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Tattoos take centre court at Wimbledon


June 26, 2012 - London

Tattoos were out in force at Wimbledon, after a week of raising eyebrows at Royal Ascot.

This time, however, it was the players and not the spectators who left traditionalists shocked.

On a day when the tournament was attended by royalty, some of the most eye-catching inkings were displayed on the left arm and left thigh of 20-year-old Karolina Pliskova, the Daily Mail reported.

The large swirling tribal patterns, picked out in blue, were clear for all to see on the striking 6ft Czech.

And the chances of anyone failing to notice them were reduced further by her choice of white vest top and short tennis skirt for her first round match.

While not in breach of regulations - the players' dress code states only that they must dress '"almost entirely in white" - the spread of tattoos to the courts of SW19 is likely to cause a stir among more conservative members.

If the tattoos were meant to bring unseeded Pliskova any luck, they failed, and she lost in straight sets to American Sloane Stephens.

However, another member of the growing body art brigade, number eight seed Jarko Tipsarevic, fared rather better, brushing aside David Nalbandian.

Among the Serbian's tattoos is a quotation in Japanese from Dostoyevsky which proclaims "Beauty will save the world", and another Japanese tattoo which represents the first two letters of the names of various relatives.

Nalbandian also boasted a tattoo - though the inking of a bull on his right shoulder is visible only when he takes his shirt off.

Among other tattooed winners yesterday were Kim Clijsters and women's number 11 seed Li Na. The red rose on her chest has already been the subject of much discussion in her native China, where few women sport tattoos.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands, is also well known for the large tattoo covering her right arm.

It features flowers and bees, because her nickname is "Bee".

At Royal Ascot last week, organisers introduced a strict new dress code after increasing numbers of visitors were accused of falling on the wrong side of propriety.

The revised regulations demanded hats in the royal enclosure and fascinators in the grandstand. Bottom-skimming skirts, strapless tops, halternecks and spaghetti straps were banned.

But according to reports, several racegoers in risque attire managed to slip through the net, some even making it into the exclusive royal enclosure, which is supposed to have the strictest dress requirements of all.

They included plenty showing off tattoos - and in one case, a nose ring too.

Tattoos are not against the regulations at Ascot, but the quantity of body art on display led to raised eyebrows at the genteel race meet.

Organisers at the All England Club - which has hosted the Wimbledon championships for almost 150 years - have also issued a dress code for the first time this year following concerns that sartorial standards among members are slipping.

It says jeans, flip-flops and t-shirts are unacceptable in the clubhouse, although the guidelines do not apply to ticketholders for tennis matches or guests at corporate events.

"There are no rules regarding tattoos for players," a Wimbledon official said.

"There might be if they had a huge advertising slogan tattooed across a part of their anatomy... but otherwise not," the official added.

ANI

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