Wimbledon's all white clothing rule is steeped in tradition. Every champion, participant, player and competitor has obeyed the rule that has been in existence since 1904. It is a well respected rule that is followed to the letter by all players. Well, it was until this year.
No one is quite sure why the rule exists; the rule is one which, whilst clearly stated, confuses some and is debated by many. Every other tennis tournament allows for a variety of colours the player can choose to play in.
The French Open has seen some choice outfits, the Australian Open invites flair and originality, in the US Open anything (within reason) goes, yet Wimbledon insists the rules are adhered to closer than a paparazzi to a celebrity.
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Each tournament is considerably relaxed about its colour code except Wimbledon, perhaps the word 'Open' is not included for a reason?
Semantics aside, Wimbledon still reflects a worldwide held view of traditional England. Gentleness, grace, sophistication, professionalism, calm and history. The annual event at SW19 is the original and for many the most important tennis tournament, the main event.
Televised, streamed and enjoyed globally, Wimbledon is hugely respected. Yet for all its qualities, it does seem to be stuck in, well, too much tradition. The tournament has an official Head of Queuing, how wonderfully proper.
Admittedly, what a player wears has little impact on their performance; yet when one of the most successful players in the competition speaks up against the dress code, surely it needs to be discussed?
As it stands, any part of a players attire with even so much of a hint of non-white faces a potential fine and virtual slap on the wrist. Again, a truly English way of dealing with insolence.
It is time for Wimbledon to move into the 21st century. In no way should its hard fought for traditions, formalities or procedures be compromised.
All we ask is for a little more colour.
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