I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Leopard Prints, Loud Colors and Tube Socks

Got to love those tube socks (Photo: Robbie Mendelson)
You might be a tennis geek if … you spent part of your weekend watching Fed Cup matches between Belgium and the United States. If that’s true, then count me among the geeks.

I tuned in to see Belgium’s Kim Clijsters, the reigning Australian Open champion, take on Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who recently lost in the first round of the Australian Open. Mattek-Sands played a good match, pushing Clijsters to a third set, but Clijsters did what champions do – she came through under pressure and won the match.

Clijsters is a joy to watch and I often root for her. But Mattek-Sands is the type of athlete who really intrigues me. She’s ranked 48 in the world, so she has to qualify into most tournaments (meaning, she has to win three matches before the tournament starts just to make the main draw). She doesn’t possess any huge shots, so she’ll probably never reach the higher levels of the sport, but she plugs away. I really respect that. And she has fun doing so.

She’s known for her crazy tennis attire. She wears leopard print outfits, and loud colors, and tube socks and short shorts. If you combined John McEnroe’s look in the 80s with the color schemes of the pop metal band Poison, you’ll have a good idea about the way she dresses for tournaments. As I guy who loved the tube sock era and wasn’t afraid to wear a neon green shirt from time to time, I can relate.

“There’s too many times – and I’m sure I’ve said this before – you know, players are dressed the same, head to toe,” Mattek-Sands said in an interview with the press last month. “And on TV, I can’t even tell who’s who. You know, both [have] blonde hair or something like that. I mean, what’s a fan to think? So, it’s my personality [to dress differently]. I’m like that off the court. Fashion’s always been an interest for me and it’s about it being fun and staying relaxed. I play better when I have that mentality anyway.”

Maybe all of us would benefit from embracing our inner Bethanie Mattek-Sands.


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