First, let’s start with a little mood music…and, as a tribute to the DJ at Stadium 1 here at Indian Wells, let’s pick something from before most of the players were born.
For those of us watching the BNP Paribas Open this year, it’s hard not to notice the myriad green shirts gracing the courts, thanks to Nike’s latest team theme. Needless to say, it’s a long way from the all white ensembles they designed for Andre Agassi, though perhaps not a far cry from the hot pink/acid wash combo he also made famous. Here are a few of this year’s most memorable looks from Indian Wells:
Exhibit A: Green on Green on Green on….
That’s a lot of look. Of course, Nick adds the tongue wag to it, which actually is the perfect accessory. You almost feel like he could add a seafoam bandanna and still rock the look. Delpo, on the other hand, manages to look like himself in spite of the look. One can almost imagine him picturing himself on his bench, probably shirtless, and far away from the busy-ness of that outfit.
Exhibit B: Sometimes a Skirt is Better
Whatever my qualms may be about this particular Nike line, I think we can all agree that the skirt is fantastic. It was so great that seeing it on both Eugenie Bouchard and Annika Beck was a welcome sight. Somehow the geometric pattern really pops on a skirt, and somehow the other greens in the ensemble — whether in the shirt or the visor — seem less jarring in this iteration. It helps that Nike has chosen a lighter green for the shirt — but, fuddy duddy that I am, I will say that I’m not a fan of the belly shirt option here. Just as a matter of performance, I can’t imagine that the cropped top adds much (especially not in the nearly 100 degree weather we have seen in the desert this year). But, then, perhaps function isn’t the top priority here, either.
Exhibit C: We Do It Our Way
Now we’ve moved to the, “we’ll wear what we want, Nike” section of the sponsor-ate. It’s populated by four people — Roger, Rafa, Serena and Maria. With Serena absent due to injury and Maria still suspended, we’re left with Roger and Rafa as the ones to refuse the call to imitate the Jolly Green Giant. In what is a rarity in the Fedal wars, I can’t say that I can pick one I like better — as usual, each has chosen a path that suits his particular style — Rafa embracing the bold, bright colors, while Roger stays with the jewel tones, perfect for his night-time debut at this year’s tournament. While I wouldn’t put this green shirt at the top of their best-outfit lists, like with everything else, they still manage to wear it well.