Skip to content

2016 Rio Olympics: Tennis

Olympic Tennis Splash

[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site. Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through the end of the month, although Paul is still on the clock over at ESPN and may be popping up here occasionally.]

By Phil Hecken, with Zach Spencer

Continuing today with our looks at the various uniforms (and in some cases, histories and backstories) of the 2016 Rio Olympic games, I am joined by Zach Spencer, who will give us an overview of the various uniforms and histories of the tennis participants.

As a tennis player, I actually never really liked the sport in the Olympics (same goes for golf), but it’s always interesting to see what the various apparel companies come up with for “national” uniforms. One thing that immediately struck me (and you’ll see below in Zach’s piece) is that not all individual player contracts with the different uni-makers dictate what the players wear — so if a nation has a player who has a Nike clothing contract and another with an adidas clothing contract, those players will still wear their own “brand,” rather than having say, UnderArmour outfitting all players from a given nation, in some cases. I’m not a fan of this — it looks particularly bad on doubles players who have different clothing contracts (as you’ll also see below). That aside, I’ll let Zach take it from here! Enjoy. (You can click on the photos below to enlarge.)


Olympic Tennis
By Zach Spencer

Olympic tennis was played from the start of the modern Olympic period (1896) until 1924. It was reinstated in 1988 and has been played ever since. 2012 marked the return of mixed doubles for the first time since 1924. Tennis can be considered notable among Olympic events because it’s one of the few (along with Basketball and soccer) where stars remain prominent outside of the Olympic period. It is also a very individualistic sport where individual fashion has always been interspersed with functionality in uniform design.

+ + +

1 Argentina


2 Argentina

3 Argentina

Plenty of variation based on individual sponsorships; Guido Pella wore blue shorts and a white top by Lotto, Juan Martin del Potro wore white shorts and a sky blue top reminiscent of the national soccer team manufactured by Nike. The lack of matching carried over to the doubles when del Potro teamed with Maximo Gonzalez who wore a slightly different shade of blue made by Fila.

+ + +

4 Australia


5 Australia

Sam Groth and Daria Gavrilova showed off a consistent look put together by Adidas, yellow on top and green bottoms featuring the Australian Olympic crest on the left chest. Classic.

+ + +

6 Barbados


Darian King was outfitted in Puma, yellow top and blue bottoms. A Classic look which utilized the flag’s colors. Nothing not to like here.

+ + +

7 Brazil


8 Brazil

The home country also does a good job of staying consistent and channeling their famous soccer team’s kits. Yellow and green up top, blue bottoms. They even managed to have their doubles partners wearing the same outfit. Here we see Tomas Bellucci in singles and Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares in doubles. Stay classy Brazil.

+ + +

9 Canada


10 Canada

Eugenie Bouchard wore a very BFBS kit by Nike for her singles match while Vasek Pospisil and Daniel Nestor looked much better rocking Asics red tops and white bottoms for their doubles match.

+ + +

11 Croatia


Marin Cilic wore a red top and white bottoms without any national markers for his single match.

+ + +

12 Denmark


Okay, get ready to see a lot of this outfit, because it is Adidas’ go to. They have provided the exact same kit with a different flag for a handful of ladies, this one is for Caroline Wozniacki.

+ + +

13 France


14 France 15 France

Jo-Wilfred Tsonga went white on white on red shoes in Adidas gear with the traditional French rooster on his left lapel. Alize Cornet wears a dark blue outfit provided by Lacoste, who is France’s official Olympic outfitter which features a rooster on the right lapel, and Caroline Garcia completes the set by wearing a red white and very light blue Nike set which sees the rooster move back over to the left. No coordination, but at least their logos were very visible.

+ + +

16 GBR

Great Britain:

17 GBR

Great coordination for the GBR team, if a slightly questionable design. Andy Murray and Heather Watson both in Adidas outfits with blue bottoms and white tops with a very busy crest. Both increase the business with a Team GB logo on the chest and Murray’s goes a step further with the Union Jack on his sleeve.

+ + +

18 Ger


19 Ger

20 Ger

Another example of sponsorship over team unity. Dustin Brown wore a white Under Armour top with black shorts, Angelique Kerber wore the German variation of Adidas’ generic template and Laura Siegemund wore a white Tonic top with pale red bottoms and hat.

