Jabeur suffered her second successive Wimbledon final defeat on Saturday, going down to Vondrousova 6-4 6-4. Ahead of the final, she had already suffered a blunder when she took to Centre Court in black clothes and was made to stop practising until she got changed.
With the Tunisian contesting her third Grand Slam final, some thought her gaffe was a sign of where her mind was ahead of the match. But speaking after her 80-minute loss, Jabeur said it was an innocent mistake.
“No, I completely forgot the white rules. When you go into a match court, you just dress up as normal clothes,” she explained. “For me, I completely forget that today I was warming up on Centre Court, it has to be all white. Yeah, I don’t know, it was just an honest mistake.”
Players are required to wear all-white when on one of the main courts at the All England Club, even if they aren’t playing a match. The club rules state: “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.”
With the roof closed ahead of the final due to weather warnings about the wind, Jabeur was given the chance to practice on Centre Court a few hours before the final. And Chris Evert noted the clothing issue on the BBC.
“And by the way, Ons was wearing all black on Centre Court and they kicked her off,” she said. “They kicked her off and made her put on white clothes. At Wimbledon you have to wear white! Even in the final of Wimbledon. I thought that was interesting.”
Jabeur also commented on the fact that the roof was closed for the final – a controversial choice given that Wimbledon is an outdoor tournament and it wasn’t raining. “I honestly didn’t focus much on that,” she said, before admitting it may have changed things.
“But, yeah, I don’t know. Maybe it helped her today to play good and put more balls in. I don’t know if the roof was open would have been a different story maybe for both of us.
“But, yeah, it is what it is. It happened. I’m very happy for her that she won her first Grand Slam. I know she’s a player that has been very injured, like, a lot of times. I wish her all the best. Hopefully she can win more Grand Slams.”