A Shade More Successful

Jonathan Lea   |   June 24, 2015   10:40 AM ET

Here's a question. You're going to an interview, or perhaps having to address some very important people with your ideas and views; what colour do you wear? What colour of clothing will subconsciously command more respect for you? Well, it's probably going to be blue. A darkish blue conveys authority, in no uncertain terms, and it's no accident that many police forces use it for their uniforms. Similarly, if you want to appear creative or confident, pink is your colour (think how many architects have a dash of pink, or a pink bow tie, in their wardrobes - and, conversely, why police forces don't use it for their uniforms). The psychology of colours is a big subject - red, yellow, purple et al, all say something to the outside world. Oh, and you're less likely to be mugged wearing orange, apparently. All of which takes us to Wimbledon.

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(c)WLTM

Since the Championships began back in 1877, Wimbledon has risen, in a very British way, not simply to become a famous tennis tournament, but probably the most famous of the four Grand Slams. It's certainly the most instantly recognised worldwide of the four. Of course there are plenty of reasons for this success. The promotion of tennis and Wimbledon throughout the Commonwealth before the advent of a global media must be a strong contender, but could the colour green be one of the strongest?

Wimbledon's heritage and traditions - the way it goes about things and what it means to people - are what leading brands are made of. Brands are very powerful things, and, once established, they tend to stay in the mind. Which means that when too many changes take place the brand loses its power.

Of course, just 'staying the same' isn't enough and being progressive and moving with the times are things which Wimbledon does very well indeed: a venerable grass centre court with a state of the art retractable roof...tradition with modernity. Walking through the myriad displays of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum you realise that the intuitively clever thing about Wimbledon is that however much it changes, it still looks, essentially, the same. Or, to put it more cryptically, the more it changes, the more it doesn't.

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Wimbledon does things 'differently' by sticking to its guns: the adherence to grass, predominantly white kit and long lasting associations with official suppliers. The discreet Rolex logo is synonymous with reliability and longevity - not surprisingly, two of Wimbledon's own qualities. Likewise, Robinsons Barley Water and the BBC are not only the quintessence of Wimbledon, but appear to a worldwide audience as the quintessence of tennis itself.

Perhaps it's the grass that makes the difference? The Australian Open originally took place on grass but now takes place on vulcanised concrete. Roland Garros has always had its 'clay' (actually white limestone surfaced with a few millimetres of powdered red brick dust). The US Open has gone from grass to clay and now, DecoTurf, a fast hard-court of acrylic over an asphalt or concrete base. All perfectly fine and that leaves Wimbledon as the only Grand Slam played on the game's original surface Indeed, the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum Tour takes great pride in beguiling visitors who take its award-winning tour with what it describes as 'tennis in an English garden'.

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(c)WLTM

Yet, the reason that Wimbledon has reached its pre-eminence might not be because of its grass per se but its colour, green. Green is a powerfully compelling and subtle colour. Green contains equal amounts of Yellow and Blue, a mix of warm and cool, which are very calming and pleasing to the senses. There is strong practical evidence that it helps the healing process in patients. This is not to suggest Wimbledon is healing you as you watch, but it certainly has a reassuring effect. Of course, plenty of other games are played on grass; football and cricket, for example. But at Wimbledon the green effect goes much further with its enclosures, hoardings, roofs, stands and court backdrops. These, together with the long standing vine covered front entrance and the leafy suburban setting, all combine to give the impression, subconsciously, that one is in a 'non-threatening environment'. More than this, by visiting Wimbledon, or even just watching it on television, your subconscious is responding to what medical practitioners call a 'restorative environment'.

Add a touch of white, a colour renowned for purity, to provide a crisp contrast to that seductive green and you have a tennis tournament that is providing a very compulsive attraction for the senses. No garish clashes of colour to jar and confuse on a subconscious level. Thus, as well as the good work in running the tournament it could well be that Wimbledon has instinctively hit upon the 'ideal' colour for attracting viewers purely by sticking to its historical preference for grass. It might be the biggest reason why, amongst all Grand Slams, Wimbledon, is just a shade more famous than all the rest.

Wimbledon's Biggest Secret?

