Wimbledon Tennis Rules

Dress Code

    Wimbledon maintains a strict dress code requiring players to dress almost entirely in white (except for logos, trim and certain accessories like wrist and headbands). While there is some leniency with style, like Rafael Nadal’s trademark pirate pants and cutoff shirt that he wore when he won his first Wimbledon in 2008, traditional attire for male players at Wimbledon includes white-colored shirts and white trouser shorts. On the women’s side, players have always utilized creativity in configuring their all-white wardrobe, from skirts and shorts to professionally designed tennis dresses with unique details.

Day of Rest

    The middle Sunday of Wimbledon has been designated as a day of rest. While all four majors run over a period of almost two weeks, Wimbledon is unique in that all players are given a chance to recuperate on the middle Sunday except in extreme circumstances, most notably the weather, which can delay early round play and force certain matches to be played on the middle Sunday. Players resume play on Monday, which has often been referred to as “Magic Monday,” featuring the players in their fourth round matches.

Fifth Set Tiebreaker

    Wimbledon adheres to a “no fifth set tiebreak” rule that allows players to continue to stay on serve instead of going to a tiebreaker at 6-6 in the fifth set. This rule is not solely unique to Wimbledon and is utilized by all of the major tournaments except for the U.S. Open. While the rule is generally not a problem, after the epic first round match during Wimbledon 2010 between American John Isner and French player Nicholas Mahut finally ended at a score of 70-68 in the fifth set, becoming the longest tennis match in history, some critics are calling for a change to the rules that would allow a tiebreaker in the fifth set at Wimbledon.

About the Author

Marissa Poulson has been a freelance journalist since 2009. Her arts and entertainment reviews can be found in The Examiner. Poulson holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Arizona State University.