Novak Djokovic has had a relatively comfortable time of it so far at this year’s US Open, dropping just two sets on his run to tomorrow’s final with Juan Martin Del Potro. But while the Serbian’s game has been on point, his style is looking even better thanks to an eye-catching set of polo shirts from French label Lacoste.
If any brand knows a thing or two about the humble polo, it’s Lacoste. This, after all, is the company that gave us the garment in the first place — and inadvertently helped birth preppy and country club style in the process. In the 1920s, tennis star and brand founder René Lacoste became annoyed at the starchy, cumbersome tennis whites of the era, so set about updating them with lighter materials and a less restrictive cut.
By 1933, he was selling his crocodile-emblazoned shirts in Europe and North America, where they caused a storm, becoming the standard not only on tennis courts, but later on the golf links, too. Lacoste was hailed as a visionary.
Eighty-five years later and the Lacoste name is still going strong. After tempting 13-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic from Uniqlo last May, the former world number one rocked the croc on his way to a fourth Wimbledon title in July. But while SW19’s strict all-white dress code doesn’t allow brands much room for maneuver when it comes to design, the US Open is a more lax affair where sportswear’s big guns can deck out their players in all kinds of audacious attire as they bid to out-dazzle each other under the famous Flushing Meadows lights.
Plenty miss the mark, but Djokovic’s new kit is perfect. Its ravey, maximalist aesthetic is straight from the playbook of Andre Agassi’s loud ’90s Nike Challenger Court line. Nole — as Serbians affectionately call him — has always been a stickler for technical details, so you can rest assured the fabric is sweat-wicking and quick drying. For extra ventilation, a mesh panel is included on the back, making it an ideal, breathable option not only on the tennis court, but for daily wear during those sticky summer months.
Just don’t rock it at the country club.
Cop the Djoker’s new shirts above and then peep our recent piece on men’s tennis’ most stylish rivalries.