Australian Umpire Scolds Wimbledon Fans For ‘Poppin’ Bottles’ During Player’s Serve

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Australian Umpire Scolds Wimbledon Fans For ‘Poppin’ Bottles’ During Player’s Serve

Australian umpire John Blom was making the news this week as he hilariously reprimanded the SW19 crowd for interrupting Anastasia Potapova’s service in the most Wimbledon way ever.

Along with the A-list appeal of the Monaco Grand Prix, the pomp and prestige of the Ashes at Lord’s, and perhaps some equestrian event that we’ve probably never heard of, the glitz and glamour on display at the Wimbledon Championships are arguably some of the most prominent in the sporting calendar. It’s entirely uncommon then to hear the sound of champagne bottles popping around the Grounds.

Unlike the raucous atmosphere of a football or rugby match, seating around the courts is designed in such a way that watching a game of tennis at Wimbledon is a comparatively intimate occasion. The crowd sits with a hushed breath as the player is about to serve and – usually – observes a respectful silence during extended periods of play.

This week, as Potapova, the Russian world no. 23, prepared to take her serve on No.3 Court, the untimely sound of a celebratory champagne cork popped unexpectedly and Potapova’s serve went awry. After missing her subsequent second serve, and losing the point, umpire John Blom interjected, “Ladies and gentlemen, please, if you are opening a bottle of Champagne don’t do it as the player is about to serve. Thank you.”

WATCH The hilarious moment Australian umpire John Blom asks the crowd to refrain from popping champagne below.

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It was all received in good spirits to a burst of laughter around the court – probably after all that champagne – and play resumed.

Fans are able to drink inside the courts and within the Grounds of Wimbledon, with champagne the drink of choice for many of the tournament’s affluent guests. Of course, there are rules in place to stop fans from enjoying themselves too much, otherwise, it could lead to an unwelcome rule change like the Olympic spectators attending Paris 2024 next year…