+ + +

21 Japan


22 Japan

Taro Daniels wore a Roche outfit with no national markings and Ken Nishikori wore a much more traditionally colored red and white Uniqlo outfit.

+ + +

23 Serbia


25 Serbia

Novak Djokovic was bounced in the first round while wearing a very smart blue top with white bottoms by Uniqlo. His wristband game was strong with one Serbian and one Brazilian colored band, although there was quite a bit of Uniqlo creep on them. Ana Ivanovic wore the Serbian variant of the Adidas kit.

+ + +

26 Slovenia


Polona Hercog wore an Asics kit with no national marks or national colors. It did fit into the tennis stadium’s color theme, so that’s something.

+ + +

27 Spain


28 Spain

29 Spain 30 Spain

Rafa Nadal wore a Nike kit with red top and white shorts and headband. David Ferrer had the same color scheme but put together by Lotto. Roberto Bautista Agut joined the doubles action and brought the third shade of red via Lacoste. Gabrine Muguruza wore the Spanish variant of the Adidas kit.

+ + +

31 Turkey


Cagla Buyukakcay wore the Turkish variant of the Adidas women’s kit.

+ + +

32 USA


33 USA

34 USA 35 USA

36 USA 37 USA

Serena Williams wore a dark blue Nike dress in her singles competitions and switched over to a white top, dark blue look for doubles with Venus. In her first round singles match, Venus opted for a red and white top with a dark blue bottom. Madison Keys also went dark blue and Nike but chose a two piece option. Jack Sock also went dark blue by Nike for his singles match, but switched to a lighter blue for his doubles match with Steve Johnson, who wore a very light blue top with a white hat by Asics to really complete the “YMCA pickup doubles game” look that so many doubles teams seem to be going for.

+ + +

Zach Spencer writes about environmental and conservation issues at and tweets from @zach_and_fish. He lives in Washington DC with his girlfriend Anna and thier dog, President Fish.


Thanks, Zach. Great stuff. OK, readers, do you have any thoughts on the “national” tennis outfits?

line - tennis balls

Near And Deer: Mike Chamernik Finds Story Behind Bucks Prototype Jersey

bucks jersey

The Milwaukee Bucks have worn some notable alternate uniforms throughout the last 20 years.

They could’ve introduced another one for the 2004-05 season.

It was basically the inverse of what the Bucks wore at the time. The standard roads were purple with green trim and a block “BUCKS” across the front, while the new set was green with purple trim and a script “Milwaukee” on the chest.

A few weeks ago, a 2004-05 NBA style sheet and a photo of a Michael Redd figurine emerged on Reddit (those images previously appeared in some message boards a few years ago). Curious, and with no other information, I reached out to the Bucks and Dustin Godsey, the team’s VP of marketing, gave me the story.

The league created the uniform, but the Bucks declined to adopt it. Godsey said that current Bucks employees who had a hand in the uniform decision back then don’t remember why they chose to scrap it. Godsey himself declined to speculate why.

Other than the sample that the Bucks received, as pictured above, no uniforms were produced. Godsey said he’s not sure how the jersey ended up on the Michael Redd figurine.

So, I have a bunch of other questions, but it’s all kind of moot anyway. The Bucks didn’t wear alternates that year or the next. In the summer of 2006 they unveiled an entire redesign, ditching the purple, adding red, and tweaking the logo. They switched to their current logo and uniforms last year. Add the Bucks alt to the list of prototypes that never made it on the gridiron, diamond, or ice.

As for the design itself, I like the prototype alternates. Full disclosure, I’m a Bucks fan, and I liked the purple-and-green Bucks look. The alternate was a new take on these classic uniforms from the 1970s. The Bucks have worn dark green throughout their history except for the purple era, so this just seems like a more natural fit. Also, the script chest mark is softer and smoother than the blocky “BUCKS”, which seemed a little too large. Then again, maybe a nine-letter cursive word would look crammed, too.

What do you all think?

line - tennis balls

Another Fantastic DIY Helmet…

Uni Watch received an e-mail the other day from Jack McLaughlin, the contents of which simply read, “Mister_Jay_Peg on reddit told me to send this your way,” and which contained 11 photos of what looked like a DIY helmet project.

