First Grand Slam to become open—in 1968—Roland Garros is one of the principal images of the racquet and yellow ball sport. It is one of the tournament names that lead the tennis world, renowned even to those who are not fans of the game.
Control over its ethic and presentation are hence crucial for the Tournament of the Four Musketeers. Not as exigent as its English equivalent—the Wimbledon Grand Slam requires players to dress in all-white outfits, honoring the vintage tradition of tennis in an endearing posh manner—Roland Garros has still always kept an eye on what its participants wear during matches.
Yet, after the 2018 clothes controversy involving the American star Serena Williams—who presented herself on the court with a rather peculiar black catsuit, following the pregnancy that had held her from the tour during most of the preceding year—any stern restriction seems to have been erased from the French Open’s program.
Roland Garros’ director, Guy Forget, declared on Sunday on Europe 1, “Today, the manufacturers are beginning to submit the outfits and present us the panels with colors and cuts that players will wear. We validate, we have no intention to forbid anything”.
A statement a little contrasting with what had affirmed Bernard Giudicelli, president of the French Tennis Federation, when Williams had seemingly “gone too far,” “This outfit will not be accepted anymore.
We have to respect the game and the place”. In his declaration, Forget explained that he relies on the brands’ participation to keep the event’s best image, “We want this to come from the brands and for them to spontaneously arrive at this slight turn.
We think it can be done little by little”. Some Roland Garros outfits have already been revealed, including the ones that will be worn by the Uniqlo-sponsored players Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori—which have caused waves on social media.