Since the 19th century tennis players at Wimbledon have been wearing white clothing because at the time the sight of sweat patches through coloured clothing was thought to be inappropriate.
Over time not only has the tradition been kept up, it has become more strict.
In 2014 the rules were tightened to ban anything more than a 1cm coloured trim – even ruling out coloured underwear worn under white garments.
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This year players such as Roger Federer and Bethanie Mattek-Sands have criticised the rules for being too strict.
The Swiss star said:
"I love Wimbledon but they've gone too far now. The rules have become ridiculously strict."
“If you look at the pictures of Edberg, Becker, there were some colours, you know, but it was all white.”
Mattek-Sands also used examples of the past to justify her claims, saying:
“I was actually Googling some players like when John McEnroe played, Arthur Ashe – they had colour everywhere.”
Putting personal fashion preferences aside, the clothing regulations have started to affect the players’ comfort.
In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live Pat Cash said: "Some of the girls have been told to go back and change their bras and tops because they had slight colour on them.
"I believe some of the girls didn’t have suitable sports bras and had to go without them. It has gone absolutely ridiculous."
Also the Australian’s shoes did not meet the criteria and as a result he pulled out of the veterans’ competition because the last time he played without the specially adapted shoes he suffered an injury.
Finding the balance
In my opinion it is important to respect the traditions and history of the tournament. It is refreshing to see a major sporting event that isn’t full of sponsors and endorsements.
Having said that, at the moment the rules are too strict because they are restricting the players’ comfort and performance.
When an official Wimbledon branded sweatband as worn by Nick Kyrgios doesn’t abide by the rules surely they need to be relaxed.
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