One beautiful byproduct of the following tennis is that the global sport serves as an entry point to a world of other subjects.
Take politics. In most years, tennis and international policy don’t intersect. But the Russia-Ukraine was directly impacted tennis, specifically with Wimbledon’s decision to bar both Russian and Belarusian women’s and men’s players from entering the tournament.
Fashion, however, is an industry more readily interwoven with professional tennis. When paired against some of the biggest sports in the world – football, soccer, basketball, or hockey – none of them have the vibrant and always-evolving fashion that tennis does.
Uniforms in other sports remain static, only slightly iterating from season to season, with the occasional throwback uniform donned on special occasions. Their unchanging nature makes them classic, leaving little room for creativity, innovation, and a player’s personal style.
The 2023 season has begun, and as the year’s first major is in full swing, let’s reflect on some of the top on-court outfits sported around the ATP tour in 2022.
Gael Monfils, Artengo (Australian Open)
When Gael Monfils retires, we might look back and say the 2022 Australian Open marked the end of his last solid run as a tennis professional. Making the quarterfinals and losing to Matteo Berretini in a late-night 5-setter was undoubtedly his best tournament of 2022 and a top 5 slam performance of Gael’s career.
It was also, I argue, one of the best-dressed moments of the year in men’s tennis. After unveiling his new sponsorship deal with the French company ArtengoMonfils emerged in all-black apparel for the tournament, including black shorts, wristbands, and a slate-colored pair of Asics Gel Resolutions.
Even Gael’s racket, the ARTENGO TR960 CONTROL TOUR, is black and grey. The only pop of color in his wardrobe was his cool ocean-blue Tourna overgrip. This look was primetime with the nighttime backdrop and against the cerulean Aussie court.
Hubert Hurkacz, Yonex (Australian Open, Miami Open)
As we saw with Monfils’ evening wear, a good outfit can become great when paired well with its surroundings, as was the case at this year’s Miami Open, where Hubert Hurkacz, the tournament’s reigning champ, was decked out in Yonex attire that was distinctly Miami in mood and aesthetic.
On top, Hurkacz wore a bright neon yellow t-shirt with a black border on the neck and sleeve ends. The shirt was complimented by a vibrant pair of blue shorts with a wild take on camouflage. You can find both of these pieces on TennisWarehouse.
The rest of the fit was accented by flashes of white: Yonex shoes, socks, and a hat.
And, to top it all off, the turquoise and purple of his Yonex VCORE racket make this one of the most colorful on-court fashion displays of 2022, as does the Gerald Charles Sport watch sitting on his left hand with a retail price of $19,000.
Tommy Paul, New Balance (US Open)
Since Tommy Paul signed a sponsorship with New Balance to start the 2021 season, his swag has leveled up. Paul currently sits as the highest-ranked New Balance player on the men’s side – the other two in the top 100 are Maxime Cressy and Jordan Thompson . Towards the end of the 2022 season, Paul donned a New Balance outfit that stood out among the crowd.
The highlight of this ensemble is Tommy’s top. The shirt is filthy; it’s NB’s Men’s Fall Printed Tournament Crew.
With a white front, the short-sleeve tee features a stunning red print running down the sleeves and back. It’s a mesmerizing design reminiscent of rigid fish scales. And it’s made from 100% recycled polyester. I won’t lie; I bought it off New Balance’s site.
The same pattern flows downwards into the navy shorts, creating a coordinated getup. The shorts end with a white hem on the sides to promote extra range and add a little flair.
On Tommy’s feet are some of New Balance’s most noteworthy tennis kicks of recent memory: the Fresh Foam Lav v2.
Colored red with segments of “egg yolk” and “bright lapis” (New Balance’s descriptions), these shoes appear as if they’ve been birthed straight from the Lego Universe. With Tommy and Coco Gauff, NB’s prized sponsor, be ready for more fresh looks in the 2023 season.
Alex Molcan, Bidi Badu (French Open)
Alex Molcan turned heads during his performance at the 2021 US Open, earning a spot in the 3rd Round and a profile in the New York Times.
At that time, I noticed Molcan’s penchant for alternative Nike t-shirts. I’m not sure what deal he had with Nike or if he had one at all, but I liked his style.
2022 brought a new sponsorship for Molcan and some truly exceptional on-court uniforms. “Uniform” seems appropriate here because Bidi Badu served up a matching set (no pun intended) for Molcan to wear at 2022’s French Open.
I saw Molcan play Novak Djokovic in Paris, and from far away, Molcan’s navy outfit looked full of sparkling constellations. Up close, you can see a whimsical pattern of colorful icons, including tennis courts and rackets among horses, guns, and lanterns.
The German company describes the Hawi Tech Tee on their website as the t-shirt that “makes you hungry for fruit candy and good feelings.” I’m not quite sure what that means, but I don’t totally disagree.
Wilson Rush Pro 2.0 shoes accompanied Molcan’s outfit, white socks, and a black headband from Bidi Badu.
Unfortunately, Molcan has a sponsorship deal with Asics for 2023, so we’ll have to look elsewhere to see what Bidi Badu has in store this year.
Nick Kyrgios, Nike (Wimbledon, US Open)
If you follow Nick Kyrgios on Instagram, it’s clear he loves basketball. When taking time off, he prioritizes trips to his hometown of Canberra to play pick up with the boys.
In recent years, Nick’s affinity for hoops has become more apparent on the tennis court. During the fourth round of the 2020 Australian Open, Nick paid his respects to Kobe Bryant by wearing his jersey during his walkout onto Rod Laver Arena.
In 2022, Nike blended Nick’s full-time sport with his part-time passion. For Wimbledon and the US Open, Nike designed a Kyrgios-specific outfit that included a sleeveless polyester jersey with a tight-fitting breathable undershirt. It was a top that looked like it belonged to an all star power forwardnot a Wimbledon finalist.
This look from Nike brought even more allure to an already magical run for Kyrgios. Of course, the rest of his Wimbledon attire was all white, but his US Open look was more flashy.
The navy jersey was accented by thick red bordering on the sleeves and what appears to be red mesh vents running down the sides. Red shorts, black socks, and dark blue and black Nike Air Zoom Vapor Pros filled out the rest of this all-time fit.
For both tournaments, Kyrgios wore a backward white hat with a flat brim inverted slightly upwards. It’s a hat that will remain synonymous with his Wimbledon run, the best slam performance of his career.
In 2023, I expect the jersey to reappear and potentially solidify itself as Kyrgios’ signature accessory.