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Champagne cork stops play at Wimbledon

Whether it is plastic beer cups at the Euros or Champagne corks at the Wimbledon Championships, this summer has seen drinking at sports events take centre stage. 

With the start of Wimbledon on Monday, the inevitable quickly began, as bottles of Champagne were opened during matches at The Championships.

Last summer, an umpire had to remind spectators about the etiquette of not loudly popping open bottles of fizz during matches.

At the time, the umpire John Blom responded during a match on Court 3 between Anastasia Potapova and Mirra Andreeva, when he heard a pop come from the crowd and announced over the microphone: “Ladies and gentlemen, please, if you’re opening a bottle of Champagne, don’t do it as the player is about to serve. Thank you.”


This year, it has gone one step further, with the umpire Fergus Murphy stopping play as Chinese qualifier Zhuoxuan Bai was about to serve in the sixth game of the opening set against Great Britain’s Harriet Dart yesterday.


Impressively, Murphy had noticed a cork had landed on the playing surface and instructed one of the ball girls to remove it. He then offered a similar rebuke to Blom last year.

“Ladies and gentlemen, maybe we should do that on the changeovers. Open bottles on the changeovers,” he said to laughter from the crowd.

X (formerly Twitter) users were quick to respond to the news.

One user called Zack Chibane said: “We are so back”.

Another highlighted last year’s warning: “John Blom’s warning from last year continues…”

Kenan said: “Gotta love how proper that announcement was.”

And another user said: “What a corker.”

Another said: “Sounds like Crémant to me “.


As db senior staff writer Louis Thomas noted last year, given that Lanson is the official Champagne of the Wimbledon Championships, and has been associated with the tennis tournament for almost 50 years, it is possible that it was indeed fizz from the French region.

It should be noted that popping corks to open bottles of bubbly is generally discouraged outside of Wimbledon too, both from a safety perspective, and because it might be seen as uncouth. The best method is to grab the cork securely and gently twist the bottle to release it with a slight hiss.

And it isn’t just spectators that are enjoying a drink at the tennis. You can read all about Wimbledon’s star players favourite drinks here.

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