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July 31 2014

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Blasblog: Another Tennis Phenom Eyes Fashion

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Monday night’s Billie Jean King Cup kept my attention for a variety of reasons. Most notably there was the surprise appearance by President Bill Clinton, who, before hitting up an art party later that night, made a speech in praise of King—one of tennis’ most decorated players and a fighter for women’s and LGBT rights throughout her career&8212;and then there was the on-court cameo from ice-skating legend Nancy Kerrigan. But what struck me most were the outfits. As the JumboTron at Madison Square Garden flashed back to King in sixties, seventies, and eighties attire, it reminded me how far women’s court looks have come. In bright, light, and chic tennis duds, the four players fighting for Monday night’s $400,000 final prize—Venus Williams, Serena Williams (the night’s big winner), Ana Ivanovic, and Jelena Jankovic—bore no resemblance to previous era’s players. After the match I caught up with Jankovic, who agreed that tennis fashion has come a long way. “More girls are paying attention to their on-court look,” she explained. “Femininity is coming to the sport. We all want to look nice, and play nice, too.” Like the Williams sisters and Maria Sharapova before her, Jankovic is taking her fashion affection seriously. On Sunday, the DKNY store shut down for two hours so Jankovic could stock up on “lots and lots of dresses—minidresses and long, elegant ones,” as she put it, and she’s recently signed on to do a line with China-based sportswear company ANTA. “They’re new to tennis, and they chose me as their first promoter, which has been great. I’ve had the freedom to design my dresses and to do whole collections.” Perhaps blending sport and fashion was in her blood: Jankovic’s mother is a former dress designer and was the one responsible for putting the young tennis player in her early game-day ensembles. “The most important thing on the court is to feel comfortable, to move freely, and to never think about your clothes,” Jankovic reasoned. “But when you look good you play good.”

Photo: Courtesy of Jelena Jankovic

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  1. MyTennisFahsion says:

    Very nice, good to see more tennis players getting involved in Fashion….Tennis +Fashion rock!
    http://www.mytennisfashion.com

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