Tennis is a wonderful example of diversity in sport. It is also a wondrous example of diversity in beauty, with its female heroines championing beauty of all kinds; of all colours, of all race, of all ethnicities, of all heights, of all weights, of all shapes, of all size. A celebration of the every woman – tall, curvy, Caucasian, petit, Asian, brunette – it proudly cheers on difference and diversity in all its forms. It is also one of the first sport’s to bridge the gender pay gap, championing pay parity across all four majors (with talks to extend this to the ATP and WTA tours).
As a powerful female-driven sport, it has also served up some spectacular beauty moments over time. From 1949’s panty-flashing shock at Wimbledon (you go, Gussie!) to the modern army of Russian blondes (Sharapova, Kournikova and co.), beauty in tennis has been beautiful, brazen and most importantly different.
Ahead of tomorrow night’s Australian Open Women’s Final between Czech star Petra Kvitova and Japan’s Naomi Osaka, we take our beauty cues from 13 of the most iconic beauties in tennis. Beauty with backspin; this is grand slam beauty if we’ve ever seen it.
A pin-up girl of the 80s, the Argentinian US Open Champion was the ultimate high-glamour heroine both on – and off – the court. Plus, she had her 80s beauty moves down pat; strong brows, blush and that iconic, gravity-defying mullet (including 80s headband). A winner, indeed.
The Queen of the Scream, Sharapova instantly became a beauty icon with her long blonde mane, green eyes and those seemingly never-ending legs.
With skin like honey, hazel eyes and that long lush mane, the former World No. 1 from Serbia proved the ultimate beauty inspo.
One of, if not the, biggest glamour girls to come out of the game, the Russian Doubles Champion was forever (and perhaps unfairly) lauded for her looks over talent (although she did lap it up). With Barbie-like proportions, the toned, tanned, very blonde athlete certainly left a glamorous legacy on the game.
The stunning Stephens – and 2017 US Open Champion – has a penchant for glamour, always taking centre court with a big pair of false lashes, lofty twisted plait and cute hair accessory – namely a visor or headband.
A tennis icon, the Florida-native was the reigning World. No 1 from 1974 – 1981 (with the exception of 1979) and had a beauty look to game, set, match. Natural and beachy, she loved a hair accessory; hitting backhands with big bows and smashing volleys with long ribbons in her hair, making an early case for cute athleisure.
The former World No. 1 and reigning Australian Open Champion, Wozniacki’s beauty cues are typically Scandinavian in character: blonde hair, blue eyes and tanned skin, the Danish star is always beautifully pared-back with a warm, sweeping smile in tow, too.
One of the greatest tennis players of all time, the fresh-faced 15-year-old from Switzerland stormed onto the scene (or court) in 1996, becoming the youngest ever Grand Slam Champion winning the Women’s Doubles Title. With baby blues, thick chocolate locks and strong brows, the tennis legend championed natural makeup and hair like no other. We’re also particularly partial to this scrunchie.
This year’s Australian Open finalist, the Japanese cutie (who actually hails from Osaka) boasts beautiful skin (with thanks to her Japanese mother and Haitian father) and incredible dip-dyed curls. Osaka for the win.
The new blonde on the block; young British player Katie Boulter is setting hearts on fire with her bombshell looks. Baby Anna, is that you?
In 1979, The Washington Post wrote the following: “Not since cameramen unabashedly lay flat on the court to peer underneath “Gorgeous Gussie” Moran’s hemline and take photos of her celebrated lace-trimmed panties in 1949 has Wimbledon seen a fashion stir quite like the one brought about Wednesday by Linda Siegel.” Such a comment would, of course, no longer fly in the current feