WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Before being interviewed on center court about his return to the Wimbledon quarterfinals, Nick Kyrgios traded in his all-white grass-court shoes for a pair of red and white basketball shoes, and he changed his white shoes. hat for one red.

What a thing? Not to Kyrgios. Not to many, probably. Still, it sure seemed like a reporter who peppered him with questions about it afterwards.

This is because the All England Club has a fairly strict policy on all white clothing while players are on the match courts during the tournament, which is clearly a nod to the early days of tennis, and some athletes believe that might have been more suited to the 1880s than the 2020s.

“I mean, I always want to wear all black, obviously,” Kyrgios, a 27-year-old Australian who faces Chile’s Cristian Garin on Wednesday, responded when asked about the dress code during a pre-tournament press conference at which she attended in a black hoodie and matching cap.

“It would be cool to allow, like, a black headband or a black sweatband. I think it would look great,” Kyrgios said. “Obviously Wimbledon doesn’t really care what looks good.”

Neither Kyrgios, nor anyone else, expects a change in the rules any time soon. And there are certainly those who appreciate it as part of what they see as the allure of tennis’s oldest Grand Slam event.

“For me, what I love about Wimbledon is the tradition and that’s what makes it so special, and having the all-white outfit is one of the little traditions that I really embrace. It looks sharp, especially against the grass court,” said Alison Riske-Amritraj, who reached the third round as the 28th seed. “You don’t have to do it in any other tournament during the year. She is very professional. I would wear white to every game, everywhere, so I’m probably biased when it comes to that.”

The first of the All England Club’s 10-point list of dress guidelines states: “Competitors must be dressed in appropriate tennis attire which is almost entirely white and this applies from the point the player enters the perimeter of the basketball court”. The second stipulation: “White does not include off-white or cream.” There are also more details, such as that a colored trim “around the neckline and around the cuff of the sleeves is acceptable, but should not be wider” than 1 centimeter (less than half an inch), that “caps (including the part undervisor) ), headbands, bandanas, wristbands, and socks must be completely white except for” that same size allowance for trimmings, and this: “Shoes must be almost entirely white. Soles and laces must be completely white. Large manufacturer logos are not recommended.”

That is absolutely fine with some of the “competitors”.

Tommy Paul, who was seeded 30 and reached the fourth round, said the Royal Palm Tennis Club in Pinehurst, Florida, where the head pro is Eric Hechtman, who has coached Serena Williams and Venus Williams, requires all white when train there. .

“I don’t care at all. It’s kind of cool,” Paul said. “If I see guys doing it at home during practice then I have no problem doing it for Wimbledon.”

A player at this year’s tournament said she always worries about getting her white clothes dirty while eating. Some say that she annoyed them that she had to look for new clothes to be able to play at Wimbledon. Others were excited about it.

“It’s very elegant. I really hope they keep this tradition forever, because it’s something different. You don’t always need to see colors in people’s clothes,” said Mihaela Buzarnescu, a Romanian who lost to French Open runner-up Coco Gauff last week. “Every year, I think, ‘Oh, white again. Let’s go!'”

Over the years, players have been punished for violating the letter or spirit of the written rules.

In 2013, for example, none other than now eight-time champion Roger Federer showed up with neon orange soles on his shoes for his first-round match, which he won; then the club reminded him of the Wimbledon rules, so he switched to white soles before his second-round match, which he lost, his first Grand Slam outing in a decade.

In 2007, Tatiana Golovin played at Wimbledon in red underwear under her white dress, leading to this opening exchange at a press conference:

Reporter: “Can I ask you about your panties?”

Golovin: “Excuse me?”

“Could it be maybe a little more up to date? Of course. This is 2022,” said Jessica Pegula, who was seeded No. 8 this year and reached the fourth round at the All England Club for the first time. “On the other hand, it’s two weeks off the calendar where you have to do it. It’s part of what makes Wimbledon Wimbledon.”


More AP Wimbledon coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/wimbledon Y https://apnews.com/hub/tennis Y https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


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