The Championships, Wimbledon, or simply Wimbledon, is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and is generally considered the most prestigious. It has been held at the All England Club in the London suburb of Wimbledon since 1877, and is the only one still played on a natural surface, grass.
Tradition is a very strong part of Wimbledon which accounts for a lot of the tournament's charm. Sadly some of the traditions have been amended to accommodate an ever-changing world, but most still remain in place 130 years later.
Wimbledon traditions include club colors and uniforms, a strict dress code for competitors, ball boys and girls, the eating of strawberries and cream, referring to players and royal patronage.
In 2009, Wimbledon's Centre Court was fitted with a retractable roof to ensure against the possibility of rain delays interrupting Centre Court matches during the tournament. The roof is just the latest example of adapting to a changing tennis world while preserving the traditional foundations upon which the tournament is based.
Club colors and uniforms
As far back as 1909 the All England Club embraced the colors of green and purple as the club colors. Green clothing was worn by the chair umpire, linesmen, ball boys and ball girls until the 2005 Championships; however, beginning with the 2006 Championships, officials, ball boys and ball girls were outfitted in new navy blue and cream colored uniforms from American designer Ralph Lauren. For the first time, in 2006, all officials were dressed in navy blue and cream uniforms. This marked the first time in the history of the Championships that an outside company was used to design Wimbledon clothing.
Competitor Dress Code
Competitors are still expected to adhere to the 'all-white' dress code imposed upon the championships since the first tournament in 1877. All tennis players participating in the tournament are required to wear all white or at least almost all white clothing, a long time tradition at Wimbledon. Wearing white clothing with some color accents is also acceptable.
Historically 1920 was the first year in which a woman played without wearing a corset, and it took until the 1930s until shorts were acceptable on either men (in 1933) or women (in 1939).