The all-white apparel of Wimbledon leaves little room for brands to get adventurous with on-court designs. Apparel and footwear manufacturers have just one centimeter to work with for a colorized trim and can drop a logo on product—whether the red Uniqlo box on Roger Federer or the Nike Swoosh on Serena Williams—leaving so little room for wild imaginations often seen at other tournaments. So, with all this tradition-steeped whiteness, players get a tad more aesthetically driven on the practice courts.
To embrace the city of London and create a collection that may appeal to Wimbledon-loving folks, brands often come up with special London-themed lines players wear outside of competition.
New Balance and Babolat went graphic heavy with their choices, Nike embraced white and Adidas? Well, they waited until day two of the tourney to reveal a color-charging new line of gear.
New Balance has the most graphically heavy design from Wimbledon, releasing a shirt—Milos Raonic was the first to show it off—that played up the “London Championship Fortnight” on Church Road. The white shirt has graphics and wording in blue and orange.
Babolat devised a simpler design with the word Wimbledon split up so three letters of the word appear on a single line of the shirt. The resulting stacked lettering fills the front of the shirt, either green letters on white or red letters on blue.
Nike’s Wimbledon practice gear stays largely on the traditional side. Its Heritage T-shirt features the decades-old tennis court logo on the chest while the Rafa Jacket comes all-white with Nadal’s logo on the chest. The NikeCourt shorts, made from French terry fabric, include the brightly colored NikeCourt wordmark on the left hem.
Adidas went an entirely different direction altogether, deciding to release its U.S. Open series collection—the looks worn during the hard-court season leading up to New York—on the second day of Wimbledon, with the brand saying the “new range brings color to London and the tennis community.”
Inspired by the street style theme of the 1980s and the French Riviera, neon colors play heavily. The Angelique Kerber tank comes in white and teal, with pink paneling and mesh. Her skirt features navy. Expect more color from the women’s collection, with pink tees and shorts and pink details on a dress.
“The new collection really stands out on court and I love the inspiration behind the colors and silhouettes,” Kerber says.
The men’s collection also includes pink, something we may see off the court at Wimbledon, but certainly not on it.
Tim Newcomb covers sneakers and apparel for tennis.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.