They were the best of the rest, and the worst of the rest. These are the outfits that have made an impression in 2010, for one reason or another.
Let’s start with the worst, shall we? There is always something sinfully fun about criticizing someone else’s outfit.
1. Caroline Wozniacki, Australian Open til Roland Garros
Oh Stella, Stella, Stella. As far as clothing’s concerned, Ms McCartney has been everyone else’s favourite punching bag for 2010. But there is a reason for that: which part of shapeless, slate-grey rags with leaf patterns suggest “fashion hit” to you? Just look at poor Carol’s indignant face of pain OH WAIT –
That’s her normal game face.
2. Caroline Wozniacki, US Open til Will-This-Ever-End?
It’s semi-sheer. There is some form of bodice/bondage with horizontal stretch marks on the fabric. It hovers over her upper thigh, leaving you wondering where “the rest of it” has gone. Is it possible to give CWoz – a young, fit, female athlete – bulges where bulges do not exist?
Why yes! As Stella would say, “Impossible is NOTHING”.
3. Victoria Azarenka, US Open Series
I geddit. I geddit! Nerd is chic. Socially awkward, borderline Aspergers folks like Mark Zuckerberg are all the rage, programming your life into “walls” and “pokes” and “relationship statuses”. It’s okay. It’s about time.
But COME THE FUCK ON. There is nothing remotedly chic about wearing the double helix.
4. Aravane Rezai, Gold Foil 2010
There is so much gold foil going on here you wonder how many Lindt Bunnies died to make this dress. Don’t go around wearing this near a microwave oven now.
5. Aravane Rezai, Life in Plastic, It’s Fantastic.
Ever seen one of those “eco-fashion” shows?
They’re a bit like the modern Emperor’s New Clothes. Everyone claps along politely and talks about the importance of sustainability, environmental protection, when all the while, they are furiously trying to figure out why there are models parading around wearing ACTUAL PLASTIC BAGS.
That was how I felt, upon sighting this horror.
6. Marin Cilic, Davis Cup Tragic
I do not fucking care! No really. I do not. Whatever your national colours; however strong your “team spirit”, there is no excuse for wearing a picnic blanket on court.
7. Marin Cilic, US Open Tragic
Own up. Which one of you menstruated over him?
(I DID NOT WANT TO SAY IT IT CALLED OUT TO ME TO BE SAID)
8. Sam Stosur, First Half of 2010
There are many things to be said about this orange-ish, peachy, shapeless mess. But I believe Jodi of Tennis From Beyond the Baseline summed it up best when I ran into her at the Australian Open earlier in 2010:
“No one needs an apricot dress.”
Those are some of the worst outfits I personally remember in 2010. Have I missed any other travesties of international proportions? Lemme know.
But until then, without further ado: the best of the rest.
1. Gael Monfils, US Open
It was his first year with K-Swiss, and already, they’ve captured Gael’s personality so much more accurately than Nike ever did.
I don’t love or hate the clothes and hair per se. If Wogie had walked out looking like that, I would be banging my head against a rock hoping I destroy enough brain cells to make me forget it all.
But on Monfools, it all fell together to look so … Monfoolish. Likey likey.
The black and neon green version was also a little be funky.
2. Sam Stosur, US Open
This reminded me of Flavia Pennetta’s US Open 2009 dress, it was crisp, it was fitted, and I don’t know about you, but I personally have no issues with female athletes actually looking like female athletes.
Want to promote positive body image for young women? Celebrities posing nude for fashion glossies don’t help in the slightest. But seeing someone like Sam Stosur exude fitness and strength does.
The dark purple version, which was also lovely.
3. Pretty In Pink
What is it about Victoria Azarenka that just looks so good in pink?
If “real men wear pink”, then ironically, girls-gals often look horrendous in pink. Sure – it’s a feminine colour, but too much feminine pinkness can make it look like you accidentally ate Hello Kitty for breakfast.
Vika, on the other hand, gets the balance right in both her Australian Open and Roland Garros outfits.
That’s another thing: happy young people looking like happy young people. A point the likes of Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic often miss in their effort to look photoshop-worthy on court.
Talking about pink, I thought Alona Bondarenko looked like a teenage dream in her Australian Open dress.
4. Vera Zvonareva, Roland Garros 2010
Like Vera herself, K-Swiss is rather underrated. The colours are fresh. The combination of the pleated skirt and the simple tank top is sporty and feminine.
She doesn’t get many fancy, seasonal outfits every year, but you can always depend on Vera Zvonareva to look professional and sleek, 100% of the time.
5. Michelle Louder de Bretter, Wimbledon 2010
My favourite dress of the year has nothing to do with fancy tulle, vibrant colours or original designs. At the end of the day, it comes down to simplicity, class, and something that I can picture myself wearing. Not to mention, I love white and navy.
Anyone know who it’s by? I thought she was with adidas?
Always loved Wimbledon fashion – the white dress code has the effect of forcing everyone to try harder to stand out, as is the case with Venus Williams.
Love it, hate it, everybody’s talking about it. For my part, I don’t mind a little cha cha cha. She has the body to pull it off, so why not?
They say imitation is the best form of flattery. I think JJ still likes you, Woger.
Nice dress though. The folks over at Anta have outdone themselves.
It’s one thing design barflike dresses, quite another to charge people $300 for it. Yes, that’s you, Stella.
A dress that actually looks like tenniswear: the mind – it boggles.
For future, reference – this is called a BOLERO, not “some-weird-jackety-thingymajigue-that-Serena’s-wearing”. And she looks prim and classy in her strawberries-and-cream inspired gear. Nice one, Nike.
Masha finds herself looking sleek and corporate in a cropped blazer.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the definition of a good fit.
This is the definition of the opposite:
Honestly, can Zheng Jie get any cuter?
Don’t mind the dress, hate the white leggings. Good thing we won’t be seeing more of it then.
What’s your favourite Wimbledon outfit this year? Do tell!
While the ATP replaced their players’ profile pictures with thug shots this week, I went onto the WTA website to check out how the ladies handled their profile photos.
It turns out the WTA team was much more efficient: instead of lining the girls up for their mug shots – therefore expending time, money and resources, they simply cropped out the head of each player from completely random photos.
Individually each player looks great. Together, the mosaics disrupt the perfect harmony of my “60s Kodak” theme for blog images.
CAN’T. HANDLE. IT.
Picket Fence Awards for Profile Picture Excellence
The Sweet Potato Award: Dinara Safina
The Garnier Fructus Award: Jelena Jankovic
The Ginny Weasley Award: Sam Stosur
The Room-for-Imagination Award: Dominika Cibulkova
The ATP Undercover Award: Francesca Schiavone
The Colgate Extra White Award: Alize Cornet
The Who-the-hell-are-ya Award:
Michelle Larcher de Brito. Apparently.
The “Images Deceive” Honorable Mentions:
…that’s if anyone recognises the six of them …
Well done WTA, as unharmonized and random as these photos are, at least the girls don’t look like they’re auditioning for the next Prison Break spinoff. Clap clap.
So uninspired by yesterday’s tennis.
1) I missed the Cilic and Querrey match. Fell asleep during Verdasco v Vliegen, which was so boring it made me want to punch someone.
I do feel for Sam Querrey. He’s reasonably talented but just can’t seem to be able to catch a break. That said, I’m extremely happy to see Marin Cilic through to the next round. It’s time for him to start making his mark at the slam level, and given his section of the draw, I say go for it dude, just not all the way.
GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
2) Being uninspired by Roger Federer is a good thing. I’ve had more than my fair share of thrills this year from him. Can he just get in there, win, and get outta there? Boom boom bang, like that? Much appreciated Fed. At least until the next time you get yourself into a two set deficit.
Anyway, I thought he played well yesterday, moved like a cheetah and and showed off his full repertoire in the baseline rallies. My only beef with his game at the moment is that he really could’ve bothered to bend a little more for his volleys. Every time he approached the net, he looked so careless and half-hearted, although you did get a feeling that he was practicing a bit out there, particularly in the second and third set.
In any case, it was a very safe match for the Fed, entirely different to his second round match against Acasuso at Roland Garros. Next up: Kohlfreaksmeoutschreiber. Given Federer’s near death experiences in the third and fourth rounds of the last few majors, and Djokovic’s freak loss to Kohlie at Roland Garros, I am gluing my fingers crossed for that one.
3) So unspired by Maria Sharapova’s game. I said in my ladies preview that it was a tad ridiculous for so many people to pick her as one of the favourites for Wimbledon, especially when Maria herself sounded so uncertain about her game in her press conferences before Wimbledon. Gisela Dulko played a very contained match, chipping a lot of balls back to Sharapova, who just seemed to lack the conviction to hang in there and pull the trigger at the right time.
I know it’s only her fourth tournament back, but it’s hard not to feel a little disheartened by her “deja vu” styled second round exit. I think she should consider playing some doubles in the lead-up to the US Open. Hope to see her well-rested and recharged at Stanford.
That said, I’ve been very impressed by her maturity since coming back on tour. It saddens me that no crowd in any country can see past Sharapova’s blond millionaire princess looks to realise what an amazing human being she actually is. She deserved to be treated better by the Wimbledon crowd.
Q. Every athlete is governed by his or her body. As we know, whatever the sport, you’re like one injury away from a major problem. You were rolling along so well, and all of a sudden your shoulder goes bad. Do you ever wonder, Why me? Do you just say, That’s just the way it is?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm, well, first of all, those injuries ‑‑ you think of those injuries as basically preventing you from playing your sport. But if you look at the bigger picture, there are many things that can happen that can limit you to doing things in life or even having a life.
So at the end of the day, if you put things into perspective, when you get injured, yes. My career is a huge part of my life, and that’s what I do on a daily basis. So is it frustrating when that goes away for a while? Absolutely.
But if you have a good head on your shoulders, you also know that there’s a life to live. And if you stay positive, everything’s gonna be all right, no matter what ‑‑ no matter how bad the injury is.
Golly, I’m touched.
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
4) My only “inspired moment” in tennis yesterday came as Serena Williams hit a backhand slice winner in her match against Jarmilla Groth. This isn’t the lethargic, injured Serena of the clay season. I like her chances a lot, even over her sister’s.
But then my thrill dissipated with Jelena Dokic’s dull, state-the-obvious mumbling on TV. Yes, Dokic was commentating for Ch 9 in Australia, and no, she wasn’t even close to being good. Can we get Alicia Molik back in the commentary booth? Stolle and Woodforde know jackshit about women’s tennis.
5) Tommy Haas stayed on court to play with the ball kids after his opponent Llodra retired with a rather spectacular injury.
Sheesh, Haas is growing on me. But it’s almost 10 years too late for that.
6) There’s been a conspicuous attempt to make grunting an issue. It started with a backlash against Larcher de Brito, but really culminated when Martina Navratilova spoke out so publicly against it.
I’m not sure what I think on that. Personally, I’ve stopped noticing Maria Sharapova’s grunts. Her metaphysical presence on court is so strong that it just draws me into the match and overrides everything else. But Michelle “Louder de Better” is a different story. There just seems to be a whole new level of bloodcurdlingness with her scream. No one likes it, and it’s hard to ignore. From a big picture perspective, it does much damage to the reputation of women’s tennis.
Yet on the other hand, recent media coverage of this issue is starting to look more and more like a personal attack on the 16-year old, or worse, on women’s tennis itself. Reading the recent headlines on the issue:
“Wimbledon 2009: Ladies’ game may damage your health” – The Telegraph
“I won’t stop screeching, says teenager” – The Guardian
“Turn the volume down! Who was the biggest grunter on the opening day of Wimbledon?” – the Daily Mail, accusations on Sharapova, Larcher de Brito and Azarenka.
“Silence in court? No, I’m going to be a big noise here, says Larcher de Brito” – the Daily Mail. Again.
The Daily Express was much more straight forward, titling the issue – “MICHELLE HAS A SCREAMING FIT”.
And how about this:
In the lead up to this year’s tournament there was much talk of the grunt. Critics reckoned such has been the prodigious increase in volume since Monica Seles first shrieked to prominence, women’s tennis now sounded like a pornographic movie. Witnessing it at close quarters, however, this seems the wrong filmic allusion. The favoured yelp is angry, aggressive, making the peaceful environs of Wimbledon sound like the climax to one of those slasher movies, when the heroine in peril finally exacts noisome revenge on her demonic persecutor; more Drag Me To Hell than Debbie Does Dallas.
Har. Har. Oh now you’re just getting creative. Smart ass.
But Michelle has actually handled this entire manufactured scandal quite endearingly for her age, saying to the vultures at her press conference, “I’m just here for myself. I’m not here really to be quiet for anybody. I’m here to play. I’m here to win. That’s it. If people don’t like my grunting, they can always leave.”
Ah, as much as I dislike her grunt, thinking back to when I was 16, I probably would’ve crumbled under the notoriety. The girl’s got feist, and a backbone apparently.
Yup, seems like I’m destined to love grunters. I feel sorry for my ears, but that’s just the way it is.
7) Wimbledon put Dulko and Sharapova on Centre Court on Day 3. And the OOP for Day 4 shows that Caroline Woz and MariKiri have been placed on Centre too. Over Serena and Venus? What is this? A pageant?
… yes you, Lleyton Hewitt. Dignity had to be maintained, and I am at least glad you didn’t get bagelled – you got breadsticked instead. 61 63 61. Mind you, start of the second set looked okay for Lleyton, but the rest of the match … ayee …
Does anyone find it incredibly saddening whenever they watch the likes of Hewitt and Ferrero against Nadal these days? It’s the same feeling I get whenever I see someone with an old-school iBook G4 next to one of those shiny, sleek, new-gen silver MacBooks. There’s an inevitable nostalgia about it all.
Never mind now, off to the blessed grass courts for you Rusty. I’m not so sure about winning it, but a second week is doable depending on the draw.
For once I agree with Fred Stolle, whose commentary I followed last night – some things have to be stamped out at a young age, and spare me a few moments to cast a glare at Larcher de Brito, the 16 year old wunderkid who had no mercy for my eardrums last night. Having been a long time defender of Sharapova’s grunts in the past, it’s probably slightly hypocritical for me to then turn around and whinge about Larcher de Brito. But if you thought Maria Sharapova was bad, this kid makes Shazza sound like a kitty cat in comparison.
Imagine turning on your TV with your cuppa, ready for some relaxing Friday-night tennis, only to be left spluttering over your coffee by the bloodcurdling screech emanating from a sweet looking 16 year old girl. The worst part of it isn’t the pitch or ferocity of her screech, but the length of it. You know you’ve gone overboard when your scream is still going as your opponent returns the ball. And really, there is no cause for a grunt when you hit a drop shot. Come on now …
My-oh-my, Venus Williams, what more can I say?
So I know Szavay played a great match – remained calm and focused. But at the same time, Venus just simply never got into the match. Honestly, it’s been a while since I’ve seen her play this badly. The serve wasn’t digging her out of tricky situations, the groundstrokes were wild, her timing was completely off. She would’ve lost to a lesser player than Szavay playing like that. The fact that she put up such a performance at a grand slam further highlights how bizarre the whole thing was.
In my pathetic attempt to remain positive: as many rightly pointed out, so what Venus Williams lost in the 3rd round at the French Open? The last 3 times this happened she went on to win Wimbledon. Yes she did.
Man, I’m so sick of clay.
What’s weirding me out even more is the fact that Ana Ivanovic seemed to have clicked, at least judging from what I’ve seen of her in her last two matches. The wonky ball toss has been mainly under control, the forehand is fearsome once more and the fist pumps as excessive as ever. I can go back to my not-so-quiet dislike for the girl now, can I? Not so fast, I’d like to see her score a top 10 win at some stage.
Talking about the girls, Dinara Safina has lost 4 games in 6 sets. Move over, Clay Monster, meet Rafinara Nadafina. Anne Keothavong should be feeling better about her loss.
The only real good news for me from last night: Maria Sharapova has progressed to the fourth round, and I’m still feeling like a proud mama about it all. Not only has she defended her points from last year to prevent herself from further slipping in the rankings, she’s gotten plenty of match play, and exceeded everyone’s expectations based on her performance at Warsaw. Still very rusty, but that will power is enough to get her through most matches against a field of neurosis.
Flashback time: Maria Sharapova fourth round last year at the French Open, seeded no 1 against an underdog Safina, telling the French crowd to “allez up your f*cking @$$“. Booed off court in a stinker. This year, Sharapova outside the Top 100 (Safina now “the real” world No 1), the famously fickle French crowd back on Maria’s side as she slugs past each of her opponents as the Comeback Queen. What a difference a year makes.
PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images
Li Na v Sharapova next round. Oh why do the Draw Gods do this to me? Sad face. Sad face for the pair of them. But that section of the draw should be interesting now that Venus has bowed out.
Am now keeping my fingers crossed for Carla Suarez Navarro, whose match against Azarenka got suspended at one set each.
Overall, not a good night for me as far as my tennis faves are concerned, made slightly worse by the fact that I decided to go through the Roland Garros website only to find the fans’ sections filled with rude haters. Hoping for better tennis tonight.