The Grand Slam of 2020 quickly became the Treading Lightly Trio of major events, and all who competed in them deserved points just for showing up. Some also earned style points—somehow, some way—through the thick of it, through the life lessons we all learned in living through a global pandemic.
Here, a countdown of the top 10 match-fashion moments of the COVID-19 era (to date).
Novak Djokovic found it sleek and easy being green Down Under, and used his standout Lacoste kit to secure his eighth Australian Open title and his 17th major overall. He also regained the No. 1 ranking, defeated Roger Federer in straight sets along the way, and became the first Open-era ATP player to win major titles in three separate decades. Style points and records abounded for Djokovic, potentially the future GOAT, in Melbourne.
Sporting Hydrogen, Egor Gerasimov relished in a stylish pattern that, as this style writer said at the time, "looked like the geometry of Pac-Man paths, in the best way." A great hem on the legs of the shorts saw it hit his upper-leg tattoo just where it should, no doubt the designer's and player's intention. It was so well done at the delayed Roland-Garros event.
The portrait of an assassin in all-black Adidas, Garbine Muguruza was actually taken out in the third round at Roland-Garros, if in a sloppy match (mostly due to conditions) against Danielle Collins. Muguruza remains a wardrobe master, and as shared then, "the shoulder detail and skirt hemming that took the look up a couple notches."
Frances Tiafoe looked the epitome of Nike modernity in Melbourne, with a solid polo rocked above statement shorts (a local maker's design) and fresh kicks. That headband and facial hair—a natural accessory for those who can truly pull it off—made this look a stunner.
Hair apparent Jeffrey John aka JJ Wolf won the title as the US Open's "mane draw" was concerned. The tennis Twitterati were abuzz about the Ohio native's follicles. Also, he wore Lotto.
After sitting out the preceding-in-this-year-only major in New York, Rafael Nadal turned heads with that stripe down the thigh on always impeccably tailored Nike shorts. As with Djokovic at the Aussie Open, Nadal would take this definitive look and run with it, seizing on his, well, unprecedented 13th Roland-Garros singles title.
Nike knows. Bedecked in near–animal print with lavender background, part of the House of Swoosh's collab with Melbourne designer Cassie Byrnes, Serena Williams slayed the style game. The double-skirting might have made for a bit excessive use of fabric, but you know what, it was that pre-coronavirus heyday we all relished.
Byrnes again: Andrey Rublev, Felix Auger Aliassime, and more rocked her rather loud polo design. These youngsters are our fashion future on the ATP side.
Sporting her Lucky in Love line Down Under, Bethanie Mattek-Sands' "Night at the Opera"–themed kits rocked the blue courts. The skirting's geometry-inspired angles were said to invoke the Sydney Opera House's architecture,. As written then, "All that, combined with her punk-pixie haircut, keeps Mattek-Sands atop the sport's heap of unique personalities."
Naomi Osaka looked like the world-beater she already was and again proved to be in Queens. The colorways of her day-session Nike kit seemed to reference her 2017 look for Adidas—a fitting self-homage, at that. Then the night-session "glow of fluorescent green married with regal purple and black" were unrivaled, as this fashion scribe wrote at the time. She stylishly sealed it all with her third major title.
As semi-faulted then also: At nighttime, a purple shoe wouldn't worked wonders to avoid the color clash. Otherwise it might've risen to No. 1 on this roster.
Peachy-pink and pale-purple hues joined sartorial forces with a lovely shape that adorned Muguruza's physique, in Adidas, at the Aussie Open.
Stella McCartney's tennis-fashion muse for a few years now, Caroline Wozniacki took a stylish bow in that same look on her way out the door of pro tennis.
You can relive, in relieved fashion, the top on-court looks from all three majors played in 2020: Aussie Open, US Open, and (running last, for once) Roland-Garros. Here's to what comes in 2021 style, hopefully ascending a few rungs on the style ladder based on a less disrupted designing-to-manufacturing process and the return of Wimbledon's pristine all-white vibes.