Tennis Identity

Nike’s angels. Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams at Wimbledon 2009.

Maria_Sharapova_Wimbledon Nike 09 There's a whole lot of tailored going on at Nike tennis these days, at least when it comes to outerwear.  I'm talking specifically about Sharapova's Wimbledon jacket and S. Williams' coat. Stepping on court both women are buttoned up in fashionably constructed military and business classics.You saw Federer's jacket too.

The jackets however cover two different fit-for-angels tennis dresses. Not an epaulet or stiff detail in sight. Nice contrast.

According to Nike, Maria worked alongside the development team to come up with this dress that combines aesthetic appeal and performance. It certainly is a lot less fussy than her dress in Paris.

Different textures and inset shapes combine to create volume at the bottom of the dress, which enables better motion and easier leg movement. No-sew construction of the shorts and back of the dress reduces friction against the skin and eliminates excess fabric and bulk. It looks comfortable and has some great back detailing.

 Maria’s warm-up jacket is a structured Old World Russia military style providing a striking counter-balance to the free form of the dress.

No word yet on whether or not these pieces will be at retail. It is doubtful based on Nike's track record with Maria-style this year.Serena_Williams_Wimbledon Nike 09

Serena's trench coat is a showpiece. This season Nike re-masters it with a nod to a traditional English Macintosh. The detailing includes a double breasted lapel front and English Mac-inspired gun flaps at back which release heat while she warms up.

 The trench is customizable and the bottom skirt can be removed. Serena will wear it two different ways, with an elongated handkerchief hem to conceal her dress underneath, and also as a cropped length biker-style silhouette. She will wear this while walking on and off of the court, as well as for her pre-match warm-up. Hugely doubtful this will be available at retail but it's cool.

Serena’s dress, on the other hand, is about soft tailoring. The beauty is in the simplicity, but viewed up close it has extreme attention to detail. There are saddle stitched seams strategically placed throughout to ensure a great fit. A drop waist elongates the torso, and the bottom hem features a small bustle with mesh box pleats at the back of the dress.

I personally love white on the tennis court and often think that simpler is better when it comes to fashion.

Editor's after-note: Confirmed. Serena's dress is the Athlete Court Dress, $100 available soon at Nike and Tennis-Warehouse. Her coat, Maria's jacket and Maria's dress, just for them.