Does white represent purity in the sense of a sporting ideal or does it represent elitism? White is still worn at Wimbledon as it is in the more respectable matches of cricket. I always maintain that if white is not worn it’s not cricket in any case.
Roland Garros, that high court of French tennis is spoilt by the fact that white is NOT worn. In fact I find the men players for the most part look like long haired unshaven ill dressed hooligans. The women try to outdo each other in the latest top fashion.
The French have told me that white is not democratic, that it smacks of privilege, the bourgeoisie or is just too refined for them. Considering the way advertisers use the players, the cost of the rags they wear I would have said white was the opposite.
Perhaps white upsets their idea of anarchy, of rebellion, of undisciplined liberty. I often see players, male, wearing no shirts. I find it revolting. If nudists wish to frolic around knocking a ball to each other over a net with some sort of net like object at least they are put away out of sight.
I once noticed that Nadal would appear to have been allowed to wear some white garment without sleeves. It looked like some sort of underwear to me. I dislike seeing men’s bared shoulders. Perhaps it appeals to some women but it has no place on the centre court of Wimbledon.
There is such a thing as good taste. The French are really surprising. They lead the world in high fashion or Haute Couture. The women mostly have their hair always done in a most attractive manner. The men’s smart casual manner of dressing is indeed smart whereas English casual or dressing down is not fit for a barbecue let alone the office to say the least.
Why then does any form of dress code on the tennis court so offend them? One could say it is the fashion lobby getting involved. That could be true but it goes deeper than that. School children of course look like badly dressed hooligans. In Orléans one hardly ever sees a pretty well dressed girl these days. Some years ago I remarked in a lecture I was giving to visiting Americans that nowadays Orléans looked like Slobville.
A sign of the times? Perhaps. The dress code would now appear to be polluted. Scruffy is the norm. Perhaps it is a form of High Fashion. Perhaps the clothes cost a fortune. The Haute Couture of Scruffiness. Perhaps I am alone in a wilderness of scruffiness and am the only one not to see the beauty.