SPORTSWEAR giant Adidas will give Andy Murray a different type of shorts to wear at Wimbledon today after his victory against Marcos Baghdatis was almost derailed by a wardrobe malfunction.
The No4 seed struggled to keep his tennis balls in the pocket of his shorts – dropping his spare ball at least three times, costing him two points.
Adidas said yesterday the problem was caused by “human error” in the bespoke pair of handmade silk shorts specially designed for the Scottish star, who has a £10 million sponsorship deal with the company.
When challenged about his difficulty in keeping hold of his balls, Murray said: “I’m blaming the shorts. It wasn’t my fault.”
A frustrated Murray added: “It happened like five times and it felt like it was always about to pop out – like it was always about to happen. It was annoying. It lost me two points – so I need to make sure there are no problems with that in the next few rounds.”
Former champion John McEnroe said he was at a loss to understand how Murray’s second ball kept escaping and bouncing across the court. Now a BBC commentator, McEnroe said: “The pockets in the shorts these days are very deep. The ball is doing well to get out of there.”
A spokesman for Adidas blamed human error – saying Murray was wearing handmade silk shorts – and that for future matches he would be wearing standard issue machine-sewn shorts, similar to those Baghdatis was wearing during Saturday night’s match.
Murray lost two points to the Cypriot in the second set after the ball escaped from his pocket and hit the court three times. However, the ball seemed to be on the verge of escaping throughout much of the match. At one point, the player actually caught the errant ball.
The issue seemed to contribute to Murray’s distracted play, and he eventually lost the second set 6-3, but he won the next two setst in a match that made history as the tournament’s latest-ever finish, continuing until two minutes past eleven.
Adidas spokesman Steve Marks said the sponsors were determined to avoid any future problems and insisted the Centre Court balls-up was a one-off. He said: “Adidas works closely with Andy on the design of all his tennis kit, and we believe the issues were the result of an individual technical error in the handmade pockets of those particular shorts. For the remainder of the tournament, Andy will wear the same shorts worn by all other Adidas-sponsored players.”
Yesterday, Murray revealed that during a break in the match when the roof was pulled across the Centre Court, he asked permission to serve without an extra ball in his pocket, because of the difficulties he was having keeping it in place.
He also thanked Wimbledon officials for allowing the match to carry on past the 11pm curfew – meaning the Scot enjoyed a rest day before facing Croatia’s Marin Cilic in the fourth round today.