Wimbledon etiquette: the dos, don'ts and dress code of the tennis

Can you hear it? The Wimbledon theme tune? We can…

Wimbledon 2021 is almost upon us and as we warm up for what is sure to be two weeks of stellar tennis – in and amongst the Euros, of course – those of us fortunate enough to be in possession of a ticket are eagerly counting down the minutes.

Much like Royal Ascot, however, there are strict rules to abide by when attending Wimbledon. There is no dress code – as such – but there are certain things one definitely ought to know if you are to get the most out of the day and avoid any red-faced moments (and we don’t mean on account of the sun – hopefully).

If you are going to the great event for the first time and want the insider knowledge on what to – and what not to – do, keep reading…

Dress code

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There is no dress code for Wimbledon spectators, however, dressing smartly is encouraged, especially if frequenting Centre Court or Court Number One.

After all, if the players make an effort with their outfits – within the strict confines of the all-white colour code, mind – spectators should want to follow suit.

What you are forbidden to wear is ‘ambush marketing’ clothing – a jacket with your company logo emblazoned on the back, for instance. Political slogans are also forbidden…

Panama hats, however, are very much a thing – they will provide shade from what is likely to be quite a punishing sun, though make sure they don’t block the person’s view behind.

If you find yourself with an invitation to the Royal Box, you do have to dress smartly – look to the Duchess of Cambridge for style inspiration. No hats though, ladies, and gents, make sure you wear a jacket and tie – you won’t want to find yourself, as Lewis Hamilton once did, denied entry to a rather important match…


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We know how tempting it is: a quick “Come on Andy!” as he goes to serve… But you must refrain. Not only is it distracting for people like – hmm – Andy, but it’s distracting for everyone else too. You might even earn yourself a scolding from the umpire. Wait till the point has been played, then yell as loudly as you like.

Do not cheer in the middle of rallies either – total silence until the end.

In terms of moving in and out of the courts, you can only leave your seat – for a loo break or whatever – after the third game of a set, to begin with, and then when the players change sides, every two games, after that.

You won’t be able to return to it until those times either, so best hold back on that Pimms until after the match, if you don’t wish to miss any crucial moments.

Food and drink

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Food and drink are not cheap within the Wimbledon grounds, so you might want to pack a picnic. People only really eat strawberries and cream anyway, so it’s not like you’ll have a lot to lug around.

You can bring your own booze, BUT, you are limited to the equivalent of one bottle of wine or Champagne (750ml) or two cans of beer (500ml) or two cans of premixed aperitifs (like, Pimms) per person. Bottles of spirits are prohibited though, so a straight bottle of Pimms is a no-no.

Glass glasses may not be used on the show courts and all corked bottles, including champagne and sparkling wine, must be opened before you go into the stands.

Weirdly, flasks are not allowed either. And neither are travel mugs or opaque bottles.

Remember all these things, and you are sure to enjoy a sunny (hopefully), strawberry-ed, simply super time at the tennis.


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