Wimbledon may well be playing second fiddle to the World Cup this summer, but one man who is probably relieved is Andy Murray, as he quietly goes about his business of defending the maiden title he won here last year. Winning it is still the holy grail for any tennis player, regardless of nationality, because Wimbledon has a special aura and if he wins again we could have something to cheer about this summer after all.
Regardless of whether Murray is considered as British or Scottish at the end of the event (British if successful, Scottish if not is the general rule) the tournament hasn’t had a British male defending champion playing in the tournament since Fred Perry 70 plus years ago, so we figured it is the best time to celebrate everything that makes Wimbledon what it is today.
The first thing that will come to mind at the mention of Wimbledon for most people is either thoughts of strawberries and cream, green grass, tennis whites, or the sound of champagne popping.
One familiar sight at SW19 (Wimbledon’s famous post code) is without question the flawless uniform of Wimbledon’s officials, kitted out with perfectly fitted cream trousers or skirts for females, both with a preppy looking cream-lined navy blazer, finished with a summery blue shirt and striped tie. Since 2006, Ralph Lauren have been the official provider of this uniform, as well as making the polo shirts, hats, shorts and trainers worn by the ball boys and girls, expertly designing them to have an ease of movement and adaptability to warm weather. All outfits maintain the organisers strong sense of tradition by carrying the green and purple tones which have for so long been associated with the event.
Officials aren’t the only ones to have a debonair reputation to uphold in terms of summertime style, spectators are held in just as high regard for their tendency for a sartorial attention to detail as well as the players too to appease the antiquated traditions of the All England club. Blazers, cotton shirts, shorts, chinos, polos, and loafers are all commonplace. Iconic branded logos from the likes of Lacoste, Fred Perry and Ralph Lauren are similarly noticeable on a typical day within Wimbledon’s beautifully maintained grounds.
In an age where tradition makes way for the power of commercial money- think of football where Newcastle are just one of the teams to have had their team’s iconic home renamed and branded- tennis is one sport which has upheld its principles and politely declined the advances of sponsors to keep its class and authenticity. It is perhaps one of the only sports alongside horse racing, polo and to some extent golf, where there is a high level dress etiquette for both players and fans to adhere to.
(Left: Do you think tennis players from the 1930’s wore more stylish outfits than today’s players?)
Discover our key Wimbledon styles, available at Mainline Menswear, which will prove to be more than adequate spectator styles for anybody who is lucky enough to have a ticket.
If you manage to catch tennis fever in the coming weeks you are probably going to be tempted to take to the local courts yourself and don the all-white ensembles which are so famously associated with the British summer. Well in that case here there is a preparation guide to which white’s you should be wearing as you take to the courts this season.
Wimbledon: Tournament Picks
Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic will be the favourites to win the tournament. Roger Federer is now 32 and it is virtually unheard of for someone that age to win a slam, that said, the Swiss maestro isn’t just any regular player. Equally The “King of Clay” Rafa Nadal has had his struggles on grass, losing twice in the early rounds in recent years to aggressive players who try to end points quickly on the speedy grass surface but he is clearly one of the best on his day. Djokovic is arguably the most consistent player on tour at the minute and is pound for pound the best in the world, he looks to have the motivation to go one better than his loss to Murray in the final last year. As for the man himself, Murray, he has had trouble with injury and form since last year’s victory, but he has looked imperious in his first two rounds here, demolishing both of his opponents in straight sets.
Outsider: Many have dubbed Grigor Dimitrov as “Baby Fed” since his introduction to the centre court limelight a few years ago, but despite this he has struggled to live up to the hype. However, he has now started dating Maria Sharapova, and her winning mentality seems to have rubbed off on him as he has stepped up his game and hit the form of his life, winning the preparatory Queens tournament a couple of weeks ago despite the strong field he faced. He could go further than ever this time around.
The women’s game is arguably more exciting than the men’s in the sense that it is a lot more unpredictable and prone to an upset. Key players in the draw include as always, the likes of Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams.
Outsider: Canadian Eugenie Bouchard is already becoming a favourite with the media in her short career, she is only 20 but has a likeable and bubbly personality to add to big sponsorship deals coming thick and fast. She has been touted as the next Maria Sharapova in terms of becoming the recognizable face of the game and luckily for her she can play a bit too. She could be an outside bet to win this tournament despite her youth having been a junior champion here at Wimbledon and having made enormous steps in the senior game this year, reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open and the French Open.