The Trendsetters: Top 10 iconic fashion moments on a tennis court

Ganesh Raam
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 16 Dec 2013, 23:01 IST

Tennis has always been a sport where players are conscious about what they wear and try their best to appease fashion aficionados with their outfits. Right from Suzanne Lenglen who started the fashion revolution till Andre Agassi, who created a furore with his “rebel” image on the court, the tennis court has been visualized as a platform for players to express their personality in the form of the attire they wear.

With Wimbledon being among the oldest tennis tournament in the world, the authorities have imposed a strict dress code while playing at SW19. Despite this, tennis players around the world have come up with their own interpretations of the rule that have left the authorities at their wits’ end. While many rue the fact that tennis is no longer synonymous with the pristine, traditional whites of the past, others have welcomed the fashion quotient endorsed by the sport.

Here we take a look at the top 10 iconic fashion moments on a tennis court (in no particular order).

Venus Williams

The Championships - Wimbledon 2011: Day Seven

Venus Williams with her butterfly-shaped suit

When the elder of the Williams’ sisters announced that she had started a new fashion line called “EleVen”, she had raised the bar with fashionistas, who would wait with bated breath before every match, eager to see what she would wear. At the 2011 Wimbledon, she wore a white colored butterfly suit with golden underclothing, something that was sure to have raised the eyebrows of the Wimbledon authorities.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Mattek-Sands, Sania Mirza’s former doubles partner, made quite a few heads turn when she showed up at Wimbledon 2011 with a coat that was encrusted with tennis balls. No wonder she is called the “Lady GaGa” of tennis.

Andre Agassi

French Open Tennis Championship

Andre Agassi with his mullet hairstyle

If there is one person who can be credited for revolutionizing tennis on the court, the title would go to Andre Agassi. Agassi wowed many with his purported “bad-boy” looks, sporting a mullet (which he later confessed to be a wig) and donning flashy neon garments and accessories, at a time where tennis players were more traditional with their attire. No wonder he once called tennis clothes as “boring”.

Anne White


Anne White hits a forehand whilst wearing a revolutionary one-piece tennis outifit at the Wimbledon Championships in 1985

Anne White caused a stir at Wimbledon when she sported a body-hugging Lycra spandex, all-in-one jumpsuit in 1985, in what was considered one of the most iconic fashion statements on a tennis court. However, this didn’t go well with her opponent Pam Shriver, as Shriver complained to the authorities that the outfit was highly distracting.

Dominik Hrbaty

Dominik Hrbaty is not known for his exploits on a tennis court but will surely be remembered for his open-back pink-colored tennis shirt. Even fashion experts would have found it difficult to find a name for the air-conditioned shirt that Hrbaty sported. When Lleyton Hewitt, Hrbaty’s opponent for the day, was quizzed as to how he beat Hrbaty in straight sets, Hewitt candidly responded “Didn’t wanna lose to a bloke wearing a shirt like that.”

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Published 16 Dec 2013, 22:59 IST
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