Tracy Austin’s 1978 Eastbourne dress


Tracy Austin at Eastbourne in 1978

There was a lot of talk about fashion at the 2010 US Open, especially about the very short Stella McCartney dress Caroline Wozniacki was wearing and Venus Williams’ too movable outfits. The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour dedicated one photo feature to Tracy Austin, that I recently had an interview with, and I came across this very interesting photo showing that exposed shorts are nothing new. I simply had to share the picture of the outfit, because it’s so unique and strange. Imagine Wozniacki wearing it today. The photo dates back to the Eastbourne tournament in 1978.

Tracy Austin at the age of 14
The gallery also featured a photo we could add to our collection of young pictures of women’s tennis players. You can see a 14-year-old Austin playing Chris Evert in the round of 32 at Wimbledon in 1977.


  1. As for me, when I told that Caroline’s dress was too short, I didn’t want to expose a bigoted point of view :P… Like you say Marija, the short dresses are certainly not new and if I don’t mistake the other years Alize Cornet was deluged by criticism about her short and backless dress. What I meant to say is that this type of dress, so tight, was too short, according to my opinion, when she was playing on court the effect was not beautiful, the suit didn’t give an idea of dynamism that can give a full skirt that moves along the action of the wearer. In short, I like the dress itself , but I didn’t like the way it adapts to body movement… Sorry for the long comment, I tried to explain as best I could!!

  2. Francesca, long comments are fine. 🙂 I came across this pic of Austin and I thought it would be interesting to share it as there was a lot of talk about short tennis outfits at the 2010 US Open. I wanted to show that it’s just a new version of 1978 and plus I found Tracy’s dress very unique and interesting.

  3. Omg, her braces were soo weird. Dress either.
    Caro’s dress shoulb be longer cos it looks like she has a big butt, which is not true 🙂

  4. I think Tracy ‘s dress is cute and somehow actual… About short dresses seems they went very fashionable even in the 60, I post photos of Lea Pericoli, she was the most famous Italian player of that period, also thanks to her lace panties 😛 …This year at the Italian International were exposed some of her clothes and some details remind me to Venus’ style!

  5. Francesca, wow thanks for sharing these pics. The first dress is really extraordinary, I can imagine the attention it would get if someone wore it today. Haha I’m starting to think that fashion was more daring in the past. 🙂

  6. 🙂 …Marija, I documented a little better , the dress of the first photo was put up by the British designer Ted Tinling to be worn at Wimbledon, the skirt is finished with mink coat, all her clothes are stored in Victoria Albert Museum. In Wimbledon Museum are exhibited photos of the famous panties lace on which the chroniclers wrote: “Lea’s kick is chic!” …In fact, hes clothes were rather special, should there be one decorated with ostrich feathers, but I can not find a picture!!

    Ted Tinling has designed clothes for many Wimbledon champions of the 50s, 60s and 70s, including Martina Navratilova and he also designed Chris Evert’s wedding dress when she married John Lloyd!! 🙂

  7. Ostrich weathers! 🙂 Thank you for all the information, Francesca. I didn’t know all those things.

    If you could exhibit some of the recent outfits in a museum, which outfits would you choose? 🙂

  8. It’s a pleasure and good question Marija! it’s not easy to answer… Personally I have a weakness for dress that Masha wore at Roland Garros in 2008, it’s so elegant!! But in general many Masha’s clothes could be included in a museum, because her style is different and more sophisticated than many other players, to name a few, I would say the one with she won in Melbourne and the two dresses worn to the US Open in 2007. I also think that many suits of Stella McCartney could be included in a museum, especially the 2008 collection, Maria Kirilenko was beautiful with that clothes. Then it’s obligatory to mention the clothes worn by Venus this year…

    Wishing I could also mention several outfits that are suitable for horrors’ museum ahahah!! 🙂

  9. Oh my goodness! Who would have ever thought that those type of kits were worn in the past. It looks like Tracy and Lea are wearing baby’s diapers or old fashioned bloomers.

    The WTA get a bit of free advertisment from the print and electronic medias when risque type kits are worn by the ladies. It does keep things interesting.

  10. Ooops,tracy really looks as if she was wearing diapers, hahaha. I think if someone wore her outfit now they would earn themeselves some publicity. Maybe Venus will be next, lol. 😉

  11. Francesca, when I think of recent tennis fashion worth a place in a museum I also think of Sharapova’s US Open 2007 dresses, they were perfect in every way: looked perfect on her, perfect suit for NYC, and perfect for the occasion of a Grand Slam. Plus, the colors were amazing, red and black, what more elegance and sophistication can you ask for.

    El and Marine, I can picture Wozniacki in those diapers for some reason. Maybe because she has that sweet style.


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