German former world number one unimpressed by the lack of consistent challengers on the men’s tour.
Players’ efforts over the years to get Wimbledon’s “all-white” clothing rule relaxed got a boost on Thursday when Roger Federer said he thought the policy as it stood was “quite extreme”.
Federer, whose remarks carry more weight than some other players because as a former champion he is a member of the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) that runs Wimbledon, said he did not object to white clothing.
I would still be in favour of loosening it up a little bit. But, then again, it is what it is. I'm happy.
But he said he thought the AELTC was pushing it by ruling out garments that are less than pristine white – which could come from repeated washes – and he spoke wistfully of the days when players like John McEnroe and Boris Becker wore striped T-shirts and colourful headbands that are no longer allowed.
“I mean, that it’s all white, we’re all for it, we get that,” Federer said.
“I just find it quite extreme to what extent it’s got to be white. We’re talking white like it was in the ’50s. If you look at the pictures then, it was all white.
“The thing is, when I came on tour, when I was watching on TV, I still have the pictures in my mind where [Stefan] Edberg and Becker and all those guys, they had more colour. There were iconic T-shirts, iconic moments, I thought,” said Federer, who was ordered by Wimbledon officials not to wear orange-soled Nike shoes on court in 2013 when he was the defending champion.
He said when he joined the tour the garments were “90 percent” white but could still have some light blue or black.
“But then it got to a point where stripes would be borderline here. I find that a bit of a pity because you can’t do anything with it. No cream colour, no this, no that, fine.
“I would still be in favour of loosening it up a little bit. But, then again, it is what it is. I’m happy, I’m proud to be here. So whatever, it’s okay.”