Many of the players are seeing red over the overly strict all-white clothing policy at Wimbledon of late and are finding sticking to the rules rather boring. The prevailing opinion appears to be that at least a spot of color here or there keeps everyone from looking homogoneous. And it also allows for players to show off a little bit of their personality.
The other day, Roger Federer, certainly a brave and bold fashionista on the men’s tour, called the restrictive Wimbledon policy “ridiculous.”
This all-white without the addition of any other hues is a newer policy and it used to not be that way.
Fans might remember back in the day that John McEnroe wore a headband that was off-white and had red-and-blue stripes on it in his playing days here. David Wheaten wore his signature stars-and-stripes headband. Not that long ago, the women would flash a shock of color with their tennis underwear.
Not anymore. Let’s just say the authorities frowned upon Eugenie Bouchard’s black bra strap sneaking out of her top during her first round match. That’s a no-no by any other name.
Certainly for someone like the flashy and eccentric Bethanie Mattek-Sands, the all-white rule is hand-cuffing her style. She missed out on last year’s Wimbledon when the tougher policy came into being – she was recuperating from hip surgery – so she had no idea not to pack her colored undershorts.
“I think it’s gotten a little excessive,” said Mattek-Sands, a Wimbledon qualifier who has yet to lose a set in in five matches played and is now into the third round at Wimbledon. “So, you know, I think it’s a little much when, you know, I think who was it, Ivo Karlovic had to paint a little bit of his shoe white. That’s a little much.”
For Mattek-Sands, white isn’t really ever an option. In fact, when she married hubby, Justin Sands, there was definitely no traditional bridal gown for this gal.
“I didn’t even wear white in my wedding,” she noted. “I actually wore a black dress. Yeah, I wore a black wedding dress, which was pretty cool. Actually, when I went shopping for it, they wanted me to try some stuff on, and I said, ‘Look, I’m not going to wear anything white, off‑white, cream, light pink, I said, so just don’t even hand me those.’ They’re like, ‘Well, we have this black evening gown.’ I’m like, ‘Perfect.’ First one I tried and got that one.”
It’s true that to augment the blandness of blanc – that’s white in French – Mattek-Sands had a bit of mesh on her top. But have no fear, she didn’t stop there.
Leave it to the creative Mattek-Sands to add her desired touch of color to her on-court look. Let’s say her hair was tinted in rainbow colors and there’s not much the All England could do about that hairstyle.