clothing as a banner to assert one’s personality in the courts



Video duration: 4 mins

France 2

Article written by

M. Subra-Gomez, J. Lonchampt, G. Messina, J. Montupet – France 2

France Televisions

Roland-Garros clay court is back. Do sports, matches and fashion, the players’ outfits affect it? Several brands of the 80s have managed to establish themselves over the years and do not have a target that the creators had imagined.

At Roland-Garros there are those who are sporty, those with hats, those who are elegant, light colors or orange. The tournaments pass, but the style remains. Some players will go down in history as much for their stroke of genius as their wardrobe. “There’s obviously a lot of talk about Rafa, with his neon outfits”says a Parisian. “Wawrinka, in her plaid shorts”, comments a woman. Kits that evolved to improve player comfort, forging the legend of the stars of the discipline, before transforming into ready-to-wear to conquer the streets.

We owe the revolution on courses to the Frenchwoman Suzanne Lenglen first of all. At the turn of the 1920s, she put away her uncomfortable corsets in the wardrobe, to unfold her game in tank top and pleated skirt. A liberated body, facilitated movements and many times won Grand Slam tournaments.

André Agassi in denim shorts

After the war the skirt loses a few centimeters. In 1979, American Betty-Ann Stuart even dared to send a cheeky message. A uniform that caused some setbacks for the former number 11 in the world, Nathalie Dechy. “When the skirt went up, sometimes we weren’t always comfortable. And already the cyclist did some good”says the former professional player.

Tennis clothing also acts as a flag for some players to assert their personality. In 1988, a certain André Agassi played Roland-Garros in denim shorts. Earthquake on planet tennis. The same taste for provocation from Serena Williams, between tutu and suit.

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