Intrigued, I wrote back to Jack and asked if he’d care to elaborate on this, and he didn’t disapppoint! I’ll let Jack take it from here (all photos can be enlarged by clicking on them):

+ + + + + + + + + +

Since the Broncos have won Super Bowl 50, I decided I wanted to do something special to commemorate the win. I’ve always wanted a full sized helmet, but could never justify pulling the trigger on one (some cost up to $200+). After looking across the internet on sites like the forums and various YouTube tutorials, I decided I could attempt to recreate my own.

First I went to a local sporting goods store where I purchased a used youth football helmet. It was pretty beat up, but I bought the cheapest one for around $20.




Next after I took off the facemask and removed the padding, I power sanded the helmet down to where it was pretty smooth.




After sanding, I sprayed primer on the helmet and facemask.


While I let that dry I went to Home Depot to look for a blue that would match the retro Broncos helmet. I brought along my mini helmet and found almost an exact match. They should just call that shade “Bronco Blue”.


Painting was the worst part for me. After my first attempt, someone touched the helmet before it dried, so their prints were on it. I decided I’d wet sand the helmet to get the prints out and repaint it. The second time, I wanted to put a clear coat on the helmet and when I put on the clear coat, it orange peeled the paint. After wet sanding it again, I decided to just let it be. I also sprayed the facemask white.


I was able to order the decals off ebay, and they came pretty quickly.


It was a pretty fun and affordable project, and I’m very happy with how it came out. It’s sitting on my mantle right now. I’m looking to make a Chicago Cubs batting helmet replica next, and I’d like to make a USFL helmet soon.


+ + + + + + + + + +

Wow! Tremendous job on that Jack. Thanks for sharing it with us and for giving a bit of insight into your refurbishing techniques!

line - tennis balls


Grand Rapids Griffins Contest Design Reminder


I’m currently hosting a contest to redesign an alternate jersey for the Grand Rapids Griffins. All the details are here.

The deadline for all submissions is TONIGHT: Thursday, August 11th (Midnight Eastern Time).

Remember to send all your entries to in the format described in the article.

Good Luck!

line - tennis balls

The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: The MLB players’ union is a bit apprehensive about players using wearable devices during games. The union is worried that teams will use data against the players (from Scott Hurley, via Phil). … Here’s a fan guide for wearing Brewers jerseys to games. The rules apply to fans of any team (from Phil). … The Brooklyn Cyclones and Vermont Lake Monsters wore Ren & Stimpy jerseys yesterday (from Phil). … The Aberdeen IronBirds will wear Star Wars jerseys on Saturday (from OT Sports, via Phil). … Mike Clary found a few 1969 photos of Baseball Hall of Fame museum. I got a kick out of the old interactive exhibit.

NFL News: New midfield logo for the Ravens. It replaces the alternate shield logo (from Andrew Cosentino). … The NFL won’t allow the Cowboys to wear Arm in Arm helmet decals during games (from @RedKimberli, via Phil). .. A PetSmart near John Flory sells NFL team fur tattoos for pets.

College Football News: Northwestern updated its uniforms. Changes include Northwestern stripes on the pants, a three stripe pattern on the sleeves, and form-fitting helmets (from Phil). … Miami is planning new uniforms for this season. The jerseys will have simpler stripe patterns reminiscent of what the Hurricanes wore in the 1980s. Last year the team wore jerseys that looked like this (from Rob Rubinoff). … Looks like new uniforms for Houston. The Cougars’ red jerseys had white sleeves last year. … The field is being set up for the Battle at Bristol, a game between Virginia Tech and Tennessee at Bristol Motor Speedway on September 10. The trophy is ready, too. No photos, but the uniforms are expected to be “a little bit different” (from Andrew Cosentino). … New home uniforms for Eastern Michigan. … New glow-in-the-dark cleats for Wisconsin (from @JohnnyOeleven, via Phil). … Boston College revealed its cleats and gloves for the game against Georgia Tech on Sept. 3 in Dublin, Ireland. … Cincinnati planned out its black, white and red outs this season (from Phil).

