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2016 Rio Olympics: Tennis

Olympic Tennis Splash

[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site. Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through the end of the month, although Paul is still on the clock over at ESPN and may be popping up here occasionally.]

By Phil Hecken, with Zach Spencer

Continuing today with our looks at the various uniforms (and in some cases, histories and backstories) of the 2016 Rio Olympic games, I am joined by Zach Spencer, who will give us an overview of the various uniforms and histories of the tennis participants.

As a tennis player, I actually never really liked the sport in the Olympics (same goes for golf), but it’s always interesting to see what the various apparel companies come up with for “national” uniforms. One thing that immediately struck me (and you’ll see below in Zach’s piece) is that not all individual player contracts with the different uni-makers dictate what the players wear — so if a nation has a player who has a Nike clothing contract and another with an adidas clothing contract, those players will still wear their own “brand,” rather than having say, UnderArmour outfitting all players from a given nation, in some cases. I’m not a fan of this — it looks particularly bad on doubles players who have different clothing contracts (as you’ll also see below). That aside, I’ll let Zach take it from here! Enjoy. (You can click on the photos below to enlarge.) (Continue reading)

The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly in Wimbledon

Last Friday I had an ESPN column about Wimbledon’s dress code. Once the column was published, I posted the link to it on Twitter.

About 20 minutes later, someone named Lucas Cayce responded to my tweet by saying, “You know, it’s Wimbledon, not WimbleTon.” For a second I panicked, thinking there’d been a typo in my tweet, or in the headline of the story, or in the text. But I checked all of those, and the spellings were all correct. So I wrote back to him, asking what he was referring to. He said, “No, it’s not a typo. But you’re pronouncing it wrong in your video.” (Continue reading)

In Which Brinke Lands His White Whale (or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof)

[Editor’s Note: Got home last night from Wisconsin and am still getting recombobulated, so today we have a guest entry by Brinke Guthrie, who you know from his weekly “Collector’s Corner” column. Today he’s going to tell us about one of his holy grails. Enjoy. — PL]

By Brinke Guthrie

Today’s entry is about tennis socks. That may not sound so exciting, but hear me out — this has been a 35-year quest.

Now, in the 1970s and early ’80s, Bjorn Borg wore Fila tennis wear, personalized with his own “Bj” logo (which also appeared on his Bancroft rackets):

Borg was the first player to maximize his earning potential with gear. He wore Fila worldwide except for Scandinavia, where it was Jockey, of all brands. Rackets? Bancroft in North America, Donnay elsewhere. Shoes? Bancroft affiliate Tretorn in North America, Diadora elsewhere. Very few pros have ever had arrangements like that.

And then … there were the socks. (Continue reading)

Neon Circus

What you see above is the attire that most Nike-outfitted men’s tennis players will be wearing at the Australian Open, which kicks off next week. The interesting thing about it (aside from the fact that it looks like shit, duh) is the use of that “Volt” neon/highlighter tone. In fact, all of Nike’s . . . → Read More: Neon Circus