Roger Federer is attempting to defend his Wimbledon title and win for the eighth time in his illustrious career at All England Club, but the focus has suddenly shifted from his play to his wardrobe.
According to ESPN Tennis, Federer was told by Wimbledon officials to cease wearing the orange-soled Nike shoes that he donned in his first-round demolition of Victor Hanescu on Monday.
Players must adhere to a strict dress code at Wimbledon as they are asked to wear all white. Exceptions are made to some degree as clothing is often accented with colored logos, but the Wimbledon brass obviously felt as though Federer's shoes were a bit too extreme.
According to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com, Nike was aware that the shoes might cause a stir as the company claimed that Federer would be "making a bold style statement in London."
Nike also released an image on its tennis Twitter account making light of the controversy around the shoes.
Questions have been raised about why Federer can't wear orange-soled shoes, while some female players such as Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams wear colored shorts under their skirts. According to Rovell, however, Wimbledon has different rules for undergarments.
Regardless of what shoes he wears on Wednesday, the third-seeded Swiss star will be heavily favored against Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky. Federer appeared to have one of the toughest draws of his career prior to the tournament, but with Steve Darcis upsetting Rafael Nadal in the first round, Fed's path to the final is a little clearer.
It's been a wild start to Wimbledon thus far with plenty of upsets and withdrawals, but Federer would probably be favored over Stakhovsky even if he wore Dorothy's ruby red slippers from The Wizard of Oz. If Federer's situation is any indication, though, those would be against the dress code as well.
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