Olympics News: Spain hoops coaches use a Villanova board to draw up plays (from @CINC_or_swim). … Here’s a good breakdown of what shoes Team USA men’s basketball players are wearing. … Oscar Raab saw that U.S. swimmer Lilly King wore her swim cap backwards when she won the women’s 100M breaststroke on Monday. “Here is a shot from the other side,” he says. “You can see her teammate Catherine Meili has her cap on correctly, with the star field pointed toward for the direction of travel.” … Our own Alex Hider put together a gallery of the goofiest and derpiest photos from the Olympics. … A Colombian soccer player had his sleeves over his hands throughout yesterday’s game against Nigeria. … Olympic uniforms have been designed to help athletes perform better and protect their health (from Phil). … An odd American flag was displayed on PTI. … Fans are making their own Brazilian women’s soccer jerseys. … USA beach volleyball players April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings worked with Asics and Mizuno to design their uniforms (from Phil).

NBA News: Spot the subtle changes to NBA logos by playing this Buzzfeed quiz (from Phil). … What is your favorite Orlando Magic uniform?

Soccer News: Adidas is giving fans the chance to design a third jersey for Manchester United. The winning concept, as determined by a fan vote and a panel review, will be worn by the team in 2017-18 (from Jonathan Medine and Bob Andrews). … For the season opener, OGC Nice will wear uniforms in honor of victims of July’s cargo truck attack in the city (from John Terranova, via Phil).

Grab Bag: The Sharks will give away Los Tiburones jerseys in October. … New women’s volleyball uniforms for Saint Louis (from @SLU Volleyball). … Here’s the logo for this year’s North American Scrabble Championship.

line - tennis balls

And that’s a wrap for today. Big thanks to Zach for the great tennis coverage, Mike for his great Bucks prototype research (and for compiling the ticker), and Jack for sharing his Broncos helmet DIY project. Great stuff, all!

Remember, today is the final day to submit for the Griffins Alternate Jersey Design Contest (see details above), so if you’ve got a submission, get it to me by midnight! I’ll be back tomorrow, but until then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“The Flag Code is just that, a code, and has no legal backbone. It’s mostly a custom that inspires the wrath of Boy Scouts, precocious children and veterans.”

— Walter Helfer

line - tennis balls

Comments (54)

    Re Slovenia’s tennis player, green has often featured in the football kits – in the home versions for a long time but more recently in their away strips. That bright green and blue is invariably used for their skiing outfits too.

    Valid rules of wearing jerseys to ballgames:

    1) Wear only jerseys you own or have borrowed. No wearing stolen merchandise.

    2) Do not judge, mock, or ridicule any other fan for his jersey choice or style. Compliments are OK, as are legitimate questions, but otherwise don’t speak of another fan’s jersey.

    That’s it.

    There are plenty of other “rules” I follow personally – no matching jersey and cap, no player NOB, and so forth – but the difference between having rules for one’s own jersey and applying them to others is the difference between being a mildly obsessed geek and being a jerk.

    Even bad knockoffs? There’s a lot of supposed Winnipeg Jets jerseys on the backs of fans who bought them back in 2011 before the official jersey design was revealed and replicas were made available to the public. I have nothing against knockoffs that look like the real thing but when you can spot one a mile away…

    Perfect example of a rule that’s perfectly sensible to apply to oneself, but that it makes a person a major hoser to apply to others. You’re seeing fans who were so eager to support their new team that they didn’t wait until the official jerseys were released, and you’re complaining about them? Real fans let their team’s marketing office dictate the terms and timing of their support for their team! Real fans have unlimited budgets for shirts they wear a couple of times a year!

    In principle, I would have a problem with knockoffs on the basis of someone making money off of trademarks they don’t own without paying for them. But, in reality, seeing how the powers that be in sports continuously financially rape their best customers, well, I just can’t get very hot and bothered about it.

    About ten years ago I was at a White Sox game and a young woman near us was wearing a red Sox early 70’s home jersey. At the time Mitchell and Ness hadn’t quite got the size of the back numbers correct, so I went over and asked about it. Sure enough, it was an origional that her dad (who was with her) had procured. I was impressed and told them so.

