10 Tennis Players who became Casual Icons
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10 FAVOURITE TENNIS STARS who became casual icons

In his book, 'Hoolifan' Martin King writes

                                                          "The early 1980s were arguably the years when football-related violence, or fear of it, reached its peak. The boys were now dressing like tennis stars, sporting designer labels such as Ellesse, Tacchini, Fila and Lacoste. Terrace disturbances resembled clashes between armies of John McEnroe clones and hordes of Bjorn Borg lookalikes..."

Today, we review some of those style heroes.

Check out our friends at kindakins to buy fila, ellesse, tacchini and more.


The Italian was the only player to beat borg at Roland Garros. Panatta usually wore fila, adidas and Sergio tacchini.


Stan Smith

The American is a fashion icon and his Stan Smith adidas sneakers are the company's best selling shoe of all time. You will see the trainers everywhere around the world.


Manuel Orantes

Orantes was a Spanish tennis player who played in the 1970s and 1980s. He won the US Open in 1975, beating defending champion Jimmy Connors in the final. Orantes reached a career-high singles ranking of World No. 2.


Vitas Gerulaitis

In 1975, Gerulaitis won the men's doubles title at Wimbledon, partnering with Sandy Mayer. He won the men's singles title at one of the two Australian Open tournaments held in 1977.


Arthur Ashe

Ashe became the first African American selected to play on the United States Davis Cup team. In addition, he was featured in the “Faces in the Crowd” section of Sports Illustrated. It seemed as King’s dream was coming true for Ashe, and his accomplishments were the result of being judged by his character and talent. Arthur Ashe was a gentleman and always brought an air of 70s cool to the court.


Ivan Lendl

Originally from Czechoslovakia, Lendl became a US citizen in 1992 and was one of the best players of his time back in the mid 85 after Borg retired. He usually wore adidas back in the day. Loved his adidas polo. 


Boris Becker

Ellesse sponsored Boris Becker – ‘il bimbo d’oro’ (the golden child) – from an early age. He was 17 when he won the Wimbledon singles title in 1985, and defended his title successfully the following year. His successes since this first monumental victory speak for themselves, and Becker’s charisma and tennis knowhow continue to entertain fans to this day.


John McEnroe

Long hair, short shorts, tight polo shirts defined the American John McEnroe who was known for his temper during matches, his rivalry with Björn Borg – and for looking the bollocks on the court.
McEnroe usually wore Sergio Tacchini tracktops and he was one of the first to wear Nike back then.



In 2005, Tennis magazine ranked Willy Vilas as the 15th-best male player of the preceding 40 years. He also popularized the between-the-legs tweenershot, also known as the "Gran Willy" in his honor. You could usually see him sporting ellesse, fila and puma trainers. Known as well off the court as on it, Argentine playboy and four-time Grand Slam winner was the iconic poster boy for ellesse. 
The striped polo shirts he wore remain a core part of the ellesse DNA.Other players in the ellesse tennis hall of fame are Francesco Cancelloti (Italy), Anke Huber (Germany), Goran Ivanisevic 
(Croatia), Petr Korda (Czech Republic), Anna Kournikova (Russia), Henri Leconte (France), Andrea Temesvari (Romania) and Mats Wilander (Sweden).

Vilas also endorsed the puma trainers Puma Vilas which was an 80s classic.



Bjorn Borg

Forget tennis: from 1974 through 1981, there were few people in the world better at life than the amazing Swedish player Bjorn Borg. Handsome, smart, well dressed and he certainly looked the bollocks Borg was the man back then. Borg was the casual king. Borg retired at the age of 26 and has lived a (more)low-key life – and founded his own fashion label.

Björn Borg is considered one of the greatest players in tennis history and one of the most stylish players in the world. The Fila Borg jackets are some of the most iconic ones ever.

Check out this picture below Borg sporting a white Fila tracksuit ... Class!