbill), headbands, bandanas, wristbands and socks must be completely white except for a single trim of colour no wider than one centimetre (10mm).

8) Shoes must be almost entirely white. Soles and laces must be completely white. Large manufacturers’ logos are not encouraged. The grass court shoes must adhere to the Grand Slam rules. In particular shoes with pimples around the outside of the toes shall not be permitted. The foxing around the toes must be smooth.

9) Any undergarments that either are or can be visible during play (including due to perspiration) must also be completely white except for a single trim of colour no wider than one centimetre (10mm). In addition, common standards of decency are required at all times.

10) Medical supports and equipment should be white if possible but may be coloured if absolutely necessary. A more relaxed dress code operates at the Aorangi Park practice courts.



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