Take heart, sartorialists: This cool young year's premier major event reveals that, in general, the styles are set to be fresh and clean. This bodes well for the decade ahead in tennis fashion.
With the brushfires underway for weeks and months in Australia, this bears mention: The various makers of these kits on the backs of both the competitors Down Under and club-league players the world over would be serving the public, and the globe itself, by starting or continuing eco-friendly practices. That's worth saying here; that's worth saying continually.
With that, let's get to the top style points on court at this Australian Open.
Andrey Rublev, Tommy Paul, Felix Auger Aliassime, and more showed that some Next Gen chutzpah can make a polo's loud print work. They've got gall, they've got style. All credit goes to Melbourne-based textile designer Cassie Byrnes, who Nike scoped out nearly two years ago for the collaboration.
Also in Nike, Belinda Bencic—sedately outfitted compared to many of her peers in the House of Swoosh—came off low-key radiant in bright but pale separates. Modern and elegant.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands brought her Lucky in Love partnership to Australia with "Night at the Opera"–themed kits that, yes, bring the rock band Queen to mind. BMS herself is a rock star of style in tennis—for one, is that hot magenta? The looks provide her with ultra-comfy compression waistbands, sharp geometric angles in the skirting (drumming up the Sydney Opera House's architecture), and the opportunity to flex her individuality. All that, combined with her punk-pixie haircut, keeps Mattek-Sands atop the sport's heap of unique personalities.
Anett Kontaveit and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, wearing Lacoste, showed off a spirited dress, navy with light-blue and yellow panels, that looked sensibly comfortable and high-end at the same time.
Kontaveit's quarter-zip front offered a sleek added detail, in our post–Dominika Cibulkova world.
Though offbeat in her upset loss to Coco Gauff, Naomi Osaka won out in a clean, seemingly watercolor-driven look from Nike partner Cassie Byrnes.
BEST DRESSED (men): A vision in a verdant hue, Novak Djokovic and Lacoste got it so right in this first major of the 2020s. This is the look of someone primed to take the title.
A resounding racquet clap for Nao Hibino in a tastefully sophisticated look from Yonex.
Fila continued its run of modernized classics with the kits doled out to Diego Schwartzman and others on the men's side. The striped short was a tacitly fantastic touch. He's not venting; he's vintage.
Sam Querrey, Reilly Opelka, and others in the Fila stable enjoyed a quasi–hunter green polo-and-shorts ensemble that was the epitome of handsome stateliness.
BEST DRESSED (women): In her final professional showing, perennial fashionista Caroline Wozniacki, joined by fellow Stella McCartney muse Garbine Muguruza, rocked a lovely frock. Take a bow, Sweet Caroline.
Peachy-pink and pale-purple colorways combined with a flattering silhouette and breathable fabric for a surefire fashion victory.
In lavender almost-animal print provided by longtime partner Nike, part of the Cassie Byrnes collab, Serena Williams was a pillar of excellence in style. The sole element that caused consternation: that double-skirting, a bit matronly, though less obvious when in full flight.
In Asics, Iga Swiatek made the point that sometimes less is more. Subtlety can be effective.
Frances Tiafoe showed that all Nike's statement-making stars needed to truly pull off (or on) those shorts was a polo shirt that perfectly complemented them. Pity he bowed out in round 1 to Daniil Medvedev.
Her frame adorned in her eponymous EleVen label's Neon Dreams collection, Venus Williams revealed a decidedly modern, electric design, if for one round only.
Best Warmup Gear
You have to hand it to Grigor Dimitrov. He got people talking with his proud track-suit walk-on, and he backed it up by trotting it out more than once. Once again—advantage, Byrnes.
If you've a style statement of your own to share, tweet me at @jonscott9. In the meantime, to the AO fashion faults we go.