However, for many, the abiding memory of the ceremony will probably not be that Andy Murray won (after all, that was virtually a foregone conclusion), but of Marion Bartoli staggering down to the stage in absurdly high platform heels. Luckily, she had Mark Webber to hold onto or it could have been even more embarrassing since she was also wearing a very short skirt (and remember, this was a live programme). “Well done on the stairs” went the presenter, rubbing salt into the wound.
The tweets came thick and fast and most of them weren’t kind. One even remarked not just on her heels but also, more cruelly, on her “wearing the wrong underwear”.
In fact, all the female athletes wore short skirts or dresses with high heels and they virtually all looked stiff and uncomfortable. In fact, some of them looked to be struck dumb. They were probably concentrating on staying upright. After all, female athletes tend to live in tracksuits and trainers, not skirts and Louboutins.
As a Real Tennis World Champion, I was present at the 1987 event and yes, I also wore a skirt and heels which made me feel horribly ill-at-ease, but I felt it was expected of me.
When someone feels physically uncomfortable, it affects their ability to talk in a relaxed fashion. Many of the interviews were strained and mechanical, probably as a result. And it wasn’t just the women who were affected. Many of the men looked awkward in suits, in particular, those hefty rugby players.
Next year, the athletes should perhaps be encouraged to wear casual clothes or sports gear. It’s how they would normally dress and it’s how we are used to seeing them. It would doubtless have a beneficial effect on their public speaking.
Despite Murray’s apology about ‘sounding boring’, he actually looked really relaxed and comfortable in his casual shirt. Not being physically present at the event meant that at least he didn’t have to wear a suit. No doubt that was a relief for him.
Actually, Louboutin do a snazzy line in flat, sparkly trainers. Perhaps that might be an option for next year?