Top female tennis stars livid if Wimbledon officials went round inspecting their knickers to check if they were flouting the 'all-white' clothing rule at SW19
London: Top female tennis stars said yesterday it would be “creepy” if Wimbledon officials went round inspecting their knickers to check if they were flouting the competition’s strict all-white clothing rule.
Caroline Wozniacki returns to Croatia's Ama Konjuh at Wimbledon yesterday. Pic/AFP.
Players said they understood the All England Club’s rules and traditions but would find it “weird” if they suddenly had to start running their underwear past an official.
They were reacting after former men’s champion Pat Cash claimed some women had been forced to change their bras because they did not conform to the strict dress code.
Caroline Wozniacki said it would be disturbing to have anyone doing an inspection.
“I don’t think anyone is showing off their underwear like that and getting it checked. That would be pretty creepy,” she said. “Usually I don’t wear coloured underwear whenever you have white,” she added. “You can see through. Obviously, if the colour of the bra is really bright, the top is see-through, you can see it through.”
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova voiced her opposition to the notion of knicker checks. “It’s weird to be checking our underwear, don’t you think? I think it’s very weird to check under my skirt if I’m wearing white underwear,” she said.
“If we are playing in white, we should wear white underwear. But it’s kind of weird officials coming and checking. I think it’s strange. But we should follow the rules.” Wozniacki also said there was little excuse for flouting the regulations. “Everyone was told before Wimbledon you have to wear white. I don’t think there should be any surprises. White is white. It should be pretty simple,” the Dane said.
Romania’s Simona Halep said the dress code was part of what makes the tournament unique.
“It’s special to play here. They have the special rules because you have to be in white. It’s not really difficult to get white clothes,” the third seed said. “I like this tradition. It’s really nice to see everybody in white.”
Earlier, 1987 Wimbledon champion Cash said the All England Club had “absolutely gone ridiculous” in imposing their dress code. The Australian claimed some women had been sent back to “change their bras and tops because they had slight colour on them,” he told BBC radio. The 49-year-old said he believed some women had not had suitable sports bras with them, and had to go without.
A Wimbledon spokeswoman confirmed all competitors had been given written notice of the Championships’ clothing rules, but did not confirm any breaches of the code.
Items of clothing — including shoes and their soles — must be totally white except for a single trim of colour no wider than one centimetre.