Roger Federer’s jacket. Soon after Federer beat Andy Roddick in the 2009 Wimbledon final, a victory which brought him a record fifteenth grand slam title, he reached into his bag for a tracksuit top which had ’15’ embroidered in gold on the back. Though Federer, who is friends with Anna Wintour, has been daring with some of his fashion choices – he has worn various walk-on jackets and trousers – it is the ’15’ jacket which everyone still talks about.
Gussie Moran’s knickers. She attracted accusations that she had “put sin and vulgarity into tennis”. The sight of Moran’s lace-trimmed knickers at the 1949 Wimbledon Championships had the All England Club concerned about the effect on the royal family. Never before had a woman deliberately flashed her underwear at Wimbledon, and never before had there been such a crush of photographers.
Serena Williams’s T-shirt. To celebrate beating her sister Venus in the 2009 final, Serena put on a T-shirt which had this slogan in red lettering across the front: “Are you looking at my titles?”
Greg Rusedski’s Union flag bandanna. To show that he was now one of the locals, the Canadian-born Rusedski spoke of his love of Arsenal or James Bond. And for his first Wimbledon as a British player, he wore a Union flag bandana.
Anne White’s bodysuit. “It wasn’t my intention, as I took my tracksuit off, for anyone to spill their strawberries and cream,” White said of the all-in-one, head-to-toe lycra bodysuit which she wore for her first-round match against Pam Shriver at the 1985 Championships. “I had no idea it would be so controversial.” When the match was suspended overnight, White was asked to wear something more conventional, and much more demure, when she returned the next day. She obliged, but lost the match.
Maria Sharapova’s shorts. The Russian likes to try something different, once wearing a dress that was inspired by a swan. But one year, in the summer of 2008, her choice of clothes inspired her third-round opponent, the fellow Russian Alla Kudryavtseva. “I was pleased to beat her – I didn’t like her outfit,” Kudryavtseva said of Sharapova’s tuxedo-style top and shorts. “She experiments and I give her credit for that but it was a little bit too much of everything.”
Tatiana Golovin’s red knickers. When the Frenchwoman wore a pair of red knickers underneath her dress at the 2007 Championships, some wondered there had been a breach of the ‘predominantly white’ rules. A spokesman for the All England Club, however, said that the pants were permitted as they did not go below the hemline. Golovin claimed that the colour of her knickers was an indication of her self-confidence: “They say that red is the colour that proves you are strong, and that you are confident, so I’m happy with my knickers.”
Andre Agassi gently teases the officials. One of the reasons that Agassi had skipped three Wimbledons – another was he had thought that he did not like grass – was that he was annoyed that the All England Club would not allow him to wear his multi-coloured clothing. His denim shorts, the hot pink lycra shorts, and the neon green and blue shirts – all on the banned list. So, on his return in 1991, there was great interest in what he would wear. He walked on court, peeled off a white tracksuit, and revealed an all-white shirt, all-white shorts, all-white socks and all-white shoes.
Venus Williams’s dress. At last summer’s Championships, it appeared as though she had come dressed in the net curtains ripped from her Florida home. Or perhaps it was a toga? Was this the closest that anyone has ever come to wearing a cut-off toga to this garden party? Venus called it a jumper, and then she called it a trendy dress, with “a zipper” on the front and a cut-out, “peek-a-boo” back.
Serena Williams’s trenchcoat. During the 2008 Championships, she walked on court, and then warmed-up, wearing a mackintosh.