    As far as knockoffs – I’ve checked out Alibaba and some of the source’s pages. Many times they simply copy and paste the pic from M&N. You have to search thru the alibaba listings and find folks that actually took pics of the jerseys. Then you can tell what pieces of shit they are. Ok, some are close to the originals, like with football jerseys. But with baseball, good luck.

    My one rule is never ever wear a replica, a t-shirt, a shirsey or anything else that puts an NOB on a Yankees jersey.

    The only exception I make for Yankee NOB gear… is the navy t-shirts with the white interlocking logo on the front. They seem to be very popular with female fans at the Stadium. The NOB doesn’t look odd on those…even the knockoffs you buy outside on the street.

    I have a Jeter USA WBC jersey and the NOB just doesn’t look right, even though it is.

    re: brewers jersey rules

    i see nothing wrong with personalized jerseys with your own name. with this day and age of Free Agency, midseason trades and what not, if you’re going to shell out $100+ might as well be something you can use for more than 4 years..

    I agree completely. I personalize with own name because I’m a fan of the team. Most people are smart enough to know that my “Mark 31” Athletics jersey doesn’t mean I’m actually on the team. I will always be a fan of the team, and I’m not going to be traded, leave in free agency or do something embarrassing (I hope!).

    I enjoyed this article. I always wear blank (no name on back) baseball and hockey jerseys because I just can’t (OCD kicking in here!) wear another mans name on my back! Blank jerseys look good.

    Hmm so Phil’s intro is incorrect – some nations require their tennis players to wear the ‘teams’ manufacturer (e.g., Andy Murray is currently personally sponsored by UA, but is wearing Adidas as that is supplier for Great Britain, same with Groth and Gavrilova from Australia – both are personally sponsored by Asics, but are wearing Adidas again as it is the team supplier). Other countries (e.g., Argentina) clearly let the players wear their individual sponsor.

    Yep. I screwed that one up — made it sound like ALL nation’s have the policy, when in fact it’s only some. Adjusted text to reflect this. Good catch.

    I STILL don’t like it when I see mis-matched doubles teams, as you can see in the pics of Argentina, Spain and the USA, for example. One of the reasons why, for example, I always liked the Ryder Cup (for golf) — all the players are wearing the same uni, even if their specific clothing contracts have them in different apparel for individual tourneys.

    I’m guessing blue and green are the colors of Slovenia’s national teams (similar to Australia with green and yellow) because their soccer and hockey teams also wear those colors. The top also has the mountain crest logo from the flag that’s incorporated into the other national team uniforms.


    Good work on the Broncos helmet. I agree that you are better off without the clear coat. I’ve found that after time, the clear coat often becomes jaundice.

    You know you’re old when every jersey you own is a throwback. But they weren’t when you bought them.

    Regarding the green prototype Bucks’ jersey, it appears Milwaukee had an agreed-upon presentation of the city name in script. The “M” with its peaks windswept to the right, the “w” with the loop in the center and “k” with vertical loop but none in the northeast-pointing stroke give it away as the script used on the Brewers’ road uniforms starting in 1978. With and without the tail, it stood for the city’s teams for a few decades. The Brew Crew introduced the Cheers-influenced script, breaking the streak. Comparing and contrasting various renderings of the city name across different sports is one of my favorite geekeries.

    On this subject, it bugged me to no end when the Mets wore “New York” in plain block on their 1988 road uniforms. I consider that the intellectual property of that team from the Bronx; it was akin to conceding authority to the Yankees.

    On jerseys, so one time I’m at Nats Park wearing a 1959 throwback Senators jersey that I’d customized with number 24, no NOB. Both because it’s my favorite number and it’s the only year Washington ever won a World Series. Anyway, couple of old guys stop me on the concourse to ask if the 24 stood for Hal Griggs or Hector Maestri, and how on earth I could be a fan of either guy on account of being visibly not old enough to remember either player. Wound up hearing some great stories about watching the original and expansion Senators and going to games at Griffith and DC Stadiums. A perfect example of the acceptable way to talk to or about another fan regarding his jersey.

    I would only consider a couple of the “derpiest” photos derpy at all.

    Grimacing, or showing exertion doesn’t always equate to derpness.

    USA swimmer King did NOT wear he swim cap backwards (her name is in the correct orientation)… the flag was printed backwards on the cap.

