Thursday, June 27, 2013

All white rule at Wimbledon sends Federer out with clean heels

Roger Federer was told by the Wimbledon organisers just prior to his match against Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky on Centre Court to change his orange-soled shoes because they were in breach of the all-white rule. Federer obliged. He came out Wednesday for his second-round match in more traditional white-soled shoes but sadly for him was summarily defeated. Wimbledon, the world’s oldest tennis tournament, has the strictest dress code in tennis, which dates back to 1877. The rules stipulate no solid mass of colour, no fluorescent colours, little or no dark and bold colours, and preferably all white shirts, shorts and skirts.The tournament’s clothing police allow no exceptions.

In the past ladies’ knickers have caused a stir at Wimbledon , dating back to 1949 when American Gussie Moran was accused of “putting sin and vulgarity into tennis” by wearing lace-trimmed knickers at the All England Club in south London.

In 1985 the U.S. player Anne White was called to one side after arriving on court in an all-in-one, head-to-toe lycra bodysuit to play against Pam Shriver. She was asked to wear something more conventional and obliged but lost her match.

Six years ago Frenchwoman Tatiana Golovin shocked organisers by wearing a pair of crimson underpants beneath her white outfit which had officials reaching for the rule book but to no avail.The rules state that players can wear any colour underwear they like provided it is no longer than their shorts or skirt.

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