Wimbledon tennis players spotted wearing non-white undergarments are being sent back to the locker room to change their clothes, leaving some women having to play without bras to comply with the dress code, according to former champion Pat Cash.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Cash said that the clampdown follows attempts by some players, including Serena Williams, to introduce colour in previous years by wearing bright underwear. He described the regulations as “ridiculous” and said that women were being sent back to the changing rooms just because they were wearing clothes with “slight colour” on them.
He also said that one male player was called into the referees’ office because his bark blue underwear “showed through when he got sweaty”, thus breaking the dress code.
The Telegraph reports that under this year’s new guidelines, players may only break up their all-white outfits with “1cm [0.4 inches] of coloured trim”.
Tournament referee Andrew Jarett added that “undergarments that either are or can be visible during play (including due to perspiration) must also be completely white and contain no more than 1cm of coloured trim.”
Cash said that he pulled out of the tournament in protest at the new regulations after his own shoes fell foul of the rules.
Although Cash and some other players have reacted angrily, Venus Williams said she approved of the new rules. She said in an interview: “I think it’s a nice change. I think everyone just kind of glows in white. Obviously not all year, because anything every day is boring. But during these two weeks, it’s nice.”
A spokesman for the All England Lawn Tennis Club refused to comment on the bra issue.