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Serving in Style – Tennis Wear Through the Years

Ah, tennis. The racket-smacking sensation that’s been serving up excitement for centuries. Believe it or not, my introduction to the game came from playing Mario Tennis on the Nintendo 64 when I was but a wee lad way back in the 90s (my backhand with Toad was something to behold, believe me). It was there that I fell in love with the odd scoring system, and the phrase “game, set, match” became indelibly lodged in my 8-year-old brain. My second dalliance with the sport came courtesy of growing up in Richmond, Virginia, where the legendary Arthur Ashe still holds demi-god status in certain circles.

Like most of you reading this, I’m partial to the rhythmic cadence and the athletic prowess displayed during a good old-fashioned rally, but I’m not the most ardent tennis stan. However, the elegance and stylistic leanings of the game — from the peak plimsols to the prim and preppy polos — are something to behold, along with all of the pageantry and decorum that goes along with them.

In this article, we will be looking at the history of tennis wear, from its French beginnings to René Lacoste and Fred Perry.

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