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Daniela’s Denim Dream: Is Hantuchova’s hope for tennis fashion realistic?
Traditional or trendy: Is tennis finally stepping out of its comfort zone?
Published Feb 07, 2023
FLASHBACK: Hantuchova takes fans on a fashion tour of Roland Garros
What has Daniela Hantuchova craving the return of denim on the pro tour?
“I would love to see more of the jeans fabric,” opines the former world No. 5. “I see the old photos of Andre Agassi, Anna Kournikova.”
On the tour today, WTA players are finding comfort in leggings, shorts and crop tops, while ATP players are experimenting with color palettes and patterns with varying clothing lengths. Even off court and out of sight, players are stepping out of their comfort zones and embracing their inner fashionistas.
All of this sounds almost too good to be true, considering tennis’ reliance on tradition.
From strawberries with cream at Wimbledon to the Honey Deuce at the US Open, to player rankings and boxes, the tennis world takes comfort in its principles. Even fans continue to partake in the respectful atmosphere as the next point commences. Sure, that is contingent on alcohol consumption and the importance of the point, but the decency speaks for itself.
Tradition goes for fashion, too. Serena Williams’ iconic French Open catsuit fashion statement was banned because it “went too far,” said French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli. “You have to respect the game and the place.”
The backlash wasn’t surprising. But it couldn’t stop what tennis has always done—even if glacially slow: evolve.
In fact, although the young guns are strutting style onto center court, veteran players are less fashionably shifting, sticking to the outfits they know best. Call them old fashioned, but it seems the veterans would rather focus on their game than the shimmer reflecting off of their bedazzled wristbands.
Then again, bedazzled wristbands for the win? As of now, experimental fashion has caught fans’ attention and hearts. Until a player wears a sports bra as an outer layer over a shirt, it’s safe to assume these fashion trends will be widely accepted and maybe even expected moving forward.
So what can be expected in 2023?
Perhaps there’s room for Hantuchova’s jeans and simple dresses to make a comeback. Maybe players will match the court surfaces moving forward: darker colors on clay, all glamor at the US Open, and all fun in Australia. Perhaps bedazzled wristbands have also entered the mix.
And although Hantuchova’s predictions haven’t come true just yet, and nothing bedazzled is in sight, there’s still plenty of opportunities moving forward this season.
Just over a month into 2023, there have been fashion statements that ignite curiosity. From Frances Tiafoe’s splatter paint set to Jelena Ostapenko’s shoulder loofahs, it wouldn’t be surprising if jeans find its way onto the scene. The question remains, which player will be brave enough to make their denim debut?