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Tennis has never been so glam

Not just Zendaya: the tennis world and the current female tennis players

Tennis has never been so glam Not just Zendaya: the tennis world and the current female tennis players

It's unclear if it's nostalgia, the effect of movie stars or the merit of incredibly skilled athletes. What's certain is that tennis is back to being as cool and captivating as ever. The data confirms it: just in the last year, searches on Pinterest for "tennis aesthetic" have increased by 37.5%. Those for "cute tennis outfits" have increased by 69.65%, while those for "tennis clothes" have increased by as much as 150%. The Instagram account @butmakeitfashion confirms these data, adding that the popularity of tennis style has increased overall by 80%.

Thanks to Zendaya, who in Luca Guadagnino's latest film, Challengers, plays a former tennis prodigy turned coach, and the victories of Jannick Sinner. Polo shirts with collars, chevron sweaters, pleated skirts, and tennis socks have left the court to become must-haves of the season, desired and flaunted by every fashionable girl. Drawing from the old money aesthetic and the casual looks of the upper class, tennis style emerges as the perfect sporty expression of quiet luxury, once again celebrated by cinema, fashion, and stars like Bella Hadid, Kylie Jenner, Iris Law, Sofia Richie, and Hailey Baldwin. The secret of its popularity? Timeless elegance made of a few essential elements, easy to replicate even for those who have never wielded a racket.

Tenniscore: When Fashion Meets the Chicest of Sports

Tennis has never been so glam Not just Zendaya: the tennis world and the current female tennis players | Image 499154
Tennis has never been so glam Not just Zendaya: the tennis world and the current female tennis players | Image 499155
Tennis has never been so glam Not just Zendaya: the tennis world and the current female tennis players | Image 499156
Tennis has never been so glam Not just Zendaya: the tennis world and the current female tennis players | Image 499157

The fashion world has cyclically drawn inspiration from tennis outfits several times, but the credit for making their style contemporary and desirable goes to Miuccia Prada and the Miu Miu Tennis Club, which, from the FW22 collection onwards, continues to reinterpret the elements of this centuries-old sport. A few pleated miniskirts, a polo shirt, and a cardigan tied around the shoulders were enough for tenniscore to explode, collecting likes and views on social media and inspiring collections from brands. Some examples? Lacoste, Ralph Lauren, and Sporty and Rich have always embodied its elegance and preppy refinement. It's easy to imagine champions like Coco Gauff or Martina Trevisan wearing the jackets, tops, and shorts from the SS24 collaboration between adidas and Wales Bonner, as well as the striped polo shirts proposed by Jacquemus and Stella McCartney, or the skirts by Sandy Liang and Fendi.

Zendaya's Fashion Show for Challengers

Zendaya also sensed the fashion potential of tennis, flaunting a series of looks inspired by this sport during the press tour for Challengers. While we await to see her performance on screen in this film that mixes teenage drama, love triangles, sports challenges and fashion, we can already give her an award for her outfits, developed with the help of her stylist Law Roach. Each of her red carpet appearances has completely (or almost) overshadowed the presence of her charming co-stars, Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist. At the Sydney premiere, the actress showed up in a grass-green evening gown covered in sequins by Loewe and created for the occasion by Jonathan Anderson, the film's costume designer as well. The dress features a deep slit and an equally deep neckline, but above all, the silhouette of a tennis player. Another detail referencing tennis, specifically the Wimbledon logo (a series of raised embroideries of two crossed rackets), embellished along with bows the custom-made dress by Thom Browne chosen by Zendaya for the London premiere. Completing the look, in an intriguing fusion of coquettish aesthetics and sport, a long braid accompanied by a large bow. Also beautiful is the ensemble by Brunello Cucinelli, with a long skirt with a daring slit and a braided sweater, worn during the day.

Always cool and on theme are the outfits worn in Italy like the vintage model reminiscent of a tennis uniform, characterized by a butterfly neckline and a flared skirt. Before the star, it was Cindy Crawford who wore it in 1991 on Ralph Lauren's runway. The look that collected the most likes? A tenniscore mini dress studded with crystals, designed by Jonathan Anderson for Loewe, paired with Bulgari jewelry and a pair of pumps with two neon yellow tennis balls stacked in the stiletto heels. Finally, there's the custom-made version of 16arlington's Terry in a fabric reminiscent of sponge chosen by Zendaya for her appearance on the show Che tempo che fa and the HUI FW24 green dress. Which one is your favorite?

Tennis has never been so glam Not just Zendaya: the tennis world and the current female tennis players | Image 500808

Past Tennis Players

Back in 1920, during the Wimbledon tournament, French tennis player Suzanne Lenglen made history by competing for the first time wearing a skirt above the knee and a flapper-style headband, both designed by Jean Patou, challenging the rigid dress code rules of the time. It was a small gesture towards comfort and female emancipation, paving the way for many athletes after her. How can we forget Lea Pericoli and her provocative outfits, featuring lace and feathers, bold bows, and rhinestones created for the tennis player by Ted Tinling, the early 2000s outfits of Russian player Maria Sharapova (like the outfit designed by Nike and inspired by a tuxedo chosen for Wimbledon 2008) or Serena Williams, with her passion for catsuits, diamonds, neon colors, and animal prints. Each of them stood out for their talent on the court as well as their personal style.

Current Tennis Players: Coco Gauff

She was the youngest American player to be part of the Olympic team and also the youngest to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon since Jennifer Capriati in 1991. She was only 15 when she defeated her idol, Venus Williams, at Wimbledon in 2019. Since then, Coco Gauff has always sought to exceed expectations, succeeding. The fashion world has already begun to court her. The tennis player, who in the past has collaborated with Aimé Leon Dore and New Balance, stated: "I really love fashion. I love makeup. I adore this kind of thing." When will she launch her own brand?

Qinwen Zheng

Qinwen Zheng became the first woman from her country to reach a Grand Slam final since Li Na ten years ago, when she finished second at the Australian Open in January. She stands out for her speed on the court, for a unique-looking serve, and for nerves of steel. When she's competing she prefers easy and sporty looks, but we bet that soon some brand will notice her potential as a spokesperson. She seems to have a soft spot for Miu Miu.

Martina Trevisan

So far, her best ranking is 18th, reached in May 2023. The Florentine tennis player, semifinalist at Roland Garros 2022, has been nurturing her talent since she was a child, and hers has been a troubled career, which now opens up to successes and possibilities. Despite the difficulties, Martina Trevisan intends not to give up and to climb the rankings. Her idol? Flavia Pennetta.