Wimbledon: Unusual championships
The preceding European Clay court season accounted for physical ailments. World number three, Rafael Nadal announced he would not compete in Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics. Just before the draw was made, world number five, Dominic Thiem of Austria, withdrew. World number one woman, Ashleigh Barty of Australia skipped the warm-up events to recuperate sufficiently for a title run in London.
One tradition that will not change is the dress code of white attire. While there is a legion of colours in the men’s game there is a predominant black in the female arena. It was refreshing that some players in the grass-court warm-ups donned compliant white clothing. The most striking lady was Czech Republic’s Annet Kontaveit who lost in the Eastbourne finals to Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko.
During the qualifying event on Roehampton, after Netherland’s Indy de Vroone defeated Viktoria Kuzmova, an officer spoke with her. She reported later that, “The ref was telling me that the inside of my cap isn’t white enough.” Well, the Rule Seven of “Wimbledon’s 10 Clothing and Equipment Instructions” (updated in 2014) states that “caps (including the underbill), headbands, bandanas, wristbands and socks must be predominantly white except for a single trim of colour no wider than one centimetre.” The ninth rule demands that any undergarments that are visible during play must be completely white.”
Capping the regulations is a requirement “for common standards of decency at all times.”
The return of The Championships is a sign of a gradual return to normalcy in the world of sports. However, the strict enforcement of the all-white accoutrement indicates that some things will not change.
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