Jonathan Lea   |   June 12, 2015    2:42 PM ET

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(c)AELTC/Chris Raphael

Stepping through the gates of Wimbledon this summer will be hundreds of thousands of people whose only common interest is, unsurprisingly, watching the tennis. Most won't really need to know that during their visit over 150,000 glasses of Pimm's will be downed or that 28,000 kilos of strawberries will be devoured - that's nearly three million of the little blighters in two weeks. Factor in the pizzas and pies, sandwiches and snacks and you have, almost unbelievably, the largest catering operation for any sporting event anywhere in Europe; bigger than motor racing, golf, football or cricket.

Wimbledon's loaded with facts, figures, snippets and secrets that accumulate, often with so little fanfare, that they tend to go unnoticed. Talking of food, it wasn't always so abundant. Between 1939 and the end of the Second World War, The Championships ceased and these manicured lawns - or at least the grounds - were given over to livestock. Poultry, pigs and sheep, were reared inside the grounds to feed the war effort and keep Britain 'in the game' against Hitler.

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(c)WLTM

It was no secret a few years back that Wimbledon needed to expand its capacity. But the world was somewhat puzzled (aghast would be a better word) to learn that Wimbledon was going to be transposed to, wait for it, Basingstoke. Now, Basingstoke has its merits, but an affinity for tennis wasn't perhaps one of them. The fact is that moving to Basingstoke was never a realistic possibility and this 'open secret' was more to do with over-zealous reporting than anything else.

Wimbledon abounds with precious gems tucked away inside the books, ledgers, files, objects and minds of its members. And, like all precious gems, you have to do a little digging. Dig into the records and you'll find it's easily the world's largest annual broadcast event, getting an estimated 1.2billion viewers across 200 broadcast territories - and remember, this is a two week event - not a one-off cup final. It was also Wimbledon that set the world on the path to mass-market sports broadcasting way back in 1927 when The Championships was first aired on BBC radio. Of course, being Wimbledon, it insisted that commentators, watching from courtside, should only whisper into their microphones - not because they were disclosing secrets, but because nothing should be allowed to disturb the players' concentration.

Perhaps the biggest 'secret' sits unassumingly below ground level tucked away behind the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum with nothing more than a discreet sign engraved upon its glass doors. This is the Kenneth Ritchie Wimbledon Library, a long standing reference facility that houses the largest collection of tennis related books, magazines, texts, guides, programmes and clippings in the world - bar none! Started by Honorary Librarian Alan Little in the 1970s, the Library's mandate is simple, to collect anything and everything ever written about tennis: fact or fiction. This includes some genuinely eclectic subjects, from tennis murder mysteries to mental self-help guides. Quaint old novels in musty hardback and glossy 70s paperbacks sit side by side on the rows of shelves, but don't search 'by author'. Intriguingly, Wimbledon classifies its collection first by country, starting with Argentina and ending with Zimbabwe, and then by date.

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(c)AELTC/Javier Garcia

Assistant Librarian, Audrey Snell, can heave off of the Library's creaking shelves whole reams of date-ordered 'periodicals' (magazines to you and me) from around the world. There are huge bound volumes of World Tennis from the USA alongside Tennis Revue from the Netherlands, and plenty more besides, each revealing the fascinating trends and fashions, entertaining adverts and editorial pieces of world tennis.

Wimbledon's own press clippings are kept in yearly scrapbooks, standing on their shelves, erect and fully upright, dating back to 1927. In these epic tomes, evocative newspaper articles and photos in black and white have been assiduously clipped, snipped, glued and labelled just as you might expect from a keen hobbyist, instead of the world's largest tennis tournament. Open them up and a forgotten past of elegant players and grammatically perfect newspaper text transports you back in time. Indeed, the clippings hold such a mine of information that former players and visitors alike continually visit the library to check on some aspect of their past association with Wimbledon.

And then there are the books - little social time capsules of fact and fiction such as Death Serves An Ace by Helen Wills from 1939, or The Tennis Terror by Harold Sherman, 1932,

"A novel that captures the dashing spirit of the game".
In fact, everywhere you look you'll find surprising diversity, from Acing Depression by Cliff Richey to William Tilden's The Common Sense of Lawn Tennis written in 1924 - not to mention plenty of good old fashioned text books on, dare we say it, the secrets of playing better tennis.

Why Love Always Wins at Wimbledon

Jonathan Lea   |   June 10, 2015   12:00 AM ET

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©Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum

With Wimbledon coming up, the strawberries being picked and the grass being trimmed, the question remains... why Love? Why not 'Nought' or 'Zero' or good old fashioned 'Nil'? There are a lot of theories about what Love means, ranging from French eggs (don't ask...) to an old English expression which is 'to play for love', meaning to play for nothing or to play without betting any money on the game. We could go on, but when it comes to Wimbledon - the suburban superstar of world tennis - real love also holds court.

