The Tennis Channel is now airing the “100 Greatest of All Time.” We can argue all day and all night from now until eternity about who’s better, who’s best and who’s next. Preceding another “Greatest” installment, Tennis Channel aired a Wimbledon Classic, the 1990 men’s final between Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker. (Classic? Sigh, when did 1990 become classic?) It was fun to watch five sets of great tennis and oh that Edberg lob at 4-4 in the fifth for the break!
Watching this match got me thinking. Do you remember the days when the serve-and-volleyers ruled the lawns? When the wear pattern on the grass actually led toward the net? When Cyclops would beep and when there was an actual human brave enough to be the let judge at net? When women’s skirts showed less leg and men’s shorts a little more? Tennis, the game, has changed a lot in the past 20 years and so has its fashion.
We don’t see players like Edberg and Becker too often anymore, likewise we don’t see those short shorts on pros either. That doesn’t mean we should call serve-and-volleying dead, and it shouldn’t mean that guys should be scared to show off those knee caps. For the guy who likes to keep it classic, there are few options.
Edberg sported adidas on court, and Becker wore Fila. adidas has revived some old school flavor with its Modern Classics line. I particularly like the spring Spezial Jacket. But graphics with a retro flavor is where adidas draws the line. You will find no short shorts on the men’s adidas page, the women’s, yes, but not the guys. A 7-inch inseam is the shortest adidas men’s short you’ll find in tennis. Fila also brings back some of its heritage apparel with an entire vintage line that taps even deeper into tennis history with new versions of Bjorn Borg and Guillermo Vilas polos and jackets. Though the look is the same, you’ll find the fit has been updated and fits loose and baggy just like most of today’s tennis apparel. Fila does more to please the guy, though, who wants that classic tennis short with the Santoro II Short. These are great traditional shorts. With an actual constructed waistband, the Santoro II Short will give you a put-together look. Complete your Fila retro look with the Retro Wristbands or Retro Headbands.
For the spring 2012 line, Fred Perry went all out to please the classic-minded tennis player. Start the ultimate traditional tennis look with the 2012 Fred Perry tennis polo, available in a performance nylon and classic cotton. It looks super sharp with the tipping on the collar and sleeves. A two-button placket keeps the polo neat and tidy during play as well. Complete the Fred Perry look with the 2012 Tennis Tailored Short. This cotton short has a good weight, so it will always look clean and pressed — never sloppy. It, like the Fila short, has a constructed waistband but also allows for an adjustable fit with the buttoned side tabs. Each piece is finished with an embroidered laurel wreath, the Fred Perry signature.
Sure this classic tennis look may not be for everyone, but the same can be said for the long shorts and brightly colored crews. Everyone has his own style of play and sense of personal style. It’s nice to know that those who like the classic tennis look can still sport it today.