London: Wimbledon’s famously strict dress code, which requires competitors to appear head-to-toe in white playing gear, has come under renewed fire for being “ridiculous” and “excessive”. Even Roger Federer, the seven-time champion and a lifelong admirer of the All England Club’s traditions, has ramped up his criticism of the rule which demands predominantly white outfits.
“I love Wimbledon but they’ve gone too far now. The rules have become ridiculously strict,” said the Swiss legend. It is the second time in two seasons that Federer has hit out at the rule which calls for “suitable tennis attire that is almost entirely white”.
“We’re all white. White, white, full-on white. I think it’s very strict,” Federer said 12 months ago. “My personal opinion, I think it’s too strict. If you look at the pictures of Edberg, Becker, there was some colours, you know, but it was ‘all white’.”
The colour code at Wimbledon is often controversial. Last year Caroline Wozniacki said reports that officials would check the colour of women’s underwear as “a little creepy”.
This week, Canadian poster girl Eugenie Bouchard fell foul of the rules after wearing a black bra. Flamboyant American player Bethanie Mattek-Sands said she supported Federer’s complaints.
“I didn’t even get married in white,” she said. Mattek-Sands once appeared on Wimbledon Centre Court wearing a coat made of tennis balls and has also taken to a court with warpaint beneath her eyes.