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A Look at at Wimbledon from a Women’s View

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Tennis Apparel at Wimbledon

Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and the grandest of the Grand Slam tennis tournaments. It has a rich tradition, ingrained in various aspects of the game, from the court to the tennis apparel used in the tournament.

When the tournament rolls on in suburban London between late June and early July, expect to see a sea of white. That’s because the participants in the prestigious tournament are all required to wear white. Well, it’s not that strict. Tennis apparel used in the Wimbledon tournament can simply be “mostly white”. Color accents are allowed, too.

Still, check this out: All manufacturers need to submit the designs for their players’ apparel ahead of the championships. The All England Club will then decide to approve the designs, so that they fit the standards of Wimbledon.

Traditional garb for male tennis players are thigh-length shorts and polo shirts. However, in the 2008 Wimbledon championship, a wardrobe war was the sidelight of the match between then-Number 1 Roger Federer of Switzerland and upstart Rafael Nadal of Spain. Federer was the reflection of the classy tennis player, while Nadal was clad in relatively outlandish garb.

Nadal had a sleeveless top and his usual long shorts, but at least they were all white. Besides, he won the title, so who’s going to argue with that? Incidentally, Nadal also clinched the world number 1 ranking right after that. Besides, even the All England Club attested to the validity of his getup. One spokesman even cited past players who have all worn longer pants even before Nadal came into the picture.

American Serena Williams once took to the court in a white trench coat, quite possibly one of the most stunning displays of chic tennis apparel in history. Prim and proper Roger Federer added more positives to his fashion portfolio when he competed in a cable knit sweater that just says “classy”. It’s always a treat to see what kind of variations on the set standard players and designers come up with. No wonder some people even call Wimbledon the ‘catwalk of tennis apparel’. You don’t only bring your ‘A’ game, you also need to bring your ‘A’ style.

With all the white jerseys on the court, it’s easy to assume that the traditional color of Wimbledon is white. However, the tournament’s colors are actually purple and dark green. It’s just the players’ attire that is traditionally white.

Perhaps one of the marks of such a prestigious grand slam series is that even the officials also have their own clothing. From the chair umpire to the linesmen and ball boys / ball girls, each has a standard set of uniforms. The current uniforms are colored navy blue and cream, all designed by highly-acclaimed American fashion designer Ralph Lauren. The new uniforms were used starting in 2006, and the contract with the designer lasts up to 2009. Prior to that year, the standard uniform color was green. Whether the navy blue clothing is retained or a new one is adopted remains to be seen.

The Championships, Wimbledon is really the pinnacle of tennis. It’s the most prestigious of the four Grand Slams, and the sheer age of the tournament is enough to realize that there’s a lot of tradition involved. That’s why it remains at the top of everything in the tennis world—even something relatively trivial as tennis apparel.

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