Wimbledon 97: Court circular: Beads could be a burden for Williams

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The Independent Online
Keep an eye on the beads this Wimbledon. Venus Williams, one of the band of teenage terrors threatening an overthrow of women's tennis, has the physique and the game that gets her noticed. But just in case, the 17-year-old from Los Angeles has threaded white beads into her dreadlocks to ensure herself even more of a head start.

They add colour and dash to what is already a starry commodity. But Venus, still awaiting her first match after rain delayed her scheduled encounter on Monday with Magdalena Grzybowska, of Poland, must beware. The loss of a single bead on court would constitute an offence under Rule 25 relating to clothing or equipment falling from a player on to the court.

Should a bead fall, on the first occasion a let would be played. On the second, another let would be played and Miss Williams would be advised that if she dropped any more beads a point would be awarded to her opponent.

However, if one were to land on her rival's side of the net at any time that would be deemed an automatic loss of a point under Rule 20e.

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