Wimbledon ‘changes dress code’ to support Ukraine
After banning Russian and Belarusian players, Wimbledon organizers have reportedly made another gesture in support of Ukraine by relaxing the tournament’s notoriously strict dress code to allow tennis stars to don yellow and blue ribbons.
According to reports in the UK, officials at the All England Club have “unofficially” adapted the rules to let players wear symbols in Ukrainian colors at this year’s Grand Slam.
Polish women’s world number one Iga Swiatek was seen wearing a Ukraine symbol on her cap during her first-round match on Tuesday.
It is reported by The Guardian that Ukrainian pair Lesia Tsurenko and Anhelina Kalinina will be allowed to do so when they meet in a second-round singles match on Wednesday as officials make a “rare exception” this year.
Tsurenko had said after her opening round victory that she was considering the gesture but was unsure if it would be possible.
Wimbledon has maintained a strict dress code during its more than century-long history. Rules dictate that players must dress in attire which is “almost entirely white” and “does not include off-white or cream.”
The dress code gesture for Ukraine follows Wimbledon’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players for this season’s tournament.
That decision sparked something of a civil war in tennis, with the ATP and WTA tours responding by stripping the 2022 event of its rankings points.
Numerous high-profile players have also spoken out against the ban, including six-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic.
The ban means the likes of Russian men’s world number one Daniil Medvedev is barred, as well as women’s stars such as Belarusian top-10 ace Aryna Sabalenka.
Wimbledon officials have claimed that allowing the likes of Medvedev and Sabalenka to appear at the grass court showpiece would somehow hand a “propaganda victory” to the Russian leadership.
The ATP and WTA have both allowed Russian and Belarusian players to continue to compete as neutrals on their tours – a stance mirrored by the French Open in May-June and the US Open later this year.