Fashion has had a deep-rooted role in the sport of tennis. Controversial sartorial choices have long been a part of the game with barely-there skirts, corsets, lace, bodysuits and pirate pants among the fashions that have caused a stir in recent years. The new season has already brought forth style shake-ups. Jelena Jankovic will take the courts in 2012 wearing Fila, after breaking ties with ANTA, her former clothing sponsor. Sam Stosur has dropped Lacoste and joined the ASICS team and John Isner ditched the swoosh in favor of the crocodile, transitioning from Nike to Lacoste. The queen of questionable clothing, Venus Williams, withdrew from the Australian Open. But despite her absence, fans can still expect to see a new crop of style standouts. The first Grand Slam of 2012 is underway and here’s a look at what some of the top players will be wearing:
Maria Sharapova will hit the court in the Nike Women’s Maria Statement Slam Dress in white and neon green. The choice is not as bold as previous dresses from the tennis fashion maven, yet unique details like slits with contrast mesh underlay on sides and back are a nice added touch.
Serena Williams has described her Nike Women’s Spring Rally Statement Dress as designed to cut a “Scarlett O’Hara figure,” keeping the character’s corseted waist in mind. The cornflower blue coloring is subdued for Serena, as fans are using to seeing her in dramatic hues and bolder designs. The conservative attire for the Australian Open is meant to evoke a retro vibe, in honor of Nike’s 40th anniversary. Though simple in design, expect Serena to dress up her ensemble with accessories.
Li Na will take the court in a basic white top and Nike Women’s Spring Rally Knit Skort. The outfit features a color pallette similar to that of Serena and the two piece ensemble strikes a balance between sporty and feminine.
Classic remains key when it comes to Roger Federer’s tennis attire. His Nike RF Smash Stripe Polo features a woven collar with a wide stripe design and will be paired with white shorts.
The rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal always spills over to the fashion front. In sharp contast to Federer’s classic polo, Rafa will wear a bold-colored, lightweight crew top. The bright green Nike Men’s Spring Rafa Finals Crew is paired with the Men’s Spring Rafa Finals Short which are white with blue piping for an overall modern look.
Wozniacki will take center court in the Tennis Performance Dress from adidas by Stella McCartney. The red hot dress features deep mesh inserts down the chest and back. A floral mesh pattern adds femininity while the figure-hugging top and flouncy skirt provide a flattering silhouette.
Ana Ivanovic will make a bold style statement in the adidas Women’s Spring adiZero Dress. The edgy dress features an orange color-blocking design and ruffled hem.
Andrea Petkovic will sport a look from adidas that is not as flirty as Ivanovic but rather more athletic in design. Her bright red Women’s Spring barricade Cap-Sleeve top features a scoop neck with graphics on the neckline and the back. She will pair this top with the Women’s Spring barricade Skort with a flat elastic waistband, built-in shorts and turquoise coloring.
Andy Murray’s Australian Open gear includes the adidas Barricade Crew, a lightweight top in a fiery red hue that features a two-tone crew neck and printed graphics. He will pair that with the Barricade Woven Short in blue.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will wear the Men’s adiZero Tennis Crew and the Men’s adiZero Bermuda Tennis Shorts. Though the base color is white, bright orange and yellow pops of color add flash to this ensemble. The sublimated graphic on the front of the top also jazzes up the gear.
Fernando Verdasco is no stranger to “loud” on-court ensembles and this Grand Slam will be no different. Similar to Tsonga, he will wear the Men’s Spring adiZero Crew and the Men’s Spring adiZero Tennis Shorts. The orange top features the graphic pattern in yellow, sure to pop against the blue court.
Novak Djokovic’s Sergio Tacchini gear is often characterized by unique graphics. For the Australian Open, the pattern on his Sergio Tacchini Biceps Polo is an artistic interpretation of the game’s dynamics and is meant to represent his energy and his powerful strokes. Djokovic’s ensembles typically received mixed reviews from fashion fans and this is likely to do the same. On the bottom he will wear the less questionable Blasone Short.
The Australian Open will mark the first Grand Slam where Jelena Jankovic and Sam Stosur can show off their new Fila and ASICS fashions. Here’s a preview: