Peter Bodo's TennisWorld - Dressing Roger
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Dressing Roger 06/22/2009 - 4:06 PM

Weenie by Pete Bodo

Mornin'. Wimbledon is underway, right? Everyone is getting back into 14-days-in-the-tennis-hole watching mode, warming up that right-handed move to the bowl full of orange food (How can Cheetos be bad for you if they're just crunchy air?), the faster-than-Twitter skitter on the keyboard or (if you're lucky enough) the remote. . . It's time to warn the neighbors - that scream or bellow they're going to hear is not you killing the cat, it's you agonizing over the fact that Agnes Szavay just had her serve broken to go down a set and a break!

Given all this, it's really strange to recognize that for a handful of people, Wimbledon isn't just beginning - it's already over. The Wimbledon website doesn't provide scorecards (although you can find those ever valuable if not entirely convincing match stats), so I'm not entirely certain I've got this right, but judging by the scores I believe that the first player to lose at Wimbledon was Petra Cetkovska, who was beaten in an hour and seven minutes in the first match of the first day on Court 5 by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-2, 6-2.

A moment of silence for Petra, please. Her Wimbledon of 2009 is over before it ever really began, and certainly long before it began for most players and the lion's share of tennis fans. I've often thought it must be an awful bummer to be out of Wimbledon an hour into it, and that's probably one good reason to keep doubles and mixed on the program. It affords downtrodden players the opportunity to hang around and savor the unique atmosphere at Wimbledon, and to bask in their glory as top tennis professionals in tennis's equivalent of the fur trade's legendary Rendezvous. If it weren't for doubles, all of Monday night you might be hearing the plop-plop-plop of bodies falling into the Thames from any of London's picturesque and historic bridges. Fog or no fog.

Cetkovska is a 24-year old Czech, and she's only escaped the first round at a major twice in eight attempts, although one of those occasions looks almost like a career run: She got to the fourth round at Roland Garros in 2008, which makes you wonder if those were all live bodies she elbowed out of the way - especially because her favorite shots are the volley and serve, and her surfaces of choice are hardcourt and grass. Hmmmmm. . .  you could forgive Cetkovska if she went home, looked in the mirror, and hissed, "Petra, I don't even know who you are anymore."

But while it's fun fooling around with these details, let's remember that Cetkovska is (or has been, according to ranking) one of the best 50 women tennis players. . . on the face of the earth. Which gives her a degree-of-distinction I certainly can't match, even if you can. So I'm glad she still has doubles, although it isn't what you would call major comfort - she has yet to win her first doubles match at a major.

But hey, the doubles doesn't really get going for a few more days and, given the customary Wimbledon rain delays, Petra might have locker room privileges for at least two or three more days - plenty of time to for her to take advantage of the perks offered to main draw players, and to be accosted by giggling school kids with their autograph books as she makes her way through the crowds jammed into the walkways while carrying her giant racket bag and looking tres cool in her predominantly-whites. She may also get to rub shoulders in the player's mess with her favorite player, Roger Federer, whom she likes because, in her own words, "He's a great player and a good person."

Federer may be a great player and a good person but his latest fashion statement once again suggests that he wants to be taken for some kind of a swell - which is probably not even remotely close to the truth, but if Roger can't control the message, who can?  This latest get-up is something you expect to see on a cruise ship host - check that - someone playing the part of one in a campy television show. It's distressing that Federer, who (admirably enough) claims to love "tradition" should be party to what amounts to a grotesque parody of it. Who's he trying to be, Big Bill Tilden - or some Don Ho cut loose on the greensward?

What's most surprising to me is that Roger doesn't seem to get it. I suspect that the Nike designers and marketing folks must come to him and fill him up with a bunch of hooey about what an "ambassador" he is for all things traditional and he goes all weak in the knees and capitulates to one cockamamie fashion disaster after another. The 14-time Grand Slam champ and budding fashionista turns commercial chump and, like some unsuspecting kid brother, lets his sister and her friends play dress-up with him. What next, lipstick and mom's pumps?

I bring this subject up partly because it has deja vu written all over it, and I'm not just talking about the ongoing process of Roger's dandification. Remember Andre Agassi's early years? Nike dressed Andre up in a series of Bozo the Clown outfits, driven by what probably was a similar urge to overstatement. In context, this goes by the name of client positioning and identification, and unless the client in question is very savvy, the drive to secure him in a niche - and the existence of a niche takes over the process.

In Andre's case, the niche was colorful young rebel, wreaking havoc on a game for old men and ladies prancing around in white. We saw where it led (hot pink spandex running leggings under charcoal gray shorts, among other things) The only thing Nike didn't do in its effort to capture "market share" among mall rats was pass out a free pack of cigarettes with every shirt they sold. And all that hurt Andre among those who didn't see through the ghastly commercial realities of it all.

In Roger's case, the niche is proud and unapologetic snob (or what that talented rebel caught and re-educated early enough could become, kind of like Bob Geldof). And in any event, it's a different, older and wealthier demographic. Roger seems to be standing up to be counted as a lucky, privileged Porsche-driving, mummsy-loving, polo-watching, country club dandy.

Why would anyone want to be portrayed as either of those creatures, you might be inclined to wonder, and are there enough of either type to warrant dumping so much Big Money into these campaigns? That's where it gets a little tricky, but also strategically nuanced. I noticed in the comments the other day that someone remarked that you can't even buy half the stuff you see Roger swanning around in, so what's the point?

I have to confess that I personally never went out to try to find an R/F manpurse, or a blazer with the astrological signs and laurel wreaths all over it, but doesn't it make sense that the stuff isn't available? I mean, if every Tom, Dick and Harry could go out to Target and pick up a Roger Federer Wimbledon blazer, what would that do for Roger's snob appeal, or the underlying theme of these campaigns, which is that he's Roger Federer and you're not?

On the other hand, if you really identify with The Mighty Fed, and have made your peace with the idea that you are not now, nor ever will be, be mistaken for a guy as classy and steeped in tennis tradition as Roger, you can express your fan-love and low self-esteem by scurrying off to the Nike store to buy a really nice $40 white t-shirt with the RF logo on the chest (and it's even bigger than that annoying polo player on the Ralph Lauren shirts, woo hoo!). That ought to be good enough for you, because like we said - he's Roger Federer and you're not.

To some degree, Nike must have been paying attention when its prized tennis client was hobnobbing at all those fashion shows with Anna Wintour. Nobody wears those bizarre costumes you see models parading on the catwalks either, right? They're "art", right? None of you regular folks need to buy or wear that stuff; the t-shirt or, if you must put on airs or want to get closer to the flame, $65 tennis polo ought to be just fine.

Tiger Well, I think it's great that Roger is trying to be mindful of tradition and all that, but we've passed the tipping point on that one. And while I'm not a big golf fan, it seems to me that Nike came a lot closer to getting it right with that other budding immortal, Tiger Woods. Every time I've caught a glimpse of Tiger on a golf course, he's been dressed in really appealing and completely appropriate gear - stuff that's elegant in a streamlined, sporty, functional way. How come Nike declined to dress Tiger in Bobby Jones-style knickers, with a cabbie cap? Could it be that Tiger just said, "No way!"

Roger may enjoy all this elaborate role-playing in a harmless way; down deep he probably thinks it's really cool that he can go out there looking so Brideshead Revisited and still leave opponents bleeding from the eardrums. But I think these costumes really send an awful, reactionary message, and can't help but think that Roger's being naive. It may be cool to look like an utter weenie and then kick buttski left and right, rubbing the dirt of your greatness in everyone's face. But at the end of the day, too many people are going to see Roger's kit and think: Guy's a heckuva tennis player, but he looks like such a weenie. I guess that's still what tennis is all about.

In the big picture, Roger Federer deserves to have a better image than that, and tennis certainly could be better represented as a sport that transcends all the socio-economic associations and stereotypes Federer's recent costumes conjure up. Roger, you're being used. Man up, call and ask Tiger about it.


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Posted by moe276 06/22/2009 at 04:16 PM

first?

Posted by ThyGodisTennis 06/22/2009 at 04:17 PM

Hallelujah!

Thank you for this post.

How am I supposed to introduce my friends to tennis and explain how amazing The Mighty Fed is in that outfit?

Posted by Djerkovic 06/22/2009 at 04:19 PM


I wonder why people call Roger "girly-man" for crying often in public

did you not see Pete Sampras cry for almost 18 minutes at his induction?

Pete was the biggest cry-baby in tennis.

Posted by Fashion disaster 06/22/2009 at 04:22 PM

Awesome. Keep 'em coming, Pete.

Posted by moe276 06/22/2009 at 04:22 PM

heyy...it's my first time as a first :) .. feels good...

Posted by Ryan 06/22/2009 at 04:26 PM

Gee Roger, can't you just dress like everyone else? Careful--you might turn into a homo!

Posted by og 06/22/2009 at 04:26 PM


oh come on, there's nothing wrong with Roger's fashion.

he passes the aesthetic test.

Oscar dela Hoya the Boxer had black lingerie and fishnet stockings.

Shaquille ONeal used the thong.

Posted by Nick 06/22/2009 at 04:26 PM

Clearly, Federer has a highly developed feminine side.

Posted by ax 06/22/2009 at 04:28 PM

how about rafa's more sober attire designed to appeal to 45 year old mums and do away with the 'rebel' image?

45 year old mums suddenly go out in hordes and buy strawberry pink tees for their adolescent sons hoping that makes them feel pansy and hence stay unrebellious?

haven't they noticed that rafa's manners are not exactly rebellious. haven't seen a more good-son-type in a while.

nike is a joke.

Posted by Nam1 06/22/2009 at 04:28 PM

Thanks for this post, Pete.

We really needed it!!

Posted by Cosi 06/22/2009 at 04:29 PM

Oh for heaven's sakes, I hope you are being facetious about the supposed significance of Roger's outfit, whether one likes it or not, it's not a big deal. I loved his jacket with astrology signs on it,and didn't mind the cashmere, thought it was very elegant. This latest offering is different and modernistic, have to say the English press came up with "Cruise ship" captain before you did, and Im not seeing it that way myself. Roger could look awesome in anything, couldn't look like a weenie even in a dress most likely with that body, and I think he likes to have fun with his clothes at Wimbledon, why is it such a big deal to some people and blown out of proportion like it's got massive significance socially, or politically or whatever, every time he wears something new. Nobody on the other side of the net is affected by what Roger wears and wouldn't dare assume he was beateable because he had fancy clothes on, I think I could bet the farm on that. This is about FUN........... he doesn't hit forehands with his jackets, he just wears 'em for a minute or two as he comes out of the tunnel before matches and after. Pete, sometimes I think you have a massive inferiority complex about the sport you focus on to write about and represent, you fear that everyone sees it as a weenie sport, and are always begging for some guy to seem as (cave) MANLY as possible in everything they do, I'm surprised you don't advocate men putting fake body hair on their racquet grips to make people thin of testosterone., maybe it's you whom deep down in side, sees it as a weenie sport and that's why you worry so much about Federer's jackets. Let's remember, John McEnroe and those boys used to go out wearing what looks like tight fitting GIRLS HOT PANTS to people today, no guy in any sport would be caught dead wearing those girly short shorts they used to wear, yet their unmanly apparel in the 70's and 80's didn't ruin the sport for "real men" of today...

Posted by Cosi 06/22/2009 at 04:30 PM

oh, I guess I should have said "First" instead of writing a book.

Posted by Caterina 06/22/2009 at 04:31 PM

He looks like he what pullued out from Out of Africa. And, the manpurse with the gold sides is just way too much. Is is a remain from Serena's past collections?

Posted by ThyGodisTennis 06/22/2009 at 04:32 PM

It ain't a "homo" thing Ryan. It is just plain bad fashion that any male of any persuasion would look ridiculous in.

I mean this outfit has more to do with Liberace than tennis.

Posted by Caterina 06/22/2009 at 04:32 PM

ups!!!

where it says pullued, it should be read as pulled

and Is it a remain from Serena's past collections.

Posted by Djerkovic 06/22/2009 at 04:33 PM


Bodo's post is so centered on 'form' over 'substance'

we just had 'susan boyle' phenomenon two months ago,

and we're now back to 'image is everything.'

as long as Roger is not dressed inappropriately, what's your beef?

Posted by 70's tennis fan 06/22/2009 at 04:33 PM

Back in January (Australian Open) my 12 year old picked Feli Lopez to go through. Feli lost in the first round and was out of the tournament before that day (Monday) had even dawned here in the UK! We always tell my son that he was out of the Open before it began!!!

Of course the lovely Feli has just done that 1st round thing again, here at Wimbledon!

Off to SW19 myself on Wednesday and only found out today!!! Can't wait! Thank God for good friends!

Posted by fedfan 06/22/2009 at 04:34 PM

Amen on the duds, Pete. I agree that Woods' stuff looks about right for both the millionaire sports super-star and the aspiring duffer who wants to look well-dressed. I think Nike is limiting sales with Rogers' stuff by turning him out like a poncey poofter, not that I don't love me poofters, but this is tennis, not ice-skating. I think Roger and Nike should at least lose the gold. Roger's off-court wardrobe is always appropriately young Euro-jock, I don't understand how Nike talks him into some of these outfits, and this is from someone who didn't mind his cream-colored jacket of a few years ago.

Posted by Cosi 06/22/2009 at 04:35 PM

Posted by ax 06/22/2009 @ 4:28 PM

how about rafa's more sober attire designed to appeal to 45 year old mums and do away with the 'rebel' image?"

Again, I think folks put WAY too much significance in the color of what men wear and so forth. I heard he wore those colors because it had something to do with matadors, and he LIKED IT... wearing pink shirts of cashmere, or fancy jackets doesn't make men unmanly any more than a woman wearing athletic clothes suddenly becomes "manly". Do you all realize that years ago, every single WTA player would be considered incredibly unfeminine for even wearing sneakers or tape or wraps?? You can't judge a book by it's cover. Until Roger and Rafa and these guys start wearing women's clothes ( at which point you all might have reason to be worried about tennis' reputation), I think this obsession with how masculine they present themselves via fashion is strange and annoying.


Posted by Black Matt 06/22/2009 at 04:37 PM

I try to stay away from fashion discussions (it's the single thing I LOATHE about tennis) but I have to say...I find Federer's all-black ensemble at the US Open FAR more homosexual-leaning than this bag-toting one.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Federer's outfit, while foppish to me, still seems classy. His all black outfit suggests a more, dare I say it, "male-stripper" vibe.

Then again, my favorite player all of time, Sampras, practically wore boxer shorts on the court, so who cares. All I know is that the DISCUSSION of all these garments is far more bothersome than the garments themselves.

ESPECIALLY when I hear it talked about on ESPN.

Posted by Pspace (Lestat de SW19) 06/22/2009 at 04:40 PM

LOL, Pete. That's a rather serious opinion over an outfit. Is it really such a big deal?

Posted by Jimbo 06/22/2009 at 04:40 PM

Pete, I enjoy much of what you write but your fixation with Federer's clothing is getting tedious in the extreme. In the end, you seem to be saying more about your own peculiar cultural prejudices than anything more universal and frankly, if you don't like Federer's choice of clothing (I have no opinion) then shut your eyes until he steps on court for the first point.

Of all the wrong messages that tennis sends to television viewers the world over, this is just peanuts. Serena William's steroid enhanced figure (she is the most blatant but it is no less true of a great many big names, some with painful knees) sends out vastly more disturbing messages to the public at large.

So snap out of this obsession with Federer's preference for clothing you wouldn't wear!

Posted by Cosi 06/22/2009 at 04:40 PM

I think Nike is limiting sales with Rogers' stuff by turning him out like a poncey poofter, not that I don't love me poofters, but this is tennis, not ice-skating. I think Roger and Nike should at least lose the gold. Roger's off-court wardrobe is always appropriately young Euro-jock,"

Fed-fan, the gold is perfect for Roger, it has connotations of godhood,I hope he never loses the gold at Wimbledon. As far as limniting sales, at my local tennis club, in their pro shop, almost all the apparel they have is Roger stuff with his picture all over it. That jacket is not made for everybody, just like his fancy cream jacket was really just for him. Let him have fun, it's not that serious.

Posted by VC 06/22/2009 at 04:40 PM

"but doesn't it make sense that the stuff ought not be unavailable"

Triple negative there. My head ached for a while trying to process it, and then I gave up.

Posted by jb... (i miss wimby live!!) 06/22/2009 at 04:40 PM

yikes. while i think feddy looks goofy, i'm not thinking he's going to be responsible for the downfall of tennis here. I guess I don't take it all that seriously, even if fed did look like lu's steward, schlepping his gear for him onto court! which just managed to make me laugh, not cry.

(but yeah, nike has definately jumped the shark i think...)

pete btw, this am was a double stuff oreo day, though the cheetos are waiting for friday's match - should fed progress that far! :)

Posted by Lowry 06/22/2009 at 04:41 PM

I don't think those old socio-economic stereotypes apply to today's younger generation the way they did with our parents. Those of us that came of age in the 90's and later look at the world (art, music, food, etc) differently than our baby-boomer parents and greatest generation grandparents. We tend to decide for ourselves what we like and don't like, unlike some in the older generations who allowed themselves to be told what constitutes "snobby" or "regular Joe". Most of my friends have ipods with playlists containing pop as well as classical music, attend museum and science exhibits during the day, watch American Idol and the latest movies at night, and don't give a hoot about whether or not Roger reminds our parents of the snob in high school that made them feel less valuable. if this is what the greatest player in history looks like, then this is what the greatest player in history looks like. Live and let live.

Posted by girl from michigan 06/22/2009 at 04:42 PM

Mirka: Roger, that new Nike kit for Wimbledon is awful.

Roger: But... it's got a vest! And a military jacket!

Mirka: Exactly my point.

Roger: ~ face crumples and he begins to sniffle ~

Mirka: ~ long suffering sigh ~

Mirka: Fine. But you're going to regret this.

Posted by Beckham (Gulbis?! Le Sigh!) 06/22/2009 at 04:44 PM

"That's a rather serious opinion over an outfit. Is it really such a big deal?"

So much word...I keep thinking, really?! All this for one outfit?! Just unfreakingbelievable...

Posted by jb... (i miss wimby live!!) 06/22/2009 at 04:44 PM

70's tennis fan - have a blast on wed! should be lots of good tennis to see; even early rounds now adays are giving us great matchups. :)

Posted by CL 06/22/2009 at 04:45 PM

cosi - "Oh for heaven's sakes, I hope you are being facetious about the supposed significance of Roger's outfit, whether one likes it or not, it's not a big deal. I loved his jacket with astrology signs on it,and didn't mind the cashmere, thought it was very elegant. This latest offering is different and modernistic, have to say the English press came up with "Cruise ship" captain before you did, and Im not seeing it that way myself. Roger could look awesome in anything, couldn't look like a weenie even in a dress most likely with that body, and I think he likes to have fun with his clothes at Wimbledon, why is it such a big deal to some people and blown out of proportion like it's got massive significance socially, or politically or whatever, every time he wears something new. Nobody on the other side of the net is affected by what Roger wears and wouldn't dare assume he was beateable because he had fancy clothes on, I think I could bet the farm on that."

word. (or 2)

Posted by VC 06/22/2009 at 04:45 PM

girl from michigan : :-) :-) This was my (wishful) take on it:

-------------

I can just imagine the dialogue in the Federer household as he gets ready for his match.

Mirka : Your hair looks neat. Your vest and jacket are nice and pressed. Don't forget the bag.

Federer : Oh Mirka, must I take that thing on court again? I don't need any of the stuff in there!

Mirka : Yes. Now be a darling and do up the buttons on the jacket.

Federer : *grumbles under breath*

Mirka : What?

Federer : Oh, nothing.

Posted by DMS 06/22/2009 at 04:45 PM

i second both jb and beckham on this whole matter

Posted by Nam1 06/22/2009 at 04:46 PM

girl from michigan

ROFL

Posted by VC 06/22/2009 at 04:47 PM

It's all a bit of fun and games. Who cares about Nike's marketing audience, as long as the tennis is good?

Posted by Nam1 06/22/2009 at 04:49 PM

Jimbo, Please let's not start with the steroid accusations.
Let's stick to Roger's ugly clothes, shall we?

Posted by federerfan 06/22/2009 at 04:50 PM

100% agreed w/Pete on this one, never was able to agree like this in the past.

Has he forgotten that he LOST last year? Oh God what the heck is he doing?

Its like, having an argument with my spouse and feeling totally helpless, I can see all the negatives but have no way of influencing a change to happen.

It sucks to be a fed fan when the murse and fashion statements come out every year ! RG is already forgotten. blah!

I only hope, he IS being used and being a chump and not someone who really WANTS this crap. One last thing...I HATE THE RF LOGO (on anything and everything), its just your game that keeps people still hanging on to you buddy and you are testing them with this baloney! wisen up!

Posted by og 06/22/2009 at 04:51 PM


yeah, who cares about Roger's outfit

as long as the tennis is good.

Much ado about nothing -- these commentators who cant even play tennis.

Posted by Crazy-for-Rog 06/22/2009 at 04:51 PM

Pete ... you're taking this WAY too seriously. It's not like he's playing in the whole outfit ... he shows up to court in it, wears it for all of 5 mins before taking it off. It gets people talking, it draws attention to tennis. It's not a big deal, and I can promise you that Fed didn't spend any time mulling over whether it makes him a "snob" or whether he's being "used" by Nike ! He has far more serious things to think about, regarding his game and how he can beat the other players. This fashion stuff is just fun for him.

Posted by Crazy-for-Rog 06/22/2009 at 04:51 PM

From The Guardian:
---------------------
"With the assurance of a male model basking in a catwalk spotlight, Roger Federer arrived at ­Centre Court yesterday in yet another ­statement-making ensemble. Last year's preppy Brideshead Revisited-style cardigan was swiftly outshone in a flash of golden shoulder bag. This hulking specimen, crafted in his signature blend of white with gold details, naturally boasted his fancy RF crest and threatened to overshadow the rest of this year's rather snazzy get-up.

His jacket – best described as a suit jacket with utility styling (it featured three front pockets and one on his left arm's sleeve) – had the slight whiff of sailors and combat trousers about it. It is a far more souped-up look than the blazer he wore in 2007, which was a simple three-button affair. "It's kind of a little bit more of a modern look with the military, but staying true to Wimbledon with the white," he has said of the new jacket.

He may very well be on to something. The multi-pocketed jacket is a frontrunning trend for spring/summer 2010 if this weekend's latest men's fashion shows in Milan are anything to go by. Burberry and Gucci showed casual versions while a grey Versace suit featured four utility pockets on its front.
------------------

Posted by Kalle 06/22/2009 at 04:52 PM

Pete, can you make sure Roger reads this?
When you arrive next week, shake his hand and give him a printed copy.

Im a Federer fan, but when I saw him today I had to shake my head and laugh.

Posted by TennisFan2 06/22/2009 at 04:52 PM

TMF, really now, jacket, vest, murse:

TMJ
TMV
TMM

Look at the alphabet soup you've given us bloggers to go on about?!

As Pete said - 911 Tiger now...Do you think Tiger would EVER allow Nike to do this to him - NEVER - you look foolish and you are bringing tennis DOWN. Please, text Tiger now - there has got to be a way out of the gold lame TMJ, TMV and TMM...

Rafa's sleeveless look and biceps brought so many new fans into the fold and you are destroying it - PLEASE STOP THE INSANITY.

NIKE - ENOUGH!!! First the cardigan (which was bad enough) and then your people took Rafa's mojo away with Rafa's Easter kit (and the FO fuschia) but this is RIDICULOUS!

Posted by Grant 06/22/2009 at 04:54 PM

Call the sherpas, we're launching an expedition to the top of Mt. Molehill.

Posted by sblily (Meh > Wheeeee!!!/Vamos Maymo!) 06/22/2009 at 04:54 PM

First the article re: Rafa's sleeves and now this. Who knew Pete was such a fashionista? :D

Gotta say, I'm bothered by the tone of some of the comments here("homo-leaning," etc.). Maybe it's a cultural thing, though? Outfits viewed as emasculating in the U.S. aren't nearly as shocking in other cultures? *shrug*

My objection to the outfit are more straightforward: it looks fussy, cluttered, overworked, and (w/ all the gold accents) tacky. In Tim Gunn parlance, this outfit needed to be "edited." It's in sharp contrast to the message his game sends - clean, elegant, easy-looking. I didn't realize he had so much Vegas in him. :)

Someone (NOT Mirka - she can't be trusted with this!) needs to stage a fashion intervention.

Posted by Christopher 06/22/2009 at 04:54 PM

I don't really love (or much care about) the jacket, etc., but I wonder what you would choose as an alternative, Pete. You seem to think this projects the wrong image for making tennis more popular, but what would the right image be? If it's totally innocuous (like Sampras's clothes most of the time), no one notices. How can it attract attention AND not seem goofy?

Personally, I do think there's actually any need to attract attention with the clothes, but that's just me.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 06/22/2009 at 04:55 PM

My husband has just started playing the recording of the tennis I recorded for him earlier ...... there are loud guffaws from the livingroom ...

Posted by fangornia 06/22/2009 at 04:56 PM

"Words that you will never hear Pete Sampras utter in his whole life:

It is a blazer year? Will it be a cardigan? They always have lots of good ideas and even though it didn’t look right to begin with, they got there in the end,” said Federer of his collared shirt, waistcoat, jacket and long trousers, all with gold piping."


Posted by CL 06/22/2009 at 04:56 PM

Grant - ROFL. don't worry- I brought trail mix and a fortnight's supply of bottled opinions.

Posted by VC 06/22/2009 at 04:57 PM

"Rafa's sleeveless look and biceps brought so many new fans into the fold and you are destroying it - PLEASE STOP THE INSANITY."

Probably enough to compensate for the ones driven away by his game... ok, must not get into the cheap shots.

Anyway, real tennis fans (I assume most of the people posting here fall under that category) will not be attracted or driven away by the look or image that a player portrays, no matter how outlandish it may be.

Posted by fangornia 06/22/2009 at 04:57 PM

All With Gold Piping. Plus matching Man-Purse.

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/22/2009 at 04:58 PM

TWibe:

CC: Pete

You know, I typically say nothing about these clothing debates. I'm completely uninterested in them, or at least, I have been.

But what Pete's doing here is something different and, moreover, important. He's saying that these fancy-schmancy garments:

A) are not accessible to the public;

B) create the image of a weenie;

C) aren't reasonably priced;

D) as a result of B, are harming tennis's image and/or standing in the United States, especially in comparison to golf and Tiger;

E) are projecting an elitist brand image that won't change longstanding negative perceptions and attitudes about tennis, something a man in Federer's position of "unofficial ambassador of tennis" should be quite attentive to and aware of.

This has not been a matter of overriding importance, but Pete is raising the kinds of issues that make Fed's Wimby ensembles something more than trivial, and worth a little reflection (if not more).

I hope this blog thread (as opposed to a clothing thread) will generate a productive discussion that will tackle the key issues Pete raised.

Posted by VC 06/22/2009 at 04:58 PM

"Call the sherpas, we're launching an expedition to the top of Mt. Molehill."

:-) That's the funniest comment I've read on here.

Posted by Tim (2009 Year of Red Rogie ) 06/22/2009 at 04:59 PM

i thought the white blazer looked great, this is from another planet, and Pete spanked TMF hard, but cant say he doesnt deserve it, but Shriekie is also doing the miliary jacket look, i noticed...

im struck by how slow this play is, no way in hail in the 90s theyre playing these long baseline rallies... why on earth did they do this?

ah, back to watch some of the match i slept through it this am...

Posted by fangorina 06/22/2009 at 05:00 PM

On an semi-serious note, now that Rafa may descend again to No. 2, I hope he and Nike will let him go back to sleeveless. I miss that Rafa.

Posted by Kristy 06/22/2009 at 05:00 PM

If Roger has the balls to wear this kind of outrageous outfit, more power to him -- the dandy look isn't done much in sports (or anywhere) and it's kind of theatrical and fun (though I have to admit I think he looks ridiculous).

But, I just don't know why players tempt the gods by dressing like this -- if you lose, don't you feel more mocked by your display of hubris? Can't you imagine throwing that outfit into the corner in a fit of tears yelling "I never want to see you again!"

It seems to me an athlete serious about winning would dress somewhat unobtrusively. Fed's outfit makes me think he feels confident if not cocky -- I hope that's a good thing.


Posted by Pspace (Lestat de SW19) 06/22/2009 at 05:00 PM

"I assume most of the people posting here fall under that category"

You know what they say about assumptions :-).

Posted by nos 06/22/2009 at 05:01 PM


Jurassic homo-phobes who cant play tennis

abound on this site.

For as long as the tennis is good,

what's your beef?

Posted by fedfan 06/22/2009 at 05:02 PM

Ok, ok, I defer to all of you young'uns, including Roger. Let him have fun with it.

It also occurs to me that Roger as a lover of tennis traditions, and as a young native of a small (albeit proud and wealthy) European republic, might enjoy the the gilded trappings of a formerly great empire the way we Yanks secretly love the British Royal family,etc,etc.

Posted by Crazy-for-Rog 06/22/2009 at 05:03 PM

Also, Pete ... have you noticed how boring and conventional Fed's outfits of late have been? He's been ultra-conservative the last 2 plus years, with his plain, polo-style shirts. His only fashion statement is the pre-match getup that they design for him at Wimby. So - really, it's not like he being "commercially used" and made to parade in ridiculous outfits the entire year long. It's one tournament, and one tournament only. Personally, I wish they would give him more exciting clothes to wear than the boring and staid polo shirts that he's been sporting for too long now.

Posted by rudy3 (proud Rafaelite since 2005) 06/22/2009 at 05:04 PM

"Love, exciting and new
Come Aboard. We're expecting you...
The Loooooooove Boat"

You know, maybe Feddy the cruise director likes it.

Posted by Emma (insertwittymantrahere) 06/22/2009 at 05:04 PM

Thanks Pedro. I'm glad you gave Petra some love, no-one else does!

"Gee Roger, can't you just dress like everyone else? Careful--you might turn into a homo!" - Ryan: I so hope you were joking, otherwise grow up and get a clue.


Posted by fangorina 06/22/2009 at 05:04 PM

Not the teeniest bit a homophobe, nor do I mind the metro-sexual look. But a girl can have her opinion about clothes and men. I like my jocks to look like jocks. Not with Gold Piping.

Posted by sblily (Meh > Wheeeee!!!/Vamos Maymo!) 06/22/2009 at 05:05 PM

I would think that Fed fans would welcome all this attention on his wardrobe - if all the focus is on his outfit, that's a sign that his game is on track.

Better: LiberaceGoldMurseVestShipCaptainJacketGoldGoldMurseVestGold than

than:
BackMonoOmigodWhereDidHisFirstServeGo????MonoOmigodMuzzIsAbout ToBe#2MirkalandHeNeedsACoachMonoBack, no?

As a Rafa fan, I WISH we were talking about his fashion choices right now.

Posted by Cosi 06/22/2009 at 05:06 PM

Rafa's sleeveless look and biceps brought so many new fans into the fold "

Do you honestly think anybody was drawn to tennis because Rafa has biceps and went sleeveless? Since some are so worried about projecting a manly image, why would MEN be drawn to a big biceps showing sleevless shirt wearing Rafa.. unless of course they were gay men (cough cough)

Posted by rudy3 (proud Rafaelite since 2005) 06/22/2009 at 05:06 PM

"Probably enough to compensate for the ones driven away by his game... ok, must not get into the cheap shots."

too late, you already threw the jab.

Posted by Crazy-for-Rog 06/22/2009 at 05:06 PM

Tim ... yeah, the military look look seems to be Nike's theme this season - with Sharapova also sporting a jacket in that style. Per my @4:51, it's the new fashion trend unveiled at the recent fashion shows in Europe.

Posted by VC 06/22/2009 at 05:07 PM

"Fed's outfit makes me think he feels confident if not cocky -- I hope that's a good thing."

That reminds me a P.G. Wodehouse short story "The Magic Plus Fours". :-) Actually Federer's outfit would not look out of place in a Wodehousian setting. :-)

Posted by fangorina 06/22/2009 at 05:07 PM

Sgt. Gold Piping, reporting for duty.

Posted by Nam1 06/22/2009 at 05:07 PM

Why the cheap shots against Rafa?
All you Rafa-haters had your day dissing him when he left Wimby on Friday.

Since we appear to be done discussing tennis so by all means, let's talk about Roger's 80's Duran Duran style jacket and gold murse.

Posted by Tim (2009 Year of Red Rogie ) 06/22/2009 at 05:08 PM

i think in a way though, for a legend like Federer to not give a hoot what others think and pop on some crazy Space jacket, is kinda cool ... in a way, why shouldnt tennis have an adam lambert, contending for Slam titles... i would laugh my admirals off to see Gilbert and Cahill turn ghost white if some big queen started winning big on the ATP tour... would be a hoot!

Posted by Cosi 06/22/2009 at 05:09 PM

I think Fed really likes to take the p*ss out of people and provoke somewhat with his Wimby clothes and he and NIke do darn good job of it, as evidenced by this article and some comments. No matter what Fed wears, to me he always looks good enough to... and more.

Posted by Moderator 06/22/2009 at 05:09 PM

All

It's a Site Rule that you shouldn't use "derogatory slang to describe others". Be careful with some of the terms being thrown around, please. Context is everything, but it's not up to you to determine who is or isn't offended by your terminology.

Posted by VC 06/22/2009 at 05:09 PM

rudy3 (proud Rafaelite since 2005) : Apologies. Anyway, though it took me a while, I now appreciate the variety and beauty of Nadal's game. I'm not a fan, but I can see his brilliance.

Posted by Tim (2009 Year of Red Rogie ) 06/22/2009 at 05:11 PM

i remember when haas first wore the sleeveless shirt, gilbert was totally doggin it on ESPN, and WImby almost banned it, anyone remember that?

it looked totally effeminate at the time, and now look how things have changed ... Im sure Pete had the same negative reactio back in the day to the sleeveless, dont recall for sure just a wild guess :)

Posted by jujube 06/22/2009 at 05:11 PM

Roger posted his new 'kit' as he calls it on his facebook for us fans before Wimby started...It didn't look toooo bad in that context - in this pic on the court - wowee.... not what I expected...the gold is what gets me on him and on Sharapova - as though they are Greek Gods and are being compared to Midas?? Too over the top for me...

Funny note: if you have any tennis magazines with a large photo of Rog's face - try placing a pair of glasses over his eyes- and you will be amazed at how much he looks like a fashion model :D

Posted by VC 06/22/2009 at 05:13 PM

Anyway, my point was that no real (adult) tennis fans are driven away, or attracted to the game on the basis of what someone wears. Maybe kids. But at that age you cannot determine what hooks them onto the game. Or else you might as well dress everyone up in Superman outfits. I was hooked on by Boris Becker's diving acrobatics and volleys.

Posted by Crazy-for-Rog 06/22/2009 at 05:13 PM

Regarding the comparison with Tiger ... you can't really do the same thing on a golf course. A golf course is not a "stage" like a tennis court. There is no pre-match warming up, and therefore no opportunity to "preen" for the audience before play, no sitting down before they call "time", during which the player can "strip off" the outer garments. But there is in tennis, hence Nike has the opportunity to do this. But it's not like Roger can play in that getup, anymore than Tiger can golf in it.

Posted by Emma (insertwittymantrahere) 06/22/2009 at 05:13 PM

Start of transmission:

MODS, WAKE UP!

End of transmission.

Posted by tina 06/22/2009 at 05:13 PM

apologies for any doubles tonight - connectivity problems here in the Old World.

The fashion industry tried to get the "leisure suit" taken seriously roughly 35 years ago - and now RF the fashionplate is being used to resuscitate a look that was stillborn in the first place? I'm waiting for him to turn up in the other perennial "next big fashion thing", the one-piece jumpsuit. The "utility" details here don't look like anything one might see on a proper work site. What it reminds me of most, aside from Mr. Roeper on "Three's Company" is some middle-management-level functionary in the British Colonies.

Maybe next year Rajah will be dressed up as a Raja.

Posted by pk 06/22/2009 at 05:13 PM

Pete - I could not care less if Roger showed up with his underwear over his pants (i.e. superman....which he is btw).....he is still a phenom and a class act, very humble, a great role model...

Posted by Samantha Elin(supporter of all things Scandinavian.) 06/22/2009 at 05:14 PM

I just got a chance to see Roger's outfit on TV. It's not so bad, the picture doesn't do it justice. The picture made it look like he was in a highschool marching band.

Posted by Mixed messages 06/22/2009 at 05:15 PM

Come on people, loosen up. This is fun stuff, simply due to its preposterouness. It's the Ferdinand Marcos collection, brought to you by Nike via Roger Federer.

Frankly, I'm not sure it explicity says "weenie," but rather that he is ready to do battle with Djokovic, ruthlessly put down a junta, and then return his wife's bag all before going out to a fashionable dinner. It's both masculine and feminine, casual and serious, traditional and modern. In that vein, it's totally cool to wear onto the court, yet wholly inappropriate to play in. Succinctly stated, it is the mixed message that says it all.

Posted by Tim (2009 Year of Red Rogie ) 06/22/2009 at 05:16 PM

if Fed played his matches in a military jacket, it would get attention...few people acutally even SEE this stupid warm up, the people on centre court and a few magazines that publish his 'look' are about it ...

anyway who cares what the guy wears, he won the friggin French Open!

woo! lol

Posted by Emma (insertwittymantrahere) 06/22/2009 at 05:16 PM

oops. just saw the 5:09, Mods, my apologies.
I'll just shut up now.

Posted by Crazy-for-Rog 06/22/2009 at 05:17 PM

All that being said, the gold murse and jacket are over the top and crossed the line from being classy (which the previous year's outfits were) to being tacky !

Nonetheless, I have no problem with Roger wearing a "80's Duran Duran style jacket" as long as he plays each round "Hungry Like the Wolf" and Andy Murray "Comes Undone" in the end !

Posted by fedfan 06/22/2009 at 05:17 PM

Cosi, you are absolutely right about the old short-shorts male players used to wear. The Tennis Channel has been showing the great Ashe-Connors Wimbledon final classic, and the shorts are a hoot!

Posted by DMS 06/22/2009 at 05:18 PM

"What it reminds me of most, aside from Mr. Roeper on "Three's Company" is some middle-management-level functionary in the British Colonies" & "made it look like he was in a highschool marching band" and "mt. molehill"

!!!! still laughing tina, samantha, and grant...keep em coming

Posted by Nam1 06/22/2009 at 05:18 PM

Do you honestly think anybody was drawn to tennis because Rafa has biceps and went sleeveless? Since some are so worried about projecting a manly image, why would MEN be drawn to a big biceps showing sleevless shirt wearing Rafa.. unless of course they were gay men (cough cough)


Cosi,

No, Rafa's biceps and sleeveless Tees did not bring people to tennis; His great shot making, athleticism and joy for Tennis brought fans to the game.

And so what if they were gay, what's with the sarcastic coughing, why try to insult anyone?