For some reason, Wimbledon seems to have served up some of the world's highest profile sporting relationships in a way that simply doesn't occur in other world sports. Stepping back in time to the wooden rackets and furry headbands of the 1970s, who can forget the Swedish heartthrob Bjorn Borg being chased around SW19 by hordes of teens before getting hitched to Romanian tennis star Mariana Simionescu? At about the same time, Jimmy Connors, the original double-handed scrapper fell head over heels with 70s sweetheart Chris Evert. And what about one of the biggest romances of them all; Andre Agassi, champ in 1992, and Steffi Graff, seven times Wimbledon Singles Champion?

Wimbledon's tradition of having the Gentlemen's singles winner dance with the Ladies' singles winner at the end of tournament Ball ensured a certain amount of romance was always likely to be on the cards. Of course, since 1976 the winners' dance has been dropped in favour of a dinner, but it was nice while it lasted. And yet, still the love game goes on. The great Roger Federer, owner of the most Grand Slam titles, met his wife, Mirka, when the pair represented Switzerland at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. World number one tennis players such as Lleyton Hewitt and Kim Clijsters were romantically attached, as were Martina Hingis and Radek Štěpánek. And let's not forget that humdinger of a romance at Wimbledon in 2004 between the lovable Kirsten Dunst and Paul Bettany. Yes it was a film, but, amazingly, it was one of the only times in Wimbledon's history that filming took place during The Championships.

Is it Wimbledon's traditional adherence to crisp, white tennis kit, begun way back in 1880s that sets pulses racing? Whites were originally deemed most appropriate to disguise any unladylike signs of perspiration - and remember, back then a Victorian Lady's tennis outfit consisted of an undergarment, a corset, a petticoat to go over the undergarment, a second petticoat to go over the first petticoat, a dress made of wool and finally an apron. Phew!

Playing tennis, at least to the British, was always a social as well as sporting event, and the Victorians absolutely fell in love with the game. The beauty and variety of the Victorian tennis artefacts and memorabilia displayed in the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum tells us that underneath all those top hats, stiff collars and whalebone corsets, lawn tennis set Victorian hearts beating like nothing else. Meeting members of the opposite sex and socialising - not to mention being able to play games together in the open air, was quite the thing - and probably a lot more racy than Croquet.

Of course, the main reason why love is always in the air at Wimbledon, and throughout the world of tennis generally, is because tennis is one of the rare pastimes when men and women actually get the chance to compete against one another on equal terms. Mixed doubles is a full-on competition where male and female players compete under the same rules and using the same court and balls. That's pretty unique in any sport. For example it's rare for men and women's rugby teams to compete, or men and women to box against each other - it's hard to see romance blossoming under those conditions. Wimbledon opened the courts to female tennis players way back in 1884 when the Ladies' Singles Championships begun. Yet with no prize money until 1968, all the players, both men and women, really were 'playing for love'.

Aubrey Allegretti   |   June 2, 2015    4:43 PM ET

The moment a large metal panel collapsed and struck spectators at one of the world's most fiercely contested tennis championships has been captured on video.

Crowds watching the highly anticipated Men's Quarter Final match between Japan's Kei Nishikori and France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga were hit by the object, which had become dislodged from a giant screen overlooking the clay court.

More than 200 spectators were quickly evacuated and their seats cordoned off by security guards, as organisers conducted a thorough recce of the area.

Officials confirmed that three people had been injured and first aid had been administered.

Tsonga and Nishikori were finally able to resume their centre court match 40 minutes after the original incident.

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The aftermath (left), and offending panel (right)

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Ryan Barrell   |   May 22, 2015    2:40 PM ET

World number one Novak Djokovic, Brit Andy Murray and Russia's Maria Sharapova were among the tennis stars to be amazed by the tricks and skills of Stefan Bojic when he stopped by to exhibit his concentration and control.

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  |   May 4, 2015    1:59 PM ET

Andy Murray has won his first clay-court title beating German Philipp Kohlschreiber in the Munich Open.

The Scot triumphed 7-6 (7-4) 5-7 7-6 (7-4) in just over three hours.

It's Murray's 32nd title of his career.

The match had started on Sunday but was stopped because of rain with Kohlschreiber leading 3-2 in the first set.

