The US Open has a special place on the tennis Grand-Slam circuit — it’s the place where tennis stars can make a fashion statement that is as powerful as their game. <b1>
Unlike Wimbledon and its strict ‘whites’ rule, the US Open, played under floodlights, is an arena where players can shine — literally. In 2006, Maria Sharapova’s outfit wouldn’t have been out of place on the red carpet — a little black number with a sequinned neckline, a satin-bow empire waist and keyhole openings down the back. She won the US Open that year, lifting not only the trophy but also the fashion standards at Flushing Meadows.
Though Maria isn’t competing this year, style hasn’t suffered. The Williams sisters have picked up the fashion mantle — Serena Williams in a sophisticated red dress with a dropped waist and a pleated skirt and Venus in a black flirty halter-neck number. <b1>
No 18 seed Caroline Wozniacki’s also a contender in the fashion stakes with a drop-waisted brown dress accented with orange and a feminine hemline. <b2>
Men aren’t far behind. Roger Federer brings a formal touch to the courts this year, switching between a polo T-shirt with an emblazoned RF logo in red for day and smoke-grey at night. It’s an acknowledgment of the changing conditions — hot and sweaty under the sun and cooler in the evening.
Ninth seed James Blake wore bright red man capris, already a fashion statement in men’s tennis thanks to Rafael Nadal. Andy Roddick is one of the few players still wearing the regimental white.
US Open styles depend on the sponsoring brands. Blake’s colourful man capris are designed by Nike while Roddick’s whites are from Lacoste, a brand that’s got a classic style. Stella McCartney designs pretty, adventurous togs for Adidas, worn on court by Maria Kirilenko. Sharapova’s classy clothes come from Nike, while Tiffany & Co even outfit Sharapova in jewellery for tennis events.