An Embarrassing Wimbledon Debut


Filling in for Serena Williams is no easy task. Babz Shabalala knew she would have to be on top form to do the Grand Slam Champion justice, but sometimes intention and execution don’t match.

Athletes generally are courtside at least an hour before they compete, not Babz. In her confusion at the station she took the wrong train and headed in the opposite direction to the Wimbledon arena. She eventually found her way but was very late for the match. The pressure Babz felt when she walked onto the court was immense. She took a deep breath and walked up to play but panicked and started busting out a traditional South African dance. She felt the need to impress so she put her whole body into it and kicked her legs up as high as they would go. But Babz is not a dancer and her legs don’t go as far as she would want them to, so poor Babz flung herself upwards and landed on her bum.

As if that weren’t enough of an embarrassing first day for the Williams stand-in, her outfit drew a lot of attention. Being a fan of bright colours, Babz decided to wear a loud pink and orange tennis outfit. With Wimbledon’s notoriously strict dress code, the umpire handed Babz a fine on-court for her attire. She tried desperately to talk her way out of it and decided to be extra sweet to the umpire in the hopes he would let it slide. She didn’t realise the film crew was filming the discussion and as a result her desperate flirting was broadcast across the globe. She didn’t get out of the fine.

Babz has certainly started on the wrong foot. Stayed tuned to see what happens next week to this stand-in and get ready to cringe at what trouble she manages to cause on court.

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