The best dressed tennis players of all time

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    From the runways of Fashion Weeks to the closets of pros in the sport, the appeal of tennis fashion endures. It has its grace, the kind of understated elegance that can make up for the sad fact of having hit another ball into the other side of an abandoned court anywhere in the world. What better expresses the idea of ​​”I’m on top of my laundry and I have time for after-school sports” than pristine, scuff-free white tennis shoes? And even if you don’t dress for Wimbledon, a Palmes polo shirt and Casablanca shorts are the perfect combination for an off-duty jock while also being a decent outfit for hanging out in a pub and why not , pretend we have a good backhand to impress. In short, tennis and its uniform convey a sophisticated and elegant attitude, much more accessible than the impudence of soccer and the irritating rage of rugby, even though soccer jerseys have brought a new aesthetic into fashion: the bloke core.

    However, newcomers to tennis have come to question this attitude, as evidenced in the new Netflix series Break Point. The docu-series follows some of the racket’s newest stars as they try to become as household names as the legends of yesteryear. The behind-the-scenes point of view highlights the players’ struggles with their mental health and the impact of the sport on their personal relationships, making it an easy entry for those who think of Stan Smith as a mysterious face on the tongue of a shoe.

    To celebrate the spectacle that gives fashionistas some background knowledge to bring to the fore in any Grand Slam-focused debate, we’ve spotlighted some of the best dressed players in history of this sport, from Björn Borg to Yannik Noah, passing through John McEnroe and his eternal red curls. A match point in elegance that without a doubt no rival could snatch from them.

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In the ’70s, Borg was the first to break the traditional tennis dress code. With long blonde hair, a striped tracksuit and a constant rotation of disco-inspired pieces, the Scandinavian was a hit on and off the slopes, and decades later was the inspiration for Richie Tenenbaum in The Tenenbaums. A family of geniuses, Wes Anderson’s cult classic. He was best known for Fila’s endorsement of him, which led him to wear tracksuits with the initials “BJ” and his famous Fila Settanta Mk1 polo shirt. But his fashion forward status was cemented when he created his own line in 1984.

Social activism and sport don’t usually coincide, but that was the case with Arthur Ashe. Not only was he the first and only black man to win Wimbledon in 1975, but the tennis player also dedicated his post-retired life to civil and human rights, using his platform to help fight apartheid in South Africa and create tennis programs. and employment in poor neighborhoods for the younger generations. Plus, he had immaculate style. Ashe demonstrated why the traditional tennis player look was and always will be cool, wearing a uniform of neutral polo shirts and shorts, adorned with square-rimmed glasses and a simple gold chain. Emulating his look couldn’t be easier: the creative minds at Rowing Blazer’s launched a brand in his honor last summer.

As famous for his short temper (kind of like Kyrgios but endearing) as his supreme volley on the court, McEnroe is a memorable character with a catchphrase: many remember him yelling “Can’t you be serious?!” to a Wimbledon referee in 1981. As Borg’s regular rival, his look was also in the same class: a red sweatband often covered his curly hair, completing a tracksuit and shorts combo. The clearest difference between the two players? McEnroe used to wear a pair of long athletic socks.

It is not usual to hear of an athlete who wholeheartedly hates the sport they play, but Andre Agassi was one of them. Pushed onto the court by an overbearing father, the player – who proved you don’t have to love something to be good at it – rebelled through his wardrobe choices in the 1980s and 1990s, even going as far as refusing to play at Wimbledon. for a few years due to his traditional all-white dress code. This translated into a look of stonewashed shorts, a memorable mullet, block print polo shirts and colored sunglasses that brought an anti-establishment vibe to the tennis scene. It was so impactful that Nike brought the designs back in 2020, working with Agassi to create a 21st-century version of their celebrated Challenge Court collection.

Eighties tennis player Yannick Noah, nicknamed Tennis Rastelli, is just as prized for his hair evolution, which went from a short afro to dreadlocks that swished from side to side as he played. Noah remains the only French player to have won the French Open, making him a national hero, not least when he donned a David Bowie jersey during his training rounds in Wimbolden, rebelling in true French fashion against the dress code. championship tradition. Le Coq Sportif also has him to thank for introducing the brand to the mainstream, later renaming its Crescendo wood racket Noah Pro in his honour. And to top off his credentials, Noah turned to music after retiring from tennis.

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