Opinions on Venus Williams‘ pink, sequined dress with matching Bedazzled tennis underwear will vary, but on one thing we can all agree: It was quite a distraction.
Though Venus defeated No. 18 seed Shahar Peer in straight sets during their third-round match at the U.S. Open on Sunday, the tightness of Venus’ self-designed dress clearly gave her issues throughout the match. During most points the tight garment would ride up Venus’ hips, revealing her undergarments for everyone to see. Before the next point began, Venus would have to pull down the sides of the dress. The routine captivated the announcers in the CBS broadcast booth, who talked about the form-fitting dress for much of the match.
At one point they had this hilarious exchange:
John McEnroe: I think that dress has distracted [Venus].
Dick Enberg: It’s distracting you.
McEnroe: That’s a fair point.
Enberg: It sounds like it might be a distraction to her opponent.
McEnroe: Well, she’s tugging at it. She’s uncomfortable with it.
Mary Carillo: She uses that fabric a lot in her designs, John. And for the last couple of years we’ve seen her have to correct her outfit after every point.
CBS went so far as to later display a “tug count” that tallied the number of times Venus and Peer pulled at their respective dresses following a point. At the time, Venus was leading Peer 42 to four.
At a press conference following the match, Venus was asked whether the dress and its constant readjustment-necessity was a distraction. “No,” she said. “The only thing that bothered me was when I didn’t win the point, I think. That was it.”
That tug count would suggest otherwise.
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