Losing sucks. What happened to the “undo” button?

By any name and in any form, losing is a drag. Our family experienced this yesterday, when my son’s water polo team lost a playoff match to a lower-seeded team — an opponent that, on another day, they probably would have defeated handily. Post-game analysis of why they lost might be useful to the younger players, but to the seniors, not so much. It was their last game together as varsity water polo teammates from their high school. This was not how they wanted to go out.

 

not loser sign - losing

 

Whether it’s a water polo playoff, a USTA match, or Nadal losing to the 100th-ranked Rosol at Wimbledon, losing never feels good — especially losing a match you know you should have won. My husband remarked to me on the way home, “I just wish we could rewind it.” I agreed. I woke up this morning thinking, if only they were playing the match today. But they aren’t. It’s over.

And that’s how losing goes. Sometimes we lose because of factors within our control. And the consequences for losing can be much greater than the outcome of a sports game. Which one of us hasn’t regretted something we said, something we did, a choice we made? And what if the stakes for our decisions were high — say, the loss of a friendship, a business deal, maybe even a marriage?

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Olympics bring color to Wimbledon: Part I, the ladies

It’s fun to see colorful tennis wear at the staunch All England Lawn Tennis Club. Perhaps not as zany as beach volleyball in the shadow of Buckingham Palace, but a break with tradition all the same. This post will come in two parts. Today I’ll talk about some of the notable women players and what they’re wearing.

Note that all these photos are from Zimbio.com, a great source for pictures and news about lots of celebrities, not just tennis players.

Tennis Fashionistas

 

I like the red, white and blue outfit Nike put together for Serena — a dress works well for her powerful frame. Her sister designed a nice tennis dress for her own EleVen line as well. Check out her matches on TV to see the straps criss-crossing the back of Venus’ outfit. She wins the award for coolest hair accessory!

Maria Sharapova looks good, as usual. It was great to see her carrying the flag at the head of Russia’s procession, even if she has lived in the United States since 1994. Her white skirt and red top, part of Nike’s Maria Sharapova Statement Set, are styles we’ve seen before, just in different colors.

 

 

Caroline Wozniacki sports a cute red dress. It’s longer than her dresses usually are and doesn’t have as much of a “fashion forward” look as her Stella McCartney for Adidas designs usually do — maybe the Danish tennis authorities had to approve her outfit? But check out her nails, mini-flags from her country.

 

Fortunately Victoria Azarenka gets to look at the fuzzy yellow ball when she plays, not at her color combination. It’s not her fault that the colors of Belarus are green and red. Still, watching her on the court reminds me to make this the year I get an early start on my Christmas shopping.

 

Playing in what will likely be her last Olympics, Kim Clijsters looks classically terrific in her red skirt with subtle yellow stripe and white polo embellished with Belgium’s colors. I hope she goes deep in the tournament.

Thank goodness the matches are being broadcast on Bravo as well as streamed live.  There are so many sports on at once, it’s hard to stay on top of what’s happening with your favorite players — and that’s from the perspective of a spectator! Enjoy the tennis, the fashion and as always, the inevitable drama.

Oh, and be sure to send in your opinion on these outfits, or let me know if you see someone else you want to discuss!

 

Wimbledon 2012 fashion in a word: white — well mostly

Few countries know how to uphold tradition as staunchly as the Brits, and we Americans not only admire their tenacity in clinging to traditions, but also enjoy making jabs at long-sacred customs like the “all-white” convention at the All-England Club Championships. Our rebellious spirit probably dates back to a little tea party in the Boston Harbor over two hundred years ago. But at Wimbledon, we’re just having some fun.

Most of the Wimbledon fashion buzz has revolved around who’s flaunting the “white rule” most flagrantly.A quick history lesson: the “predominantly white” regulation was brought out in 1963, and in 1995, the “almost entirely in white” rule became valid. The All England Lawn Tennis Club’s dress code guidelines specify preference for no solid mass of “colouring,” “little or no dark, bold or fluorescent colours,” and a preference for accent colors in pastels.

 

Thus it came as no surprise that Serena’s outfit, a sleek white dress with magenta Nike swoosh and matching headband and tennis shorts underneath, caused quite a stir at the tradition-bound AELTC. Even the official Wimbledon website offered commentary about Serena’s outfit, suggesting that this year’s infractions of the white dress code might be related to the decision to relax the all-white rule for the Olympics, in order for countries to wear uniforms sporting their national colors. Ha! I can’t imagine Serena or Nike were “confused” at all — they were just pushing the edge, rocking the boat in Great Britain. And Serena has the tennis and star power to back up her mini-rebellion.

 

Maria Sharapova’s Wimbledon outfit, also by Nike, was similar to Serena’s, but it fit within the Wimbledon guidelines. She wore her usual visor, in white this time, and the trim on her slim-fitting white dress was light green, matching the grass of the All England Club. While her green tennis shorts might have been a bit out of line with the dress code, I’d wager the men who interpret the AELTC regulations were happy to overlook that detail, since it was Maria’s green tush they were glimpsing from time to time.

 

 Rafa, Rafa. Such a shame he lost to Rosol — especially since his Wimbledon fashion was the perfect combination of “predominantly white,” yet youthful (no collar), as well as slightly unusual — with red, grey and black triangles subtly merging in stripes across his shoulders. The look worked well for his ferocious style of play — too bad we didn’t get to watch him play more matches.

 

 Of course all British and especially Scottish eyes are on Andy Murray, so a fashion review wouldn’t be complete without a glance in his direction. He’s switched the orange shorts of the French Open for predominantly white ones — a change for the better. He’s still looking a little scruffy, but perhaps that’s a look his countrymen love, or at least will tolerate.

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Wimbledon fashion largely disappoints

Grand Slam matches provide a worldwide stage for tennis stars and their sponsors to flaunt their newest gear and clothing lines, with lots of free advertising.  Unfortunately, however, there is little to celebrate by way of fashion at Wimbledon this year.  Rafa and Roger are stunning as always, but both are unusually subdued, even classical in their attire.  After causing a stir last year when pulling a “15” gold-trimmed jacket out of his bag for the awards presentation that marked his record-breaking 15th Grand Slam victory, Federer is setting an understated tone so far.  Not sure about the mesh bag, though.

Things are a bit more interesting on the women’s side, but not much.  Mercifully, the all-white Wimbledon regulations prevent Venus from pulling another “French Open” fashion faux pas, where the bright yellow dress and flesh-colored panties caused many to wonder if she was truly “going commando” or just trying to play the part of provocateur.  However, her self-designed outfit must be one of the worst on Centre Court: a low cut top and frilly skirt that looks more like Miss Muffet, or perhaps one of those exfoliating body puffs, than actual tennis attire.

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