June 23, 2014 / 4:08 PM / 5 years ago

Colorful knickers banished for all-white at Wimbledon

Mar 27, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Maria Sharapova hits a backhand against Serena Williams (not pictured) on day eleven of the Sony Open at Crandon Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

LONDON (Reuters) - Women’s colorful knickers and men’s black ones should be a thing of the past at Wimbledon as organizers of the tournament that began on Monday have advised players that guidelines requiring all-white tennis clothing will be strictly enforced.

The guidelines specifying white clothing and undergarments, with only a thin band of color on the undergarment or accessories like headbands, was in force last year, Wimbledon spokesman Jon Friend said, but that did not stop women players from showing up in undergarments that clearly were not white.

“The rule is unchanged but the players have been reminded, and there is now a clarification and if there was a question in years gone by those questions have been well and truly answered,” Friend said.

He said the decision by the All England Club, which runs the prestigious two-week-long tournament, to stick to the letter of the regulations has been communicated to players through notices in locker rooms, newsletters and while they were on tour “so there are no surprises”.

“This is now a clarification, last year there may have been a misunderstanding of what was meant,” Friend added.

He said that anyone wearing clothing that breached the guidelines would be asked to change before going on court. No cases of anything of that nature had been brought to his attention near the end of play on the first day, Friend said.

Reporting by Michael Roddy; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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