What is the dress code for players at Wimbledon? Has Nick Kyrgios been fined and why there are protests

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Wimbledon is famous for players having to wear all-white

It is the final of Wimbledon and eyes of the tennis watching world are firmly on SW19.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic is taking on Nick Kyrgios on Centre Court.

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Both players will be wearing all-white, as is the famous dress convention at the tournament.

However not everyone is happy about those rules.

Tennis player Gabriella Holmes, 26, and footballer Holly Gordon, 28, started the campaign, Address The Dress Code, to highlight the anxiety that females face competing in traditional whites.

The pair led a protest outside the gates of the SW19 site at 12pm on Saturday ahead of the ladies’ singles final with the hope of getting Wimbledon to respond to the issue.

Here is all you need to know about the protest.

What is the dress code at Wimbledon?

On its website, Wimbledon drescibes the dress code for players as follows:

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  • Competitors must be dressed in suitable tennis attire that is almost entirely white and this applies from the point at which the player enters the court surround.
  • White does not include off white or cream.
  • There should be no solid mass or panel of colouring. A single trim of colour around the neckline and around the cuff of the sleeves is acceptable but must be no wider than one centimetre (10mm).
  • Colour contained within patterns will be measured as if it is a solid mass of colour and should be within the one centimetre (10mm) guide. Logos formed by variations of material or patterns are not acceptable.
  • The back of a shirt, dress, tracksuit top or sweater must be completely white.
  • Shoes must be almost entirely white. Soles and laces must be completely white. Large manufacturers’ logos are not encouraged. The grass court shoes must adhere to the Grand Slam rules. In particular shoes with pimples around the outside of the toes shall not be permitted. The foxing around the toes must be smooth.
  • Any undergarments that either are or can be visible during play (including due to perspiration) must also be completely white except for a single trim of colour no wider than one centimetre (10mm). In addition, common standards of decency are required at all times.
  • Medical supports and equipment should be white if possible but may be coloured if absolutely necessary. A more relaxed dress code operates at the Aorangi Park practice courts.
  • Shorts, skirts and tracksuit bottoms must be completely white except for a single trim of colour down the outside seam no wider than one centimetre (10mm).
  • Caps (including the underbill), headbands, bandanas, wristbands and socks must be completely white except for a single trim of colour no wider than one centimetre (10mm).
Nick Kyrgios will be aiming for his first ever Grand Slam title.(Getty Images) Nick Kyrgios will be aiming for his first ever Grand Slam title.(Getty Images)
Nick Kyrgios will be aiming for his first ever Grand Slam title.(Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

How did Kyrgios cause a stir?

Kyrgios received a 10,000 US dollars (£8,260) punishment after he admitted to spitting in the direction of a spectator who had heckled him during the first-round tie against Paul Jubb, and a 4,000 dollars (£3,300) fine for swearing during a fiery clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas.

He also broke the strict dress code at Wimbledon when he wore red Air Jordan trainers and a red cap for an on-court interview following his most recent victory.

How did they protest?

The protesters wore skirts with red under-shorts, inspired by Tatiana Golovin, the former French player who wore red shorts under her skirt at the 2007 championship, sparking widespread media attention.

The demonstration also comes after British doubles star Alicia Barnett recently opened up about the stress of having to compete in white on her period.

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Barnett told the PA news agency at Wimbledon last week: “I do think some traditions could be changed.

“I, for one, am a massive advocate for women’s rights and I think having this discussion is just amazing.”

Novak Djokovic leads the applause for British No 1 Cameron Norrie after their men’s singles semi-final win at Wimbledon. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic leads the applause for British No 1 Cameron Norrie after their men’s singles semi-final win at Wimbledon. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Novak Djokovic leads the applause for British No 1 Cameron Norrie after their men’s singles semi-final win at Wimbledon. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

What have the protestors said?

Gabriella Holmes said they want to raise awareness about how decisions made at the top trickle down to affect young girls.

“We just started having chats about the amount of young girls who are dropping out of sport by the time they hit puberty,” she said.

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“Of course, a lot of it’s down to body image, and general self-confidence.

“The conversations surrounding dress codes are part of that and what we could be doing to try and break down those barriers that are stopping young girls pursuing sports after puberty.”

The 26-year-old added that they are saying Wimbledon bosses need to introduce a “drastic” change.

“We understand that they have traditions that they want to uphold,” she said.

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“Our point isn’t total disregard of Wimbledon traditions – it’s more just that we think they can evolve with time.”

What have the protestors suggested?

Ms Gordon suggested women can wear official Wimbledon colours under their skirts instead.

The 28-year-old said: “I think that if the Wimbledon board are turning a blind eye to what professional tennis players have already spoken about, then how does that look for young girls?

“So we are hoping that our campaign and the consequences of this process will spark that conversation and get them to sit down and have that discussion.”

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Ms Holmes added that rule changes could mean young girls are not put off by tennis because they feel welcome in the sport.

“Young girls are dropping out of the sports at their prime time – it could be a completely missed opportunity for something that he’s really important to them,” she said.

“Ultimately these rules were written a long time ago and the board is still largely men and I think it is important to consider the female athletes and hopefully get those decisions changed at the top.”

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