Photo: Italy Tennis Masters Series
Wimbledon is known in part for their rules regarding uniforms. All players, male and female, are required to wear mostly white and any variations of that must be minimal at best.As you’ll see here, most women players do follow the rules. but they like to push the envelope as far as they can.
The Williams sisters, Mattek-Sands, Maria Sharapova, and some gals from tennis generations past know a thing or two about causing controversy at the All England Club. Come with us to find out a little more about them.
Former player Gertrude Moran was known by the nickname 'Gorgeous Gussie' due to the attire she wore at the Wimbledon championships of 1949. Gussie became the first female tennis player to wear a skirt so short that her knickers were clearly visible. The ruffled knickers were designed to be exposed and this caused quite a bit of controversy.
Moran was accused of bringing 'vulgarity and sin into tennis' by the All England Club committee.
Karol Fageros was banned from the tournament in 1958 for wearing gold lamé shorts under her skirt. The All England Club was looking to avoid another 'Gorgeous Gussie' situation. She was allowed to return once she put on white shorts instead.
1985 may have been the year that Wimbledon fashion reached its apex. American player Anne White took to the court wearing an all-in-one spandex catsuit that was quite distracting to her opponent, Pam Shriver. Shriver ended up losing that match, and afterwards she asked tournament officials that White never ever wear that outfit again.
In 2002, model/tennis player Anna Kournikova wore a small shirt and skirt that exposed most of her midriff and legs. Not too many people complained about this occurrence, however.
The rule for all tennis players having to wear white is fairly straight forward. Other colours are permitted provided that most of the uniform is white. France's Tatiana Golovin pushed the boundaries of those rules to the fullest extent in 2007. Her red undershorts were featured prominently which brought the ire of some Wimbledon officials.
Four years after winning Wimbledon at only 17-years-old, Maria Sharapova apparently got fed up with the fairly formal attire typically found at the All England Club so she decided to kick it up a notch. The tux-esque attire did not affect the rest of the women's field in the 2008 Wimbledon tournament as she was eliminated in only the second round.
The rules at Wimbledon are strict, but they don't say anything about having fashionable cuticles. In the 2010 Championships at Wimbledon, she showed off some impressive manicure work, and some impressive tennis. She won the women's title that year, good for her fourth singles title at Wimbledon.
In the 2010 Wimbledon, Venus Williams wore a dress with frills on the bottom much like something the legendary Tina Turner would wear. Venus made it to the quarterfinals in this tournament despite battling a nagging knee injury.
In this year's tournament, American Bethanie Mattek-Sands wore a jacket while walking onto the court that was not unlike something Lady Gaga would wear. Officials were initially worried about the attire, but they were OK with it since she didn't wear it while playing.
Mattek-Sands must have thought the All England Club was a health spa of some kind at one point in time. In the 2006 tournament, she put on a tank top, short shorts, and high socks while facing off against another well known fashionista on tour, Venus Williams. Venus ended up defeating her in that match up.
Not to be outdone in 2011, Venus Williams donned an outfit more reminiscent of Animal House than the typical Wimbledon attire. Tennis and fashion fans have made several jokes at the outfit's expense. Perhaps the criticism got to Venus which led to her fourth round exit.
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