I love this time of year. The French Open is just around the corner, and that signifies to me the kick off to the summer. Shortly after will come Wimbledon, then the U.S. Open Series topped off by all the excitement in New York. Really it’s the only time I bother to turn on my TV.
Not only do we get to see our favorite pros play on three different surfaces in a relatively short period of time, but we also get to see them in new outfits. The majors are where we see the big splashes, and each of the majors possesses its own personality — and set of challenges — when it comes to dressing for the occasion.
The French Open is up first. (The main draw first round starts May 27 so set your VCR if you like to keep it old school, but more than likely set your DVR.) What are the challenges of dressing for Roland Garros? There’s the clay, for one. That terre battue gets on everything, it stains and it’s red. The last thing I want is to have to compete for attention with the color of the court. Then there’s the fact that it’s in Paris, quite possibly the most stylish city in the world. I’d think there’s quite a bit of pressure to step out in style.
Nike just launched its plans for its bevy of tennis stars. Let’s take a gander at what we can expect to see.
Rafa has obviously mastered playing on clay, so he has no fear when it comes to Roland Garros. He will face the clay court head on, dominating it by wearing the reddish hue Scarlet Fire on top and a white short. He will finish off the look with a Scarlet Fire bandana and matching Air Court Ballistec 4.3s. Just a quick aside on the actual function (it can’t all be about looking good!) on Rafa’s Finals Clay Crew. The shoulder seam sits farther forward than it does on most tops. Nike put in this feature to make the top more comfortable and to allow it to move more freely — because I’m not sure if you’ve seen Rafa’s forehand? But that guy can create insane racquet head speed and has a follow through that shouldn’t be humanly possible.
Some of my favorite looks for Fed have been his night match U.S. Open ensembles. So, I must admit, the monochromatic look works for me. His solid Anthracite look will pop nicely against the red clay. He’ll be wearing the RF Smash Clay Polo with a short similar to the Match Woven Short with Cyber accents. To top it off, he has the a matching bandana and Vapor 9 Tour SLs. That SL stands for synthetic leather. For the clay season, the Vapor 9 has synthetic leather through the vamp which holds up better against the clay compared to mesh. Here’s a fun fact about Fed’s polo: If you’re a big fan, you may have already known about the no-sew seams for zero-abrasion comfort, but did you know that as a Dri-Fit UV piece that its sleeves are slightly longer than non-UV protective Nike tops? Yup. Extra length means extra coverage.’
If any player knows about Paris Fashion Week, it has to be Masha. (She has her own Cole Haan shoe and handbag line.) She, like Fed, will step out in a darker color. Apparently the notion that every woman needs a little black dress also applies to tennis. The Cargo Khaki bodice of her Statement Set Dress sets off the black paneled skirt portion so nicely. This classy color combo isn’t overshadowed either any crazy designs and instead has subtle design touches such as the zig-zag stitching on the skirt. Sharapova finishes off the look with a signature Featherlight Visor and a pair of Lunar Speed 3s in White/Scarlet Fire.
You can’t ignore the newest WTA No. 1. She has only two singles losses, can you believe it? How dare she wear shorts at the Australian Open?! I kid, I kid. I loved that look and have a pair of those shorts myself. (Check them out in this season’s colors. So cute!) Vika’s back in a dress for the French, and like Rafa, she has the confidence to wear a color complementary to the red clay. Her Tie Breaker Knit Dress in Fruit Punch is the perfect color, too, to usher in summer, especially with its Orange Chalk accents. Unfortunately, that Nike headtie she’s making her signature look won’t be available to buy in Orange Chalk, but we can substitute a basic white one. She, too, finishes her look with the same Lunar Speed 3 shoes.
Never to be counted out of the running, Serena Williams always is a threat even when not considered among the top contenders. One of my favorite colors against the clay courts of Roland Garros is blue. Her Statement Rally Dress is a gorgeous mix of minty greens and a bluish green teal. Her Air Max Mirabella 3 shoes are a perfect match colorwise, and are some of the most comfortable tennis shoes out there. (Our testing team loved them, and I do mean love. It scored a 4.5 out of 5 overall. Read the review here.)
So there you have it. Remember to set your VCR, wait DVR and get ready to see some great tennis.