The 2012 All England Tennis Club Wimbledon Championships are set to be a highlight on the professional tennis calendar in more ways than one! The traditional all-white dress code will be scrapped this year in favour of brighter colours, and the dark green backdrop that surrounds the courts will be replaced too.
Since this year’s tournament will form part of the 2012 London Olympic Games these changes are being made to bring the look of the tournament in line with the look of the games. Francesco Ricci Bitti, president of the International Tennis Federation, yesterday explained this possibly controversial decision to members of the Associated Press:
“The look will be the look of the games. There will be more colour…The rule for clothing will be the rule for the Olympics, so there will be much more colour in terms of what the players wear, too.”
The 2012 Wimbledon tournament this year is very unique in that it does form part of the Olympic Games, and it’s not very often that Olympic tennis comes to the UK, so this relaxation of the normally strict dress code rules is a fitting celebration. There are, of course, bound to be a few traditionalist feathers ruffled by this, but for most players it’s a chance for them to support their home countries by dressing in team colours as well as a opportunity to show off their very best on-court outfits.
Venus Williams for one, already well-known for her outré on-court sartorial sense, is really relishing this opportunity – “It’s the Olympics and so at that point it won’t be Wimbledon, so that’s what makes it different….we’ll be wearing team colours… and hopefully gold.”
There are no plans as yet to decorate Henman Hill in the colours of the British flag, but there will no doubt be a few enterprising spectators out there who add some blueberries to their traditional strawberries and cream!