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Wimbledon diary: Venus objects but outdated rules on underwear still enforced | Simon Cambers

Wimbledon’s all-white clothing rules extend past surface layers while Martina Navratilova’s disguise fails to fool fans

Of all the rules at Wimbledon – and there are many – surely none is more outdated than one referring to players’ clothing. Not the part that insists they should wear “almost entirely white” attire, something players do not mind. But rather the one that refers to the colour of their underwear and how visible it is during play. First Venus Williams was asked to change her pink bra in a first-round match, which drew a suitably clipped response to a media inquiry: “I don’t like talking about bras in press conferences. It’s weird.” On Wednesday, four junior doubles players were asked to change their underwear because it could be seen under their white shorts, and on Thursday the 18?year?old Austrian Jurij Rodionov was asked by a supervisor to show her his underwear. “Yesterday I wore black pants and nobody said anything and today I wore blue and suddenly it’s a problem,” he said. “It was a big surprise for me.” Rodionov said Wimbledon provided him with two white pairs. “One was a little bit too big but these ones were OK,” he said. Asked if the rule was outdated, he said: “Wimbledon is always special. Maybe it’s a little bit too much but I like that the players only have to wear white. It’s tradition.”

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