People are only just realising why players have to wear all white at Wimbledon

Unless you're stuck in the 1950s and still follow tennis exclusively on the radio (in which case, how on earth are you reading this?) you'll have probably noticed that players always wear white at Wimbledon.

For 11 months of the year, Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal, Serena Williams and co. tour the world wearing hideous fluorescent monstrosities that would probably fit seamlessly into Ali G's wardrobe – but at the All England Club, that mercifully all stops.

As the oldest and most prestigious event in the sport, Wimbledon prides itself on tradition, and ever since the inaugural tournament in 1877 competitors have all worn white – and only white.

READ MORE: Six controversial Wimbledon outfits – from catsuit and lace undergarment to pink bra

The dress code harkens back to standards set in the Victorian era, when players wore white for propriety’s sake as it was believed that white showed less sweat. Plus, as a wealthy man's game, those who played tennis were keen to show off their pristine garments in a bid to look as upper class as possible.

"It was all about incredible proper," according to International Tennis Hall of Fame librarian Meredith Richards.

For decades, the all-white rule had almost no objectors, but as multi-coloured outfits started getting popular in the 70s, players started pushing the All England Club's boundaries.

Is Wimbledon's strict dress code a good thing or a bad thing? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

In 1972, Rose Casals was reprimanded for wearing a dress that featured too much purple – not least because it was peppered with the logo of the Virginia Slims cigarette brand, while Martina Navratilova was given an earful for having thin blue stripes on her white skirt.

The rules were simply too much for American icon Andre Agassi, who famously refused to participate at Wimbledon for three years due to his fondness for bright colours (he eventually conceded in 1992 – and went on to win the tournament).

Even now, Serena Williams continually tries to sneak vibrant-coloured undershorts into her match-day outfits while Wimbledon darling Roger Federer branded the rules "too strict" after being told off for wearing white shoes with orange bottoms a few years ago.

All in all, it's a rule organisers take very seriously, though they apparently considered dropping it following the emergence of colour TV in the 60s – as viewers would be able to tell players apart more easily.

Though in the end, tradition trumped utility, and with that such a rarity in sport these days, we reckon they made the right call.


  • Nike tennis dress sparked controversy at Wimbledon for being too revealing

  • Nick Kyrgios' mind-boggling total fines paid – and where all the money goes to

  • Roger Federer confirms future Wimbledon plans as he arrives for centenary celebration

Source: Read Full Article