The Look Is Scoring Aces on the Court


Color the U.S. Open hot pink, lime green, sky blue, citrus orange, anything but good old-fashioned white.

In tennis, fluorescent is in and tradition is out. This sport, locked for so long in the staid and proper, is making a new fashion statement.

Ivan Lendl is wearing a French Foreign Legion hat to protect himself from the sun. John McEnroe is wearing bandannas tied with a bow in back, and when he smeared his face with zinc oxide as a sun screen, he looked almost like a pirate.


What is this sport coming to?

Andre Agassi is the leader of The Look. The darling of the teeny bopper set showed up for his opening match on center court with a black beard that contrasted with his shoulder-length bleached blond hair and was accented by a gold earring.

Not exactly understated.

He wore black shorts over hot lime liner pants, a black-and-white shirt accented by hot lime sleeves--to match the liner pants, of course--and a lime-and-white headband.

Regardless, he was a winner Thursday night, beating Petr Korda 7-5, 5-7, 6-0, 6-4.

Asked about his outfit, Agassi said, “I like to feel good about what I wear. It is good for tennis. It adds color to it, no pun intended.”

It also adds dollars to the 20-year-old Agassi’s already substantial income. He has a fat endorsement deal with Nike, and The Look is spectacularly successful at the cash register.

“It’s image,” said Arthur Ashe, winner of three Grand Slam titles including the 1968 Open. “The 16-to-25 crowd loves the guy. They’d like to dress like that, too. And Nike loves it. It’s a far cry from what used to be the model at Wimbledon--staid white.”