Bad bottle service: Fan’s uncorking disturbs play

LONDON — Tens of thousands of champagne bottles are opened during Wimbledon every year, but Sunday, one chair umpire politely asked patrons to keep them corked, at least until the players on court had served.

As action got underway between Anastasia Potapova and Mirra Andreeva on Court 3, one fan decided to mark Middle Sunday by uncorking a bottle of champagne that burst the bubble in the third-round contest between the two Russians.

“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.

Potapova, who was about to serve, stopped to listen to the announcement before nodding her head in approval with a smile, amid scattered applause.

In 2019, a similar announcement was made by an umpire when a champagne cork flew onto the court during a match between Benoit Paire and Jiri Vesely.

The All England Club’s conditions of entry to the grounds 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.”

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