Tennis Identity

KIT-icism: Australian Open Edition | The Goolagong Show

“Goolagong.” It’s Australian for “wearing a badass, Outback cowboy neckerchief with your traditional tennis whites.” Sure, Australian tennis queen, Evonne Goolagong, possessed a beautiful backhand, an uncanny ability to play the angles and multiple Australian Open titles. These facts are undeniable. But her ability to communicate “Australian” with one simple accessory should not be overlooked.

Evonne Goolagong
Image via Sveriges Tennis Museum

Like a fashion-forward dingo herder, Goolagong, selected a twisted and knotted handkerchief, casually worn about the neck, over mundane, yet practical, tennis add-ons like an elasticized, terrycloth headband or a sun-shielding visor. Evonne’s message is clear, “I’m just as happy corralling a volley as I am corralling a herd of sheep in the bush, mate”.

The only possible way to be more “Aussie” on court would have been playing mixed-dubs with a jack (a male kangaroo, for those of you not familiar with Oz slang). Let’s all raise a ridiculously large can of Fosters to the great Aussie champ and tie one on. A neckerchief, that is.

Eric Panke has worked 20+ years in advertising and prefers white tennis shoes. Follow on Twitter: @twoPANK

Sign up for our weekly email