10 RETRO TENNIS STARS
Next Monday sees the start for this year’s US Open, and this week our latest collaboration with Tomas Berdych lands in store. To celebrate both happenings we’ve listed the 10 most stylish tennis players of all time.
10. MARIA BUENO
Mobility wasn’t a priority when it came to women in sports during the first half of the 1900s. In the 60s however, the skirt hemlines had crept up and shorts began being accepted on female athletes. Brazilian champion Maria Bueno was known for her graceful style of play – and being on the forefront of sports fashion.
9. JOHN MCENROE
Long hair, short shorts and tight polo shirts. John McEnroe was known for his temper during matches, his rivalry with Björn Borg – and for looking really good on the court.
8. BORIS BECKER
Germany’s Boris Becker entered the tennis scene at a time when the shorts were super short, the polo shirts were skin-tight and everything went in white. In his heyday the tennis trend shifted and players began wearing pastels on court – which Becker, who was ranked at the top, frequented more than many others.
7. STAN SMITH
This name probably makes you think of a pair of shoes and not a number one tennis player. At least if you’re under 50. Stan Smith was contracted by Adidas in the early 70s to promote their new tennis shoe and doesn’t have anything to do with the design of the timeless footwear. Yet, his name will live on thanks to that deal.
6. EVONNE GOOLAGONG
This Aussie won 14 Grand Slams and was one of the world’s leading female tennis players in the 70s and 80s. Tennis fashion for women got tighter and shorter during this era and Evonne Goolagong wore it to perfection.
5. STEFFI GRAF
She’s Germany’s most successful player of all time and a member of the international tennis hall of fame. At this match she is wearing an imitation patchwork denim skirt and a bandana. She would often bring 90’s trend items to the court.
4. ARTHUR ASHE
He was awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom – which is the highest civilian award any American can receive – and co-founded the ATP. Arthur Ashe was a gentleman and always brought an air of 70’s cool to the court.
3. ANDRE AGASSI
From the late 80s to the early 90s Andre Agassi was the world’s best tennis player and just happened to become an accidental fashion icon. With a perfect mullet (it was actually a wig!) and neon-coloured nylon outfits, he became one of the poster boys for the sporty 90’s look. Oh, being married to Brooke Shields didn’t decrease the media’s interest.
2. RENÉ LACOSTE
Lacoste is widely known for his eponymous crocodile-embroidered label, but during the 1920s he was also one of the world’s leading players and was always handsome at a match. During this time, tennis fashion often consisted of long trousers and long-sleeved shirts for men, and corsets and long skirts (and the occasional fur piece!) for ladies. Thankfully, fashion goes forward.
1. BJÖRN BORG
With 11 Grand Slam singles titles, Björn Borg is considered one of the greatest players in tennis history. While being widely successful on the court, he was also a popular target for tabloid newspaper because of his dissolute playboy lifestyle. He was the first player to earn more than one million dollars in a season, went to parties all over the world and moved from Sweden to Monaco. After retiring from the sport at 26, Borg has lived a (more) low-key life – and founded a very successful fashion label.