My very first crush in the first grade was John McEnroe, and I will stand by that to this day. (My husband and I recently saw him at a Lakers game and I was as giddy as a schoolgirl all over again.) True, McEnroe had a wicked leftie slice serve, but it was his Sergio Tacchini that really gave him the edge. I mean…HOT.
Bjorn Borg certainly gave McEnroe a run for his money in Fila, pictured below. Sorry to say it Johnny Mac, but in this particular shot, advantage Borg:
But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Ellesse—and who rocks it better than Chris Lewis, circa 1982?
Around that time, The Foodinista had convinced her mother to part with a white Ellesse tennis jacket and I just thought I was the greatest thing since, well, McEnroe on grass. I would kill to still have that in my closet. Interestingly, I stumbled upon this shot of Guillermo Vilas decked out in Ellesse, despite the fact that for much of his career he was a Fila guy:
Of course where is Lacoste in all of this? I certainly remember wearing a lot of it as a kid, but I’m drawing a blank on who was wearing it on the court then. Anyone remember? In the meantime, let’s salute its creator, French tennis great René Lacoste, who founded the brand in 1929 at the height of his legendary career. Here is the man, the myth, the legend:
And finally, a shout out to Brit Fred Perry, whose superb contribution to the sport was inventing the sweatband!