STYLE ACES by Darrell Hartman

Last night at the U.S. Open–which I caught from one the best seats in the house, in the American Express suite–Andy Murray hoisted the champion’s cup after an epic 5 set battle. It was a huge win for U.K. fans: Murray is the first Briton to win a grand slam since 1936. The British victor then (also at the U.S. Open) was future sportswear entrepreneur Fred Perry. Watching last night’s match, you see how much the men’s tennis kit has changed in the intervening years. Murray (who was once a Fred Perry spokesperson) wears Adidas and favors a laid-back look. Even in state-of-the-art performance apparel, he still sort of looks like he just got out of bed. Djokovic, on the other hand, went trim and dressy in an indigo get-up (complete with tuxedo stripe) courtesy of his new apparel partner, Uniqlo. He looked totally money, even if he did finish second-best. Guess it goes to show that the clothes aren’t everything.

Not yet, at least. “I do think the men have gotten more into the style,” Monica Seles told me during the final. (One benefit of watching from the Amex suite is that tennis types like her tend to pass through.) More than before, male tennis players express themselves through clothes. The ever-dapper Roger Federer has had a lot to do with it, as has his rivalry with Rafael Nadal: they’re total opposites when it comes to court style, and Nike (which works with both) has made the most of it.  “When you see junior players play, they’re either wearing the Nadal stuff or the Federer stuff,” Seles pointed out.

Federer and Nadal aren’t quite as dominant as they used to be. Djokovic has a line for Uniqlo. Murray, whether he’s sartorially inclined or not, is on the rise. Janko Tipsarevic very nearly brought his flashy Fila togs and signature shades all the way to the semifinals.  If he keeps rising, the next big tennis accessory may be eyewear—something Don Budge and Fred Perry probably never envisioned.

Janko Tipsarevic:

Fred Perry:

Category: Fashion, Games, Sport.

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