    Not sure I understand – wouldn’t the name be printed in the correct orientation (um, left to right) either way the cap was worn?
    For whatever reason, I was intrigued by this, so I looked at a lot of images (though haven’t found the video), wondering if there truly was a forward/backward on these caps, irrespective of the flag printed on it. That appears to be the case, as it’s designed to ride lower over the ears and in back than on the forehead. Looking at the pictures, it appeared at first that King was indeed wearing the cap the right way, as it wasn’t higher in back as I would expect.
    Then, I found pictures of her wearing the cap with the flag in the correct orientation, and noticed the Speedo logo/wordmark on the front. Sure enough, when the flag is backward, no logo. So now, I’m convinced that she DID have the cap on backwards, but simply tilted it so that the “lower in the back (but now in the front)” part was now “higher in the front.”
    I could still be wrong, but this is what I’m going with.

    Good point, I actually drew this out last night when I saw Phelp’s personal branded cap with the flags with the stars on the left whichever side you were looking at. One point though, the two in your pictures are different cap manufacturers – you can tell by the white outline around the flag. As far as I can tell by googling, King never has a maker’s mark on the front. Although, I have found one lone shot of her in a link.

    I provide medical coverage at a lot of events in Las Vegas and during many hours of crowd watching a couple of coworkers and I came up with simple rules that apply to what should and shouldn’t be worn to certain events. You should never wear a team jersey to a game where that team isn’t playing. You just look like a dork if you wear a Flyers jersey to a Kings/Avalanche game. The only exception is for throwback jerseys. For example it would be acceptable to wear a Colorado Rockies (NHL) jersey to the same Kings/Avalanche game even though the Rockies are technically now the New Jersey Devils.

    In an odd departure from the sports rule, it is only acceptable to wear other band’s t-shirts to concerts. You are automatically marked as a dork if you wear a t-shirt for the the band that is playing.

    If that made me wrong as the guy in a Habs jersey at Islanders games when I lived at Hofstra, I wouldn’t want to be “right.” My jersey says I love hockey, and by spending money in your barn, I’m willing to have a good time as a fan of the sport but neutral to the game.

    I’m glad the Ravens are replacing their mid field logo but if they leave the end zone logos the same to me it would be overkill of the same. It would be great to see an AFC logo in the end zone with a scripted Baltimore.

    I believe it’s actually “you-knee-kloh” (as I’ve actually heard it pronounced that way — but I honestly have no idea if the person saying it was correct). There’s a UniQlo store in the mall near where my office is…if I ever actually go to that mall, I’ll see if I can’t hit the store and ask an employee (I’d assume they know, but who knows?)

    I think its you-nuh-kloh.

    Great clothing by the way, I can’t wait until they make it to Canada so I don’t have to stock up in Tokyo.

    As far as the jersey wearing rules go, I mostly agree. I don’t have alot of discretionary funds for authentic jerseys so I’m careful with what I buy. My biggest regret was choosing Arod over Rusty Greer or Pudge when I got my first authentic Rangers jersey. ” He’s a good, young , classy guy who will be here 10 years!” That’s what I thought. What a worm.
    My favorite is a Cowboys #37 I got from the team In an auction when they changed over to sewn on numbers from the heat transfer kind. No name. Always in style.

    I think the original Magic unis are my favorite, though I appreciate that their current set includes nods to all three prior sets.

    It’s pathetic that the one time pro tennis players can put away their total allegiance to sponsorship money and wear a national uniform they don’t. It’s a hodge-podge of colors and designs and doesn’t look good. The bland adidas uniform worn by Kerber, Ivanovic and others is particularly embarrassing.

    Just something I noticed this afternoon, when I watched Great Britain’s Johanna Kosta playing against Miss Kerber (the tennis dress is cute, but I didn’t know half the field had one too), Johanna was wearing the busy white top with a plain white skirt, which is definitely not the dark blue the country wears.
    Great work on covering the tennis uniforms, Zach!

    My additions to wearing sports jerseys: if the player you represent never wore that particular jersey, just don’t. (I’ve seen a couple of powder blue Braves road jerseys with “Ruth 3” on the back. Just…no.)

    My two White Sox jerseys are blank. I can just pretend it has “Bere 46” on it.

Comments are closed.