On the eve of the first Grand Slam of the season, TTI has composed a special Style Seeds post on the practice courts of the Australian Open. Away from the crowds, these fashion mavericks chose comfort over style, and some pulled that off more successfully than others.
Uncle Toni and Me
Rafael Nadal hit up last year’s kit from the Asian swing to rip his ferocious forehands on the Plexicushion practice courts. Uncle Toni was (naturally) at hand to offer his sartorial advice. The Spaniard’s also been seen sporting his Australian Open 2015 outfit this week; it’ll be shades of hot pink with short shorts piped with purple metallic trim.[tweet https://twitter.com/letstalktennis1/status/555285088343437313 align=’center’]
Please Rafael, never change.
Serena Sticks With Patrick
Melbourne Park also played host to another previous champion – a champion five times, in fact – on its practice courts this week, as World No. 1 Serena Williams looks to shake off an error-prone week at the Hopman Cup with her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou. While Serena’s longtime hitting partner Sascha Bajin is absent from Australia this year, I’m pretty sure Serena will cope; winning is a habit when you have 18 Grand Slams already under your belt.
Practicing in simple leggings and pullover, Serena kept things breezy in shades of magenta.
Andy’s Moment with Amélie
Andy Murray begins his Australian Open campaign following a huge change in his personal team. The Scot said goodbye to longtime friends and advisers, coach Dani Vallverdu and conditioner Jez Green, this fall. Remaining in place will be the talented Frenchwoman, former Grand Slam winner and World No. 1, Amélie Mauresmo, and the two hit the courts hard in Melbourne Park this week.
A change in sponsors was also on the cards for the new year, as Murray swapped Adidas for a four-year deal with American sportswear brand Under Armour. Murray will be debuting the latest kit from the brand along with Sloane Stephens this week.
Sharpie’s Death Stare, Beware
If a look could say a thousand words, then the above would be a best-selling biopic. Maria Sharapova‘s fruitful start to the year Down Under resulted in a first title at Brisbane, only her second on the Australian continent. Sharapova’s draw looks favorable, and she’ll be a sartorial favorite on the blue courts of the “Happy Slam” in a daring red dress featuring scantily cut-outs.[tweet https://twitter.com/TheSliceTweets/status/555153042744815616 align=’center’]
Though it’s unknown what exactly is going on in the above photo, let’s just assume that coach Sven Groeneveld told Maria that daring red wasn’t exactly her best color.
An Adje a Day, Keeps Winning at Bay
Ana Ivanovic is all in thanks to vibrant Adidas Aussie preparation kit she’s been sporting this week. Orange is particularly good color on the Serb, which is a shame when you consider Adidas offers her a staple blue dress every year. Still, Ivanovic has been riding a successful wave. Following her return to the Top 10 in 2014, she made her first final of the season at Brisbane and ultimately fell to Sharapova in a tight three-setter. The Serb will be hoping to push further than a quarterfinal in slams this year: a feat she hasn’t accomplished since her lone French Open title in 2008.
1007 Is a Magic Number
Meanwhile, back to the #men:
Roger Federer‘s feat in Brisbane was a particularly momentous one. In winning the title, he scored his tour-leading 1000th win against Canadian Milos Raonic. Yes, you read correctly, 1000 wins. The Swiss maestro will be hoping to make it 1007 in two weeks, provided he can navigate his way through a rather tricky, bottom-heavy draw featuring Grigor Dimitrov, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal.
Federer’s kit this year will jive with Nike’s penchant for spring brights, beginning with this training kit in neon yellow – a shade that the World No. 2 rarely explores on court.
Best of the Rest
Hurrah! Vera Zvonareva is back, and still clad in Fila.
For those who remember her precision baseline strokes, legendary temper tantrums and pristine top bun, it’s a welcome hello from the WTA Tour. After returning from a year-long injury break last season, the Russian also sat out the second half of 2014; she officially returned this year using a protected ranking at the Shenzhen Open. She’s currently ranked No. 203 in the world, but Zvonareva has a strong Grand Slam pedigree, particularly Down Under. The Russian reached the semifinals of the Australian Open in both 2009 and 2011.
Tomas Berdych‘s clothing deal with H&M is still going strong. The Czech isn’t afraid of showcasing unusual designs on-court, and his kit was certainly a talking point in Melbourne one year ago.
He’s been photographed recently training in one of his signature shirts, which, quite literally, has his signature on it. Berdych made the semifinals at the Australian Open in 2014; there are big points to defend, and a tricky draw to navigate should he attempt to repeat it.
Caroline Wozniacki had to retire from her opening match in Sydney last week citing a wrist injury following a runner-up showing in Auckland. Luckily, the Dane is still in the running to compete for her first Grand Slam title Down Under. She’ll be sporting Stella McCartney’s designs, as ever. This year, Wozniacki will sport a green number with a floral print similar to that of Stella’s 2014 line.
On the practice courts, however, Wozniacki continued the recent trend by donning a pair of neon leggings. We’ve seen some eyesore 80’s prints on the legs of Victoria Azarenka, but the Dane’s fuchsia versions add just the right amount of funk.
Forget pretty in pink.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic looked beautiful in blue on court in the days leading up to the Australian Open. Djokovic is many people’s favorite to claim the title this year. It’s his most successful slam, and his pathway to the final is looking pretty comfortable with the majority of his rivals packed into the bottom half of the draw. Djokovic continues his style run with Japanese brand Uniqlo, which has managed to inject sporty and vibrant designs for the Serb over the past few seasons.
Blue isn’t the most original color on the Aussie courts, but this shade of cobalt would look pretty striking during the final ceremony.
Eugenie Bouchard‘s run to her first Grand Slam semifinal at last year’s Australian Open came to an end against eventual champion Li Na. The Canadian has a lot of points to defend on the big stages this year, but whatever the result, she’ll continue to look stylish while clad in Sharapova’s Nike line. Rumor has it she’ll be sporting shades of volt yellow and pink this week, in a design featuring 90’s spaghetti straps and two-tone color panels.