Tennis Stars and Fashion Trendsetters

Fashion Forward at Sony Open

By Fernie Ruano Jr.

Not only does Serena Williams collect championship trophies faster than Kate Upton secures magazine covers, the women’s No.1-ranked player is known for being daring with her fashion sense – on the court. At the 2014 Sony Open Tennis, Williams has been donning smart aqua-and-orange garb in homage to the hometown Miami Dolphins, the NFL franchise she co-owns.  

Her outfit is just one of the stylish ensembles worn by the men and women playing in this year’s Sony Open and it doesn't look like it's changing anytime soon – at least for as long as the defending Key Biscayne champion keeps winning at the Tennis Center of Crandon Park.

“Basically, what’s in are a lot of floral prints and orchid; this purplish, pink that’s one of the colors (trends) for 2014,” said Miami-based fashion expert, blogger Annie Vazquez, The Fashion Poet.

“You see a lot of oranges and yellows. A lot of these sports brands are trying to start trends, in this case on the court, so colors like purple are really, really big right now, said Vazquez. “Sports (themed) apparel is very popular with everybody.”

Back in 2009, Maria Sharapova had a thing for solid headbands and conservative dresses, but since then the Russian seems to have developed a crush on visors and pastel-colored outfits – both of which assist in combating the South Florida heat. At this year’s Sony Open, she’s opted for a stylish yellow top and patterned grey skirt with stripes and a dark visor.

“Yeah, I have always worn a lot of color for this tournament. I like neutrals, but I like to add color, as well,” said Sharapova when asked about what went into her wardrobe selections for the Sony Open. “Yellow at the time just seemed like a better option.

Venus Williams is also known for her fashion sense, everything from Eleven floral prints to scoop neck dresses which outline her figure, whenever she isn’t wearing shorts skirts and bare-back tops. At the Sony Open so far, Venus has gone with a classic one-piece with white on top transitioning into white and yellow horizontal stripes and then diagonal stripes.

Then, of course, there is Bethanie Mattek-Sands, the American woman known for some of the most colorful outfits on tour. Although she lost early at the Sony, her outfit left a lasting impression. Mattek-Sands combined a black-and-white cap with a hot pink top, multi-colored polka dot bottom, lavender-colored shoes and trademark socks stretched to her knees.

Not to be outdone, men also arrive stylishly-outfitted to play as well; one of them Gael Monfils, dropped his typical sleeveless, stripped tees for an orange and grey ensemble that, unfortunately, couldn’t help him past the second round.  For his part, American Sam Querrey donned a classic white outfit from clothing sponsor Fila, which was highlighted with neon green accents on the shirt and shorts.

Want to check out a player who keeps a classy look? Look no further than all-timer Roger Federer, known to match neon-garb and classic tones with the precision of one of his returns. The sharp-looking Swiss great has a thing for fluorescent-soled sneakers, but at the Sony Open he’s gone all the way with neon orange sneakers to match classic blue top and white shorts.

We know about Rafael Nadal’s tendency of going bright, especially in green and orange, to cover up those bulging muscles, but in his return to the Sony Open we’ve seen a rather subdued Rafa – when it comes to his garb, of course, not his play. Rafa is wearing an orange and white shirt and green-gray short, although he is sporting bright orange shoes.  

“We get tired...I think its cyclical thing,” said Vazquez.” Right now, it’s like the 1990’s minimalist look, but it will change,” said Vazquez.