In an exclusive interview with The Daily Aus, Australian world No.98 Daria Saville revealed that she has opted to skip her period because of the pure white dress code at Wimbledon. Heather Watson and Monica Puig have also brought attention to this problem that secretly stresses out WTA players.
Most women experience various kinds of discomfort with their menstrual cycles. Female athletes are especially impacted by menstruation symptoms. Women’s tennis players feel this inconvenience the most during the two-week Wimbledon tournament, where they are obliged to wear white apparel.
The 28-year-old Saville brought this issue to light in an interview with The Daily Aus, although she emphasized that she still appreciates the 150-year-old tradition at the All England Club:
Recently, just being at Wimbledon, I was talking with my friends 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.
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, as we already have enough other stress.
As Saville proceeded to explain, period is an additional stressor in sport, regardless of the dress code, so female athletes carry a specific burden:
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. 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. This happened during my first ever Australian Open in the second round. It was also 38 degrees on that day, that’s why I said it sucks to be a girl sometimes.
Great Britain’s Heather Watson has also spoken publicly about this: “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.”
Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig, who ended her tennis career last month, tweeted in late May: “Definitely something that affects female athletes! Finally bringing it to everyone’s attention! 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.”