A look back at the history of tennis: it’s all about style

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The spectacle of tennis is defined just as much by how the game is played as by the way its top players dress on the court./p>

We need to look back at the past in order to see how these uniforms have left their mark on the history of the sport:

The 20’s

It was elegance at all cost; indeed, the consensus was that those chunky sweaters and long skirts didn’t provide maximum functionality.

In 1929, René Lacoste came on the scene just at the right time, introducing the famous tennis shirt that quickly became a timeless piece.

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The 40’s

This particular decade witnessed a gradual shift in clothing choices, beginning with Katharine Hepburn, who boldly donned a rather short high-waisted pair of Bermuda shorts.

Photo : FPG / Getty Images
Vic Seixas, 1948.

The 50’s

The flirt and “Classic Wimbledon” white were featured in this photo taken in 1954 for Vogue magazine.

vogue1954-couple_141136496038_gallery_max

Photo : Leombruno-Bodi, Vogue 1954

The 70’s

Swede Björn Borg became an icon in this decade after winning the first of five consecutive Wimbledon titles, beginning in 1976. His look was so popular that he launched his own line of underwear. This Borg fellow was pretty talented!

bjorn-borg_-superstition1

The 80’s

One glance at the hairstyles of John McEnroe and Chris Evert and you know you’re in the 80’s.

John McEnroe. Photo: Art Seitz
Chris Evert. Photo: Lloyd Robert Riger Getty Images

The 90’s

Where do we begin? Magenta was the favourite colour of this decade that we hesitate to describe as appalling or fun in terms of fashion. Honorable mention goes to Andre Agassi’s pink short shorts and denim shorts (on the right).

Monica Seles. Photo: Allsport
Andre Agassi. Photo: George D. Lepp / CORBIS
Steffi Graf. Photo: Scott Halleran / Allsport 1991

The 2000’s

The best way to describe the style of the new millennium would probably be “splashy”. The Williams sisters and Maria Sharapova are among those who dared to wear the eccentric creations of the great designers. They were either big hits or flops, you be the judge.

Venus WIlliams at the 2011 Australian Open. Photo: Getty Images
Novak Djokovic, 2011. Photo: Getty Images
Maria Sharapova. Photo: Getty Images
Rafael Nadal, 2009 Australian Open. Photo : Wikipédia
Venus Williams, Rolland-Garros.
Nadia Petrova at the Australian Open. Photo: Getty Images
Serena Williams, 2004. Photo: Getty Images

Today

Today’s players are choosing very technical fabrics and more athletic cuts. We may laugh about it in 10 years, but for now, they are all the rage!

Venus Williams, 2014 French Open. Photo: Getty
Roger Federer. Photo : Getty Images
Eugenie Bouchard, 2014 Rogers Cup. Photo: Steve Boudreau COC

We are probably still going to be impressed by these professional players for a long time, but remember to always focus first and foremost on the main thing: the game.

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