WIMBLEDON, England – Drinking champagne is common during the Wimbledon fortnight, but a chair umpire on Sunday primly scolded a tennis fan who popped the cork during a serve.
During the first game of a third-round match between Anastasia Potapova and Mirra Andreeva on Court 3, one fan decided to uncork a bottle of the bubbly while Potapova was preparing to serve to her fellow Russian, ESPN reported.
The noise distracted Potapova, prompting a gentle, but firm admonishment from chair umpire John Blom to the crowd at the Grand Slam event.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please, if you are opening a bottle of champagne, don’t do it as the players are about to serve,” Australian umpire John Blom said over the microphone. “Thank you.”
Potapova grinned and nodded her head approvingly after the Australian’s announcement, while fans laughed and applauded, USA Today reported.
Andreeva, who at 16 cannot legally drink champagne — or any other alcoholic beverage — in the United Kingdom, would go on to win the match, 6-2, 7-5, and advance to the fourth round, Tennis.com reported.
Rules at the All England Club state that “all corked bottles, including bottles of champagne and sparkling wine, must be opened prior to being taken into the stands of any court,” according to the website.
Sunday’s episode was not the first time a champagne cork figured into a match.
In 2019, a cork flew onto the court during a match between Benoit Paire and Jiri Vesely, ESPN reported.
That brought a similar scolding from the chair umpire, who said, “Ladies and gentlemen … enjoy your champagne, but please don’t open it on the court, please.”
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