Blog: Wimbledon dress code is all white with me

First published in Latest Chorley Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Lancashire Telegraph columnist

IT’S the second week of Wimbledon and already I’m mourning its loss. Not at any other time of the year do I even contemplate turning on daytime TV but during Wimbledon fortnight everything else is abandoned.

Wimbledon is special, and it's not just the tennis. Nowhere else insists on all-white clothing. It is depressing to see that, like cricket where the World Series in the late 1970s led to players wearing coloured pyjamas, top-level tennis venues are accepting clothing more befiting London Fashion Week.

The French Open served up many garish outfits. Venus Williams sported a bright pink top and patterned leggings. She looked like a teenager in a shopping mall.

I was disheartened to see leggings at Wimbledon last week, but at least they were white.

Men’s tennis fashions have degenerated further, with many outfits looking like replica football kits. Andy Murray sports a particularly hideous blue top with yellow tie-dye sleeves.

But Wimbledon is strict on whites – I even heard talk of a warning for Roger Federer for wearing shoes with a thin orange strip around the base.

Unlike at other major tournaments, the courts at SW19 aren't emblazoned with adverts. When I’m watching tennis I don't want to be reminded that I should be driving a Peugeot, banking with Santander, or using an Orange phone. Some courts have so many adverts dotted about, I'm surprised players can see the ball.

Wimbledon has so far resisted and long may it continue.

I don't know if this is also a rule but at Wimbledon players usually walk off together after a match. When I was young, everyone did this in a nice, sportsmanlike way. Now, in most tournaments, the loser skulks off even before the winner has put away his racquet.

The only thing I find irritating is the make-up of the Royal Box – always packed with the same toffs-with-time-on-their-hands: the Pippas, Beatrices and Eugeines of this world. Half of them probably aren’t even interested, just going along for the free lunch.

Later in the day, when they’ve all got bored and gone off for tea at Fortnum’s, it’s half-empty – which is even more infuriating.

I’d love to go again, having been only once, 30 years ago, when I stood for seven hours in Centre Court. I couldn't manage that now, and wouldn’t have to, as standing was scrapped in 1990 for safety reasons. Maybe Pippa could give up her seat.

Comments (10)

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12:19pm Tue 2 Jul 13

Ken Shuffles says...

I've been broken in two every day since I left you. By the time I had left the house my world, though I didn't realise immediately was utterly shattered. I broke into two. The world shattered. I was broken in two. Then after that, your rejection kills me some more, and I think it was around that time when an agonised death in centre court, suffering the most appalling agonised agony, started to look incredibly appealing. I can't remember if it was wimbledon month, but my raquet's still broken, and I've been broken in two since the day I left you.
I've been broken in two every day since I left you. By the time I had left the house my world, though I didn't realise immediately was utterly shattered. I broke into two. The world shattered. I was broken in two. Then after that, your rejection kills me some more, and I think it was around that time when an agonised death in centre court, suffering the most appalling agonised agony, started to look incredibly appealing. I can't remember if it was wimbledon month, but my raquet's still broken, and I've been broken in two since the day I left you. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

3:38pm Wed 3 Jul 13

Ken Shuffles says...

Am I not tedious enough for you, or do I have to say sorry for being too mysterious.?
Am I not tedious enough for you, or do I have to say sorry for being too mysterious.? Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

3:55pm Wed 3 Jul 13

Ken Shuffles says...

Perhaps as Claire once said, you were never really all that worthy in the first place.
Perhaps as Claire once said, you were never really all that worthy in the first place. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

12:19pm Thu 4 Jul 13

Ken Shuffles says...

All I've ever wanted to do is come back.
All I've ever wanted to do is come back. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

3:28pm Fri 5 Jul 13

Ken Shuffles says...

I'm not interested in finding you or having a relationship with you. I don't never know what made you think I was, but I don't believe in relationships as any sort of a solution to anything and I don't want to start one with you. I don't need a hug, or someone to talk to, or any sort of romantic future together and I can honestly say, I would only be interested in talking to you again as a woman if it involved very inappropriate quantities of s*ex.
I'm not interested in finding you or having a relationship with you. I don't never know what made you think I was, but I don't believe in relationships as any sort of a solution to anything and I don't want to start one with you. I don't need a hug, or someone to talk to, or any sort of romantic future together and I can honestly say, I would only be interested in talking to you again as a woman if it involved very inappropriate quantities of s*ex. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

3:36pm Fri 5 Jul 13

Ken Shuffles says...

All I want is sex, and believe it or not I can get that, without anyone taking a journalistic responsibility for it Amanda.
All I want is sex, and believe it or not I can get that, without anyone taking a journalistic responsibility for it Amanda. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

3:43pm Fri 5 Jul 13

Ken Shuffles says...

I'm having lots of sex TONIGHT. Hope you still enjoy passing the time with whatever it is you are writing.
I'm having lots of sex TONIGHT. Hope you still enjoy passing the time with whatever it is you are writing. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

3:47pm Fri 5 Jul 13

Ken Shuffles says...

I'm going to be very busy.
I'm going to be very busy. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

4:51pm Mon 8 Jul 13

Ken Shuffles says...

I might be a badly drawn boy and you may even be a bit sketchy, but I need to be de-criminalised, BEFORE I can contact a particular unspecified individual, either directly or through a third party and certainly before we could even meet ourselves on the same bus/street, never mind find ourselves on the same page together.
I might be a badly drawn boy and you may even be a bit sketchy, but I need to be de-criminalised, BEFORE I can contact a particular unspecified individual, either directly or through a third party and certainly before we could even meet ourselves on the same bus/street, never mind find ourselves on the same page together. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

4:54pm Mon 8 Jul 13

Ken Shuffles says...

As a badly drawn boy, I prefer my women sketchy.
As a badly drawn boy, I prefer my women sketchy. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

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