Between all the chaos and uncertainty that has ensued since the athletes first arrived, we may have forgotten what the tennis is really about.
Each year, your favourite players take to the court in varying combinations of runners, sweatbands and spandex, mixing their personal flair with their multimillion-dollar sponsorship deals.
This year, the most remarkable standout is tennis legend Serena Williams’ debut outfit, which she wore to defeat Laura Siegemund.
Williams wowed in a pink, red and black one-legged, asymmetric catsuit by Nike.
The pink Nike catsuit, though fashionable in its own right, was a nod to the late US track and field athlete, Florence Griffith Joyner.
“I was inspired by Flo-Jo, who was a wonderful track athlete, amazing athlete, when I was growing up,” Williams said.
“Watching her fashion, just always changing. Her outfits were always amazing.
“The Nike team actually thought of this design of inspiration from Flo-Jo. I was like, ‘Oh, my God, this is so brilliant’.
“That’s where we started. Obviously we made some changes and tweaks to it. It became this.”
Florence Griffith Joyner’s name isn’t mentioned enough for me in the discussions of greatest American athletes. The world records she set in 1988 in the 100 & 200 still stand. And she did it all while styling on the rest of the field. pic.twitter.com/kmkhwFyDrL
— Reid (@RVAReid) February 2, 2021
Flo-Jo died in 1998 at age 38, after suffering a severe epileptic seizure in her sleep.
She still holds the women’s world record for 100 metres and 200 metres.
As Williams continues to stride ahead in sport and style, some of our other AO hopefuls are committing all sorts of crimes against fashion.
Less than impressed
Greece’s golden boy, Stefanos Tsitsipas, really got into the Australian spirit with a questionable forrest-green and highlighter-yellow moment with some unfortunate sweat patches.
The worst outfit of @AustralianOpen goes to #adidas for #tsitsipas ! How can a brand even produce this trash? The color, the materials? It all looks like he is ignoring the toilet break right now… 📼 @Eurosport_RU pic.twitter.com/vld9ts4BJ4
— Daniil N. (@daniil_ndg) February 9, 2021
Tennis fanatics took to Twitter to mercilessly mock the Adidas-sponsored outfit, with one fan likening it to a dirty olive martini.
Tsitsipas what is the dirty olive martini outfit !! 🤮
— Eliza Larkin (@Notshabbyat50) February 9, 2021
Canadian Milos Raonic also had fans talking about his ill-matched New Balance ensemble, which seemed less an ‘outfit’ and more ‘some items chosen at random’.
Raonic wore neon peach shorts and shoes, matched with a charcoal polo and an out-of-place blue headband.
Raonic's lack of outfit colour coordination is really quite disconcerting
— Byron 🏳️🌈 (@ByronStol) February 14, 2021
Following Raonic down the orange and black drain was Japan’s Naomi Osaka, who sported a similar look.
Osaka took to the court in a bright orange skirt over a charcoal and black catsuit, and fans were less than impressed.
The Nike-sponsored getup is a stark reminder of why we banished the leggings and skirt look to the early 2000s.
I really want Osaka to not wear this outfit
— .keishaE (@kingzoya_xx) February 16, 2021
The Kmart special
Melbourne-based star Thanasi Kokkinakis proved you don’t need a multimillion-dollar Nike sponsorship to win.
The 24-year-old had his first win in six years, but when asked why he was wearing a plain black T-shirt on the court rather than a brand, he revealed his humbling purchase.
“Mate, Kmart special!” Kokkinakis said in an interview.
“I went to Chadstone [shopping centre], bought some $6 tees and went to work. I just felt comfortable in it.”
Another talked-about moment of Australian Open fashion was Alexander Zverev and his white singlet.
Adidas made a monumental oversight by dressing the German player in a top commonly referred to as a “wife beater”.
Zverev is currently facing allegations of domestic violence from his former girlfriend Olga Sharypova.
Sharypova claims he hit her head into a wall and choked her during their 13-month relationship.
Twitter users were quick to notice and comment on the irony in Zverev’s attire.
No one on Zverev’s team thought that maybe he shouldn’t wear a shirt that could be referred to as a “wife beater”?
— Matt (@PushingFool) February 8, 2021