French Open is surely the home of stylish sportswear - and the women competing in this year's tournament certainly didn't disappoint in terms of effort. In fact, at ti' /> администрация Смоленск

Game, set and matching knickers: Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams are fashion aces at the French Open

Posted By kirano on 01.06.2010

If Paris is the world’s fashion capital, then the French Open is surely the home of stylish sportswear – and the women competing in this year’s tournament certainly didn’t disappoint in terms of effort.

In fact, at times it seemed that the risqué hems and necklines were attracting even more attention than the tennis – something of an achievement with the likes of the Williams sisters and Jelena Jankovic on the court.

One thing, at least, was consistent, and that was the rejection of the traditional white kit. Romania’s teen hopeful Simona Halep was the sole exception to this rule.

Serena Williams ..Maria Sharapova ..
 

Fashion aces: Serena Williams wore bright blue and neon green to play Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova yesterday; Maria Sharapova, right, looked chic in grey and brown last week

For the rest, pink, blue and yellow were the order of the day – no doubt an attempt by clothing sponsors to draw media attention to their brands.

Indeed Jelena Jankovic is sponsored by Reebok and Justine Henin by Adidas, which perhaps explains the vibrant hues.

But it was not the colours that were raising traditionalists’ eyebrows as much as the cuts, as the fashion trend for underwear as outerwear was very much in evidence on court.

 A lacy corseted bustier dress worn by Venus Williams looked better suited to a cocktail bar than tennis court – though the all too frequent flashes of nude knicker would have been inappropriate in any setting.

The burlesque-style dress, from her own fashion label Eleven, was worn without a slip, allowing a glimpse of bare skin beneath.

Venus Williams ..Venus Williams.Venus Williams

 

Racy: Venus Williams wore a burlesque-style dress of her own design on Friday (left), and again on Sunday with a long-sleeved T-shirt (centre), that was so short, it revealed her nude-coloured knickers beneath (right)

She said after the match on Friday against Swiss player Penny Schneiden: ‘Lace has never been done before in tennis, and I’ve been wanting to do it for a long time.

‘What’s the point of wearing lace when there’s just black under? The illusion of just having bare skin is definitely, for me, a lot more beautiful.’

It was clearly a favourite look for her, as she wore the same dress again, this time with a long-sleeved black T-shirt on top, to play in the third round against Nadia Petrova on Sunday.

Her sister Serena’s bright blue and neon green look was just as short, but a co-ordinating pair of shorts beneath her skirt at least made the high hemline look intentional, and the pretty pleated trim was a witty nod to the traditional tennis skirt.

Jelena Jankovic.Justine Henin.Stefanie Voegele.

 

Bright stars: Yesterday saw Serbian Jelena Jankovic play in a frilled yellow Reebok dress and Belgian Justine Henin wear bright pink; Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele wore bright red to play Serena Williams last week

Daring: Maria Sharapova wore a yellow Nike outfit with a multicoloured striped skirt for a match in Strasbourg 
 
Daring: Maria Sharapova wore a yellow Nike outfit with a multicoloured striped skirt for a match in Strasbourg

But her outfit was the least of her worries as she was forced to take a medical break due to dizziness during her match against Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the third round. Luckily she recovered enough to beat her opponent and join her sister later for the women’s doubles.

Maria Sharapova, with her modelling past and slender physique, was probably the most fashion-forward of all. Her grey and brown tennis dress looked elegant and bold without detracting from her game.

It was an improvement on a yellow top and multicoloured striped skirt worn for a tournament in Strasbourg on May 22, but she at least earns credit for taking a fashion risk.

Nadia Petrova.Samantha Stosur.Aravane Rezai .

 

The all blacks: Nadia Petrova in leggings playing against Venus Williams on Sunday; Australian Samantha Stosur on Saturday and French player Aravane Rezai in her eye-catching black and bronze dress

Exception: Romania's Simona Halep played in white  
 
Exception: Romania’s Simona Halep played in white

Equally interesting was the choice of French player Aravane Rezai, whose bronze and black lace-trimmed dress looked polished with her black visor and highlighted hair.

But not all players were so flamboyant. This is a sports event after all – though given the aforementioned, you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

Several players, like Australia’s Samantha Stosur, stuck to the opposite end of the monochrome spectrum in black, allowing for less attention on their outfits and more on their game.

Nadia Petrova smartly avoided revealing too much in her short skirt with knee-length leggings – something the Williams sisters will only wear for training.

Of course we are unlikely to see such a colourful display at Wimbledon later this summer, as the All-England tennis club stipulates that players must wear white.

But if Maria Sharapova’s military-style jacket and Roger Federer’s dapper waistcoat from last year are anything to go by, we can safely predict that it will be far from boring
By Tamara Abraham
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