It’s time for my first Grand Slam fashion overview of the year. The COVID-19 pandemic greatly messed up the 2021 Australian Open, but organizers managed to keep their head above water and, given the circumstances, we can say that the tournament was a success. When it comes to the WTA fashion, apparel manufacturers were as busy as ever and there were just as many collections released as in the previous years.
Because of strict measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, my photographer Jimmie48 wasn’t able to travel to Melbourne this time, so I’ll use Twitter embeds to illustrate my article. Shopping links below are affiliate, which means that I will earn a commission if you purchase something.
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) February 8, 2021
Serena Williams continues to dominate the sport’s fashion even at the age of 39. When the 23-time Grand Slam champion turned pro in 1995, a lot of her current competitors were not even born. This fortnight at the Australian Open, the American showed up in a jaw-dropping asymmetrical catsuit inspired by the late track star Florence Griffith Joyner. The one-legged design and pink/red colorblocks make this one of Serena’s boldest looks ever.
Sneaker Watch 👀@naomiosaka hit the court at the Australian Open wearing an unreleased Nike PE 🔥👟#MadefortheW pic.twitter.com/YRbIakvWdy
— MADE for the W (@madeforthew) February 15, 2021
Just like her legendary colleague mentioned above, Naomi Osaka rocks a custom Nike outfit, hers being a camo-printed catsuit layered with a vibrant coral skirt.
Night sessions are the best 🔥 ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/NBxtr8Rznq
— Elina Svitolina (@ElinaSvitolina) February 11, 2021
As you probably know, my absolute favorite this fortnight is the NikeCourt collection worn by Elina Svitolina, Aryna Sabalenka, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova, and others. If I had to pick just one outfit, it would be this beige version of the Spring Slam Melbourne Tank and Skirt, although the purple and white options are just as stunning.
The tank includes a cutout in the front and thick crisscross back straps with an O ring. The pleated skirt has a diagonal cut, which exposes the printed built-in shortie and contrast color side pocket. The skirt’s colorblocking follows the asymmetrical hemline.
End of an era?
Australian Open champs Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka confirm that they will put their hugely successful partnership on partial hold.
Sabalenka wants to focus on singles, conserve her energy. But the duo will play a few 1000/500 events together. #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/IqCwJzEnap
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) February 19, 2021
Soon-to-be doubles world No.1 Aryna Sabalenka promoted the Spring Melbourne Dress from this range inspired by heritage Nike ACG style. The Belarusian won the Australian Open doubles title with Lotto-sponsored Elise Mertens, who wore the Spring Tech Print Top and coordinating shorts.
During yesterday’s match I realized just how much I’ve missed you all in the stands! The energy and emotions were indescribable – it’s why I love to play!
Im grateful for the support and all the messages! 💙
Also a huge thanks to @craig_tiley and the entire TA team!! pic.twitter.com/GVTWjNeiim
— Karolina Muchova (@karomuchova7) February 19, 2021
Semifinalist Karolina Muchova combined the Prime Blue Match Tank and Prime Blue Match Skirt, from PRIMEBLUE x HEAT.RDY collection, which makes another step forward in Adidas‘ goal to completely phase out the use of virgin polyesters by 2024.
Angelique Kerber chose the yellow Y-Tank and wild pine Match Skirt.
Garbine Muguruza‘s navy dress with dramatic yellow-accented cutout in the back brings back the beachwear vibes of the famous Adidas jumpsuit that Caroline Wozniacki wore when she clinched the 2018 Australian Open title.
Kristina Mladenovic‘s Adidas tank shows a graphic map of the Great Barrier Reef, meant to raise awareness about the ecosystem threatened by pollution. This new Adidas x Parley line is a collaborative effort intended to stop plastic waste from reaching the oceans, as the high-performance items are made with upcycled plastic water bottles, etc.
Eventually, Ashleigh Barty prevails.
The World No.1 defeats fellow Australian 6-1, 7-6(7), advancing to the third round.#AusOpen pic.twitter.com/LJ6sgu9cRQ
— Biola Solace-Chukwu (@Beeorlicious) February 11, 2021
Ashleigh Barty was clad in Fila‘s Back Court collection that combines colors navy, lime and light purple. The Australian has recently extended her partnership with the company that celebrates its 110th anniversary this year.
The defending champion is out!
