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Tennis has a glam side too!

Taut, agile frames and personal style statements to boot. Tennis has never been as glamourous as it is today. What started off with the advent of Kournikova is now a damburst in style.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2006 18:57 IST

Taut, agile frames and personal style statements to boot. Tennis has never been as glamourous as it is today. What started off with the advent of Anna Kournikova is now a damburst in style.

The likes of Maria Sharapova, Sania Mirza, Roger Federer and Andy Roddick can give ramp stars a complex. Wannabe fashion And tennis fashion is no longer restricted to the pros. Even budding players hone their on-court look with as much diligence as they practice their serve and volley game. Says Colonel Amarveer Singh, director (operations), DLTA: "Kids today are more brand savvy, especially when it comes to shoes and equipment."

While big stars are sponsored by big brands, affordability decides a brand for these juniors. Live telecast of Grand Slams also has an impact - the budding aces like to emulate their icons. Rafael Nadal's bandana and Sania's wristbands have become style statements.

Eight-year old tennis player Neha Reddy loves what Sania Mirza wears. "I too have a wristband and I wear Addidas shoes. That's what Sania wears. My racket is the same brand that Sania has which is Babolat."

"Not only many fans, but Indian tennis stars too often ape the brands, styles, shoes and equipments prevalent amongst their international counterparts. I have T-shirts with Sania's pictures on them, and I am a great admirer of Pete Sampras' T-shirts. Closer home I like the way Vishal Uppal carries the bandana with his rock star like long hair and I wish to get that look when I am on court," says Mumbai-based player Anupam Kapoor.

But Megha Vakharia, tennis player says, "I do not get influenced by my peers wearing brands or follow a trend. But most people follow what their idols wear." Comfort above all Of course, the comfort factor is vital. "Ten nis is a deman ding game, so whatever they wear shouldn't affect their performance," says Singh. Courting fashion: Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova during an Australian Open match in Melbourne

True trend setters

1. May Sutton:
In 1905, she won at Wimbledon wearing one of her father's shirts. She claimed it provided extra freedom of movement.

2. Suzanne Lenglen: In 1922, she shocked the world when she stepped onto the courts at Wimbledon wearing a short skirt. She also caused a stir by not wearing a hat.

3. Helen Wills Moody: She made the golf-style eyeshade a fashionable addition to tennis apparel and also wore the familiar school-type white blouse and pleated skirt.

4. Joan Lycett: In 1931 she discarded her stockings and opted to play in bare legs and ankle socks. With no stocking tops to hide, hemlines eventually began to rise.

5. Gussie Moran: In the 1949 Championships, she wore a regulation white dress trimmed with white satin. Beneath this was a pair of lace-trimmed panties.

First Published: Jan 21, 2006 18:02 IST