Even tennis traditionalist Roger Federer was
heard chafing under Wimbledon's draconian enforcement at this edition of
the longstanding all-white clothing rule, with officials coming down
harder than at any time in recent memory on "offenders."
While the seven-time Wimbledon winner does not
dispute the rule per se, he has hinted that the nit-picking by the club
blazers instigated at this edition has gone too far. Color inspections
have been carried out on trivial items including undergarments, colored
trim on shirts and shorts plus headbands and wristbands.
One player had to tape the lower section of a
baseball cap's bill due to it being a color other than white. A year
ago, Federer himself had to change shoes and play in a pair which did
not feature an offending orange sole.
The Swiss said that a quick flick back through
the history books would show quite a few splashes of color on the kit of
former champions including his own coach Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker,
"My personal opinion, I think it's too strict,"
said Federer. "But I respect. I understand. Maybe one day they'll loosen
up the grip again a bit, but that's the time we go through right now. "
Wimbledon officials were not tolerating any
dissent with the stiff upper lips responding through a spokesman that
"the rule is almost entirely in white."