Sofia Kenin falls 6-2 6-3 to Kaia Kanepi in the #AusOpen second round pic.twitter.com/Yn3JRM5RuK
— ESPN India (@ESPNIndia) February 11, 2021
The 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin sported the solid purple Fila Spring Yumi Dress from the same collection.
Venus Williams played with a zebra print in the mint colorway. At the Australian Open she launched the EleVen Queen Skater Dress, as well as separates: the EleVen Forest Zebra Race Day Tank and Fly 13″ Skirt. The collection is called Forest Star.
Finalist Jennifer Brady is working the light blue Asics Spring Match Dress, a slightly conservative design that features a higher neckline and full-coverage back. Generous mesh panels provide ventilation.
Several neatly placed stripes on a white polo and a bit of asymmetry in a pleated tennis skirt give a whole new life to a classic tennis outfit, as we can see on Anett Konaveit. Lacoste is a master of reinventing traditional on-court style.
These things happen my Coco-pie ☹️ @CocoGauff
Arena was packed because of you irrespective pic.twitter.com/8MVWzGA5Jl
— Boitumelo 👑🐝 (@MissLekhudu) February 11, 2021
Coco Gauff‘s custom New Balance dress features fading stripes at chest and skirt. The American teenager’s nails match the orange and blue colors of her dress.
UPSET: @sorana_cirstea defeats No.9 seed Kvitova 6-4, 1-6, 6-1.pic.twitter.com/5y77bL5nJb
— wta (@WTA) February 10, 2021
New Balance‘s regular Spring 2021 collection is all about summery orange, officially called citrus punch. Sorana Cirstea promoted the Spring Print Tournament Dress, a striped item featuring contrast cross-back straps and side vents.
💪 Giant-killer Su-Wei Hsieh sure loves the big stage.
Converting her third match point, Hsieh def. 8th seed Andreescu 6-3 6-2 #AusOpen | #AO2021 pic.twitter.com/2N0EuknOsK
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 10, 2021
Hsieh Su-Wei is a fashion icon of her own kind. The current doubles world No.1 who reached the singles quarterfinals this year at the Australian Open doesn’t have a clothing sponsor, so her outfit is a mixture of logos — Adidas visor, New Balance tank and skirt, Nike shoes.
Barbora Strycova debuted this dress last summer. It’s the work of Czech designer Jan Cerny.
What do you say about tennis dresses worn in Melbourne? Which WTA outfit is your favorite?
AUSTRALIAN OPEN FASHION IN RECENT YEARS:
- 2020: Nike splashes the courts with watercolor prints, Adidas goes purple, Fila brings colorful play
- 2019: Oceans, tattoos, ’90s inspire WTA fashion in Melbourne
I think its a pretty poor crop. For once I think Nike have hit the spot with a range of options that all look good and also look different enough so all the players don’t look the same. And I quite like the Asics dress. Otherwise – the Adidas colours are horrible and flatter nobody, the New Balance dress on Coco is too fussy and the one on Sorana doesn’t fit properly, Fila is too plain and boring and Lacoste (which I usually like) all over the place.
Boring blue on Brady! Who picked that?!
I think Serena’s definitely stands out. What an iconic look.
My favorite has to be Osaka’s
The color combo is just stellar the dark navy + bright mango is just sheer perfection.
My least favorite has to be Coco Gauff, not only im annoyed that she is always in the center of the attention, she doesnt have the result to back it up to earn those kind of privillage customed made dress.
For once, Nike kits are my faves, dress or separates (I still hate that purple they always use but the kits were really nice). I liked Serena’s suit but I’m not sure how to think about Osaka’s…
And as usual, I don’t like Lotto and lately I did not like Asics ones either…
I hope that we’ll see Venus’ kits on player in the future because they always seem perfect!
And btw Marija, would you know about Kasatkina? Has she been dropped by Nike?
Gin, I don’t have news about Kasatkina. From what I know, she’s still with Nike.
Thanks. I was surprised she did not wear the new kits during the Australian swing. They were not fit for her anyway but I’m not sure it is how it works, players are supposed to wear them anyway, no? I guess we will know for sure in the weeks to come.
Gin, that’s a good observation. You’re right. I think she should’ve worn the Melbourne collection. We’ll see very soon what will happen at upcoming tournaments.
Following up on the Kasatkina topic, she confirmed in her video that Nike cancelled her contract: https://t.co/YVbu8HPHjd?amp=1 (30:38)
Gin, thanks for sharing this interview. I’ve watched just 5 minutes, but I’ll watch the entire video later on. It looks very interesting. A lot of things to hear.