As the Australian Open rumbles on in Melbourne, we look back on the five most fashionable men to ever grace the court.
The star of the 1920s — back when players still wore long trousers and flat caps — Lacoste was nicknamed ‘The Crocodile’ for a wager involving a crocodile skin handbag, and it became his style signature. The Frenchman produced the first polo shirt in the 1930s with the croc embroidered on the chest, and went on to build a fashion empire using that little reptile.
The face of tennis in the 1930s was as famous for his immaculate dress sense as his achievements on the court, Perry was another player to conquer the fashion world. After inventing the first ever sweatband, the Englishman launched his iconic white short-sleeved cotton pique with the laurel wreath on the breast at Wimbledon in 1952, then branched out into coloured polos later that decade — and they’re as popular today as they’ve ever been, not to mention the rest of the enormous Fred Perry label.
A style icon from a vintage era, the super brat rocked retro Sergio Tacchini polos and red headbands almost as fiery as his temper to tame his flowing curls — in fact, he was such a dedicated follower of fashion he risked punishment at Wimbledon for wearing non-white sweatbands that flew in the face of the event’s famously strict dress code. Honourable mentions to two other stars of the ‘70s, Bjorn Borg and his pinstriped Fila shirts and Boris Becker’s Ellesse tracksuit tops.
Andre Agassi was the walking, talking, neon-clad embodiment of the 1990s in a golden age of progressive, fluorescent sportswear. The shaggy-haired American’s Nike Air Tech Challenges are a classic trainer to this day, and the Nike poster boy was never shy of taking a risk when it came to fashion — who could forget his tiny stonewash denim shorts at the 1988 US Open.
It’s easy to look graceful when you’re the best player of your generation, but there’s something special about the Swiss maestro, cultivating a refined, mature look throughout his glittering career. Rarely spotted without a Rolex on his wrist, Federer has endorsements with a string of luxury brands — Marc Jacobs, Dior and Louis Vuitton, to name a few — as well as his own clothing label, NikeCourt x RF.