Murray was cheered on by new coach Jonas Bjorkman and took the first set in a tie break.

Murray is preparing for the French Open at the end of the month and will be playing in the Madrid Masters this week where he could meet Kohlschreiber again.


Paul Vale   |   April 26, 2015    8:29 PM ET

Hurrah for the All England Lawn Tennis Club, which said on Sunday the accursed 'selfie stick' would be banned from entering this year’s Wimbledon tournament. The cumbersome devices, which are deployed by social media users to give the false impression their lives are an endless parade of stunning backdrops, will be prohibited, the AELTC confirmed.

A ticketholders' guide for this year's tournament says: "In common with many other major sports and entertainment events and cultural attractions, The Championships will not allow 'selfie sticks' into the grounds." A spokesman for the AELTC told the Sunday Times that the move was brought in partly because of the "nuisance value" but "primarily so it doesn't interfere with spectators' enjoyment".

The sticks have met increasing resistance in recent months, most notably being banned from the National Gallery. The venue in Trafalgar Square, central London, placed the devices in the same category as tripods, which are already prohibited, and the move prompted other cultural venues to consider following suit. Tottenham Hotspur banned them from White Hart Lane after a complaint from a fan, while they have also been barred at a number of galleries and museums in the US and France.

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  |   April 12, 2015   12:40 AM ET

Andy Murray has wed his long-term girlfriend Kim Sears in the tennis star's home town.

The couple, both 27, said their vows in front of family and friends during a ceremony at Dunblane Cathedral led by the Rev Colin Renwick.

On a day of showers and hailstones, the rain held off as the couple exited the 300-seat cathedral to cheers from the large crowd gathered outside.

The British tennis number one sported a blue and green kilt for the occasion while Sears wore an embroidered white gown with three-quarter-length sleeves and a long veil.

Among the guests were Murray's brother Jamie, parents Judy and William, grandparents Shirley and Roy Erskine and former British tennis number one Tim Henman and his wife Lucy.

The ceremony will be followed by a reception at Cromlix House, Murray's luxury hotel near Dunblane.

Guests lined the path from the cathedral doors and bells rang as the couple left the church and were showered with confetti.

The bride was accompanied by four bridesmaids in long pink gowns.

The couple left the wedding venue for the reception at Cromlix in a grey car decked with ribbons and were cheered by crowds lining the streets.

It has been described as "Scotland's royal wedding", with hundreds turning out for the event.

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Earlier Murray tweeted a preview of the day in emojis which included pictures of a church, a ring, a kiss, cake and drinks as well as hearts, a face throwing a kiss and several Zzzz icons for sleep.

Commenting on the changeable weather his mother Judy tweeted:

And then, a few hours later:

Murray told BBC Sport last month: ''I am actually not nervous about getting married because we've been together like nine-and-a-half years and we've lived together for six or seven years as well.

''So, I don't think a whole lot's going to change. I kind of feel like we have been married already in terms of the way we spend our lives together and live together.

''I think I will be more nervous about starting a family because that would be more life-changing, in a good way.''

Ryan Barrell   |   March 11, 2015    5:08 PM ET

A child got the unique opportunity to rally with tennis ace Roger Federer on Tuesday, and he did exceptionally well.

Simply wearing a sweatshirt and jeans, the boy was able to keep up with the world number two before lobbing the ball out of Federer's reach and just within bounds.

The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity came for the small child during an exhibition match between the Swiss player and Bulgarian Grigor Dmitrov at Madison Square Garden.

Ryan Barrell   |   March 9, 2015   10:10 AM ET

Read More: UK Sport, andy murray, tennis

Tennis ace Andy Murray gave a rare lighthearted interview on Eurosport Live on Sunday, departing from his usual grumpy style to crack jokes with his fellow players.

But the British sportsman may have taken the banter too far, getting teammate Dom Inglot in a spot of bother with his girlfriend back home.

When asked how his teammates would be celebrating the victory over American John Isner , Murray said Inglot would be spending some time with his "little girlfriend on the go here in Glasgow".

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Little did Murray know, Inglot's long-term girlfriend was watching the live broadcast at home.

"You've actually landed me in this," Inglot responded. "Because I actually have a girlfriend who's going to be watching this."

Either laughing at his own joke or caving under severely awkward pressure, Murray broke down and giggled hysterically, offering his apologies.

It's unclear if Inglot was really cheating on his girlfriend or if he was just victim to the British number one's attempts at banter. For his own sake, we're hoping it's the latter.

Murray beat the USA's John Isner 7-6, 6-3, 7-6, securing Britain a place in the Davis Cup quarter finals.

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Opportunity and Accessibility: Two Essential Elements Required for Ensuring Sport Is Woven Into the Very Fabric of All Our Children's Lives

Tim Henman   |   February 5, 2015   12:00 AM ET

Election year is always a time to reflect on where we are as a country and on the things that really matter to us. What do we care about? And what can be done to make things better. As a sportsman and now as a father, I have always believed passionately in the power of sport to improve the lives of young people. I know from my own personal experience and from the achievements of the thousands of youngsters I have encountered throughout my professional tennis career, that sport has transformative qualities. This is not just in terms athletic prowess and increased fitness but in teaching the life skills so vital to our children fulfilling their potential, These include commitment, leadership, making friends, initiative, understanding how to be healthy, building relationships, self belief, learning how to compete, responsibility... the list goes on.

Despite promises made that London 2012 would be used to 'Inspire a Generation' and make sport more accessible to everybody, my heart sank when I read that the Youth's Sports Trust recently reported PE lessons in schools have dropped to below two hours a week. I have three young daughters and through them can see the draw of screen time. Getting them outside and involved in physical activities and playing games is really important.

This week I am taking part in the annual Andrew Reed Debate at Guildhall in London, it is hosted by Reed's School, the school I was fortunate to attend on a tennis scholarship. Reed's was founded in 1813 by social reformer and philanthropist Rev Dr Andrew Reed who was committed to improving the lives of orphans by giving them access to support, care and education, a tradition that the school continues to uphold through its bursary awards, tennis scholarship scheme and work with schools in disadvantaged areas and children's charities.

The theme of this year's debate is the role of sport to help overcome deprivation and disadvantage amongst children. Sport is transformative in this area, I have experienced it first hand through my work with the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative (WJTI) run by Wimbledon head coach Dan Bloxham, which for the past 13 years has taken tennis directly to young people by visiting them in their local schools and, for those that show keen interest, providing the opportunity of extra coaching at Wimbledon. About 165,000 children have now come through the programme and for many it would have been the first time they had ever held a racket.

HSBC Road to Wimbledon is another longstanding initiative I have been involved with - 20,000 kids that play nationwide in their local schools, parks and clubs with the final played on grass at Wimbledon. This year we partnered with the All India Tennis Association (AITA) for the second year running with qualifying events taking place now in four cities - Kolkata, Chandigarh, Delhi and Mumbai, followed by a Masters event in Delhi in April.

By taking tennis directly to the children, these initiatives are providing what I believe to be the two key elements required if we are to successfully harness the power of sport to support disadvantaged young people - opportunity and accessibility. We must invest at grassroots level to ensure our young people have the means to find sport easily.... and prioritise sport in the lives of all of our young people.

Tim Henman is speaking at the second annual Andrew Reed Debate hosted by Reed's School on Thursday 5 February 2015, which this year is discussing how sport can change lives of disadvantaged children, for more information visit: andrewreeddebate.org

Blood, Sweat and Tennis - The Great Period Debate

Jenny Laville   |   January 27, 2015   12:00 AM ET

Tennis player Heather Watson is now the poster girl for menstruation and sport. Bit embarrassing, but less so compared to the other famous tennis poster girl doesn't wear pants and scratches her arse. Besides, we don't have to be embarrassed anymore about our *whispers* women's issues, because now other female athletes are joining in to tell us of their favourite 'when I was on the rag' story which is quickly turning into a version of the Four Yorkshiremen sketch.

Radcliffe: When I was on my period I broke the world record at the Chicago Marathon.
Pavey: That's nothing, I'd just had a baby when I won Gold at the European Championships, I slung the umbilical cord over my shoulder and went for it, had no choice.
Grey-Thompson: In my day we couldn't afford periods. I had eight of them one year and I thought myself lucky.
Croft: You lot don't know you're born. We weren't allowed to have periods. I had to win three tournaments before I was allowed to ovulate, and then it was only for five minutes on a Sunday.

Now that we're talking about them, here are some very important things everyone should know about periods:
1. The idea that women should 'take a break' every month is due entirely to marketing, having a period each month seems more 'natural'. This has become common wisdom, although doctors do now say that it's fine to only have four breaks a year. Don't know how they come up with this figure. It may be a massive conspiracy by the makers of sanitary products and the government because.....
2. The government charges VAT on sanitary product because it is a luxury item. This is so wrong that all women should shun these 'luxuries' and bleed all over the place until they change the law, but every time I suggest this people look at me like I'm mad.
3. Despite what teenage girls around the country tell their PE teachers it's fine to go swimming when you're on your period. Even if there's a shark in the pool as they are attracted to sweat and other bodily fluids too so they are just as likely to attack your male classmates. Actually, probably best not to go swimming with a shark just in case.
4. There are roughly 2 million euphemisms for menstruation, which seems like a lot, but if men had periods there would be 6 million.
5. Just over a hundred years ago doctors were still discussing if menstruating women could turn bacon rancid. Just because you're a doctor doesn't mean you're not a moron.
6. In 2005 Gian Franco Kasper, president of the International Ski Federation said that there were restrictions on the women's sport on medical grounds- 'It's like jumping down from, let's say, about two metres on the ground about 1,000 times a year, which seems not to be appropriate for ladies from a medical point of view.' He seems to be implying that it might break their wombs. The bacon thing suddenly seems a little bit less stupid in comparison.

Opening up a debate about periods would be great as long it doesn't descend into questioning if should women be allowed to fly military jets, rule countries or handle pork products.

I know this is a nuisance, but the thing is that there are loads of us women. Not all periods are the same. Some women just have a day of cramps and are fairly regular. Others can come on at any minute and will stab you in the eye/ burst in to tears of you look at them funny. Generally though it's probably true to say most of us manage to incorporate periods into our lives without huge effect. Sometimes they cause problems, making you more likely to snap at someone, ruin a white sofa or lose a major tennis tournament. We should all be grown up enough to be able to say, 'Sorry about that, got the painters and decorators in' and get on with our lives. It's not an excuse, it's just how it is sometimes.

I tell you what though, when it comes to physical limitations and sport, aren't those blokes doing remarkably well? I'm not being sexist, but in all honesty with their most vulnerable area dangling front and centre, they are not really designed for sporting activity are they? With all the swinging, kicking and flaying about they could really hurt themselves and not be able to have babies and if they can't have babies, what's the point of them? However, those lovely chaps have largely managed to overcome this with cups and straps and a gentleman's agreement to keep things 'above the belt'. Good for you for overcoming your physical disadvantages, but do be careful now.

Rachel Moss   |   January 22, 2015    6:59 PM ET

Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard cruised into the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday, but that wasn't important to one TV presenter.

The sexist male in question wasn't interested in talking tactics or training regimes. Instead, he thought it was more appropriate to focus on how Bouchard looked in her tennis dress.

During an on-court interview, Channel 7 interviewer Ian Cohen asked the 20-year-old Quebec tennis player: "Can you give us a twirl?"

An embarrassed Bouchard replied with, "A twirl?," and the presenter went on to explain, “A twirl, like a pirouette, here you go.”

eugenie bouchard

Bouchard awkwardly did a twirl, then buried her face into her hands and laughed.

“It was very unexpected,” Bouchard said after the incident. “I don’t know, an old guy asking you to twirl. It was funny.”

On Tuesday, Cohen reportedly made a similar request of Serena Williams.

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Speaking to The Guardian, Williams said: "A commentator asked me to twirl. I wouldn’t ask Rafa or Roger to twirl. Whether it’s sexist or not, I don’t know. I can’t answer that.

“I didn’t really want to twirl because I was just like, you know, I don’t need all the extra attention. But, yeah, it was fine.

“I don’t think and look that deep into it. Life is far too short to focus on that. We have so many other problems we want to deal with that we should focus on. Whether I twirl or not, it’s not the end of the world. It’s about being positive and just moving forward.”

Many on Twitter have labelled Cohen's request for a twirl as sexist...

...and we have to agree. It's hard to imagine a presenter focussing on the "prettiness" of a male athlete in the same way.

The comments come after UK number one Heather Watson attributed her defeat in the first round of the Australian Open this week to her period.

Watson's comments sparked debate about issues facing women in sport that are seldom spoken about by committees.

Currently tennis players can only take a toilet break once a set. Tara Moore, the current British number five, said she thinks committees need to re-think this rule for women, as it can be particularly stressful if you're on your period and a set lasts four hours.

It seems like we seriously need to talk about how women in sport are treated across the board.

  |   January 22, 2015    1:31 PM ET

It's an occupational hazard, probably.

That slow-motion just makes it so much worse.