The stars of women's tennis were out in force at the Pre-Wimbledon Party held on June 21 at Kensington Gardens, hosted by business mogul and uber-fan Richard Branson. Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams led the pack, looking particularly smashing even in the midst of a mini-feud. WTA Live broadcasted the event (here's the full show), and the WTA Tour released a sleek highlight clip of the goings-on.
With the many looks on hand, Melanie Oudin said, "Sometimes it's funny because you don't even recognize some of the other players." Elsewhere WTA honcho Stacey Allaster said that the song that could get her dancing was Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling," while Victoria Azarenka chose, of all things, any song from the LMFAO catalog.
Spin friend The Slice featured a delightful take on the dressy affair. Here are our own fashion hits and misses from the (ahem) pink carpet, as the WTA celebrates its "40 Love" marketing campaign in light of its big anniversary:
Maria Sharapova stunned, as she is prone to do, in a Burberry dress that appeared white with tiny ink blots adorning it. If that doesn't sound lovely, that the 2004 Wimbledon champ was in it tells you that it was a success.
Serena Williams amusingly also arrived in that designer, in Burberry Prorsum to be exact, on the heels of attending the fashion house's show a couple days prior. She looked regal, the epitome of a defending champion.
Ana Ivanovic looked elegant in blue, and charmed the WTA Live interviewer by the carpet (see video above.)
A surprising darkhorse best-dressed winner, 2011 Wimbledon titlist Petra Kvitova wowed in a one-shoulder black number.
One of the homeland's hopes, Heather Watson, showed up in tennis-ball yellow—but it completely worked with her vivacious personality, even if she couldn't recall at first where she got her dress.
Also in yellow, Sloane Stephens appeared bright and perky, as is her wont. Oddly, she couldn't summon a dance-floor song that would catalyze her participation at the party, opting for Rihanna's "Stay," a ballad.
Daniela Hantuchova revealed her penchant for a trusty mini-dress, a look that few could pull off if they tried. Needless to say, she rocks it.
In Alexander McQueen, a platinum-blonde Agnieszka Radwanska took the little black dress to a new level. Not difficult to do when wearing that designer.
Laura Robson was radiant in a deep-green frock from Burberry that was classy but youthful. Everyone involved wins when she dons a piece from that house.
Robson's close friend Genie Bouchard appeared nothing less than a supermodel in solid blue. Oh, Canada—the Spin is glad for this glamour gal on the scene to spice up carpets moving forward.
Lady-in-red Sabine Lisicki paired her frock with rouge lips and knocked the look out of the park—exactly what one doesn't want to do on the tennis court, but she looked great.
Then there's Bethanie Mattek-Sands: We'll call it a victory in the buzz-worthy department, though the dress isn't so flattering. The Google Glass is fun, as is her eye-catching new hair color. It's BMS's style world, and we're all abiding in it.
Anastasia Pavlychenkova's black dress was revealing in the right ways to stay coy and winking. Well done by her.
Also in black, Victoria Azarenka displayed one of her best carpet looks in recent memory, festooning it with an oversized, trendy belt that she bought in Paris and pointy heels, footwear that she remarked can be tricky. She wears it all well.
The Spin finds it tough to make a call on Anne Keothavong's frock, but suffice it to say, it's a lot of look. In the end, the decision is to call it a bit much. Ask again tomorrow, though, and that may change. Unfortunately, Keothavong's first-round result didn't alter Brits' normally fatalistic take on their homegrown competitors' chances. She fell in straight sets.
Angelique Kerber wore a dress from her own closet, and sadly, it showed. While she may have been perfectly comfortable in it, which is key, the look was more than a bit frumpy. Holding out hope for a really glamorous ensemble on her yet.
Jelena Jankovic loves bright colors. This is well known, and yet it often appears forced on her frame, especially when she doesn't particularly smile when photographed in it. She might take cues from Stephens and Watson on this. Still, it's great to see JJ back in the mix at Grand Slam events, competing and reaching, in the case of this year's French Open, the quarterfinals.
YOUR TURN: Whose look was your favorite from the Pre-Wimbledon Party, and who do you think committed an error?
BONUS: VOGUE magazine shows its archives of tennis-player images over the years, leading with a striking Serena photo.
TOMORROW: A look at the on-court styles after the first round at the All England Club.
Got a thought, a tip, or a point to make? Hit me on Twitter @jonscott9.