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 06/22/2009 at 05:20 PM

I think my BFed has gone a bit over the top this time, but it all seems pretty harmless. And his goofy nature is part of what I love about him. Rog is clearly very excited about the outfit, though, as evidenced by his remarks to the Swiss press:

-----------

There was little to say about a routine win over his unheralded opponent from Taipei, so talk swiftly moved to the day’s real talking point – the five-time champion’s new outfit.

“Everyone was talking about it in the locker-room!” he exclaimed with genuine excitement. “People were saying ‘Wow, looks great!’ This is the fourth year that I’ve done it and I was just hoping that it would look good. You spend all your time talking about forehands and backhands, so it’s good to change. When I play at Indian Wells, I meet with someone from Nike and then it’s a long process after that, but it’s great fun.”

“It is a blazer year? Will it be a cardigan? They always have lots of good ideas and even though it didn’t look right to begin with, they got there in the end,” said Federer of his collared shirt, waistcoat, jacket and long trousers, all with gold piping.

“It’s more modern than last year’s blazer. I like to respect the tradition here. I could wear a dark jacket to come out on court since I’d be taking it off later, but I like to respect the tradition.”

You can check out the article on the Wimby web site. It's titled, "Federer's Finery Finds Favour."

Posted by evie 06/22/2009 at 05:21 PM

This post is way-harsher than anything I've read, and I've already read plenty. Clearly Bodo doesn't just dislike the clothes, he's offended by them. He feels his nose is being rubbed into, something -- not regular-guy enough, I guess. Tennis ought to be seen for the shirt-tails hanging, beer-guzzling sport that it is, and Fed's clothes obscure this obvious fact. Worst of all, the clothes are responsible for the relatively weak public support tennis has, especially in the U.S.

Boy, thems some powerful clothes. I'm sure if he knew they wielded such powers, he'd love them even more.


Posted by federerfan 06/22/2009 at 05:21 PM

bring back the 03 roger with the pony tail and the celebration of falling down on the knees and bending backward in celebration !

Enough of the MURSE pleeeeeeease !

Posted by Sherlock 06/22/2009 at 05:22 PM

I'm just glad Petra got a mention. :)

Posted by Crazy-for-Rog 06/22/2009 at 05:25 PM

I would LOVE to see Roger wearing those obscenely short shorts that Edberg, Becker et al used to wear ! But I think he'd need to shave his hairy thighs first.

Posted by VC 06/22/2009 at 05:25 PM

"No, Rafa's biceps and sleeveless Tees did not bring people to tennis; His great shot making, athleticism and joy for Tennis brought fans to the game."

Good point, agree totally...

Posted by jakobhy 06/22/2009 at 05:27 PM

Sometimes it really is possible to over-analyze, even though it's written in a great prose. If your idea of a classy outfit is Tiger's George Foreman grill-wielding dad look, then you might not be in the best position to talk about how a jacket and a golden bag is some reactionary, awful message to send out. He probably just thinks it looks good. And so does some of us.

Posted by Andrew 06/22/2009 at 05:28 PM

I think I've said my piece on the topic elsewhere.

I myself think the whole ensemble is a mistake, but I don't have to wear it.

I would prefer Federer to express his eye for fashion - and much of the time, I think he does have one - through his tennis kit, as he did between November 2004 and June 2007. Mistakes were made there too (AO 2007, the red and blue bowling shirts 2007), but there were some kits that will stand the test of time.

If he wins, we won't care what he wore.

And I think a part of this is Federer having fun - part is "I'm Roger Federer and you're not," and part is just "hey, why not?" If you can't express yourself after five Wimbledons and 14 GS titles, when can you?

Posted by Grant 06/22/2009 at 05:29 PM

"bring back the 03 roger with the pony tail and the celebration of falling down on the knees and bending backward in celebration !"

The simple days are behind us. Fed is in his psychadelic era now. Soon it's off to India for spiritual guidance; hopefully it'll be a while before his post-retirement rooftop match against Rafa.

Posted by federerfan 06/22/2009 at 05:29 PM

i liked the blazer, the cardigan and even this year's outfit but the MURSE, I cannot forgive him, however hard I try.

Posted by fedfan 06/22/2009 at 05:30 PM

I don't think the outfit is really so bad. The angle of the bag in the photo over-emphasizes the gold on the murse and the Liberace effect. Another poster mentioned leisure suits and Nehru jackets, which most of you readers are probably too young to even know about. I was a youngster when they were fashionable, and I suppose I will forever link them with middle-aged men trying to be hip. If Roger were wearing this outfit in charcoal wool on the streets of Zurich, I'd probably think he looked great. I agree with the poster who said that with his physique he looks good in anything.

Posted by rudy3 (proud Rafaelite since 2005) 06/22/2009 at 05:31 PM

"i remember when haas first wore the sleeveless shirt, gilbert was totally doggin it on ESPN, and WImby almost banned it, anyone remember that?"

actually...Tommy Haas tried to debut the first sleeveless shirt at the USO, and they sent him back to the locker room saying it was against the rules. he countered to the fact the ladies were wearing sleeveless and halters, so what the big whoop. So he didn't wear it. then the next year he did at Wimbly.

Someday, when he is old and grey, Fed will look back on this pictures from his record breaking 15th grand slam and say "what was I thinking". At least I hope he does, cause if he never refelcts on this fashion choice, he is lost.

Disclaimer: I liked the first blazer, i thought it was tres classic, and that Fed was the only guy who could pull that off...have always hated the purse.

Posted by Nam1 06/22/2009 at 05:31 PM

Nonetheless, I have no problem with Roger wearing a "80's Duran Duran style jacket" as long as he plays each round "Hungry Like the Wolf" and Andy Murray "Comes Undone" in the end !


Finally, somebody else who gets my love for Duran Duran music!!
Crazy for Rog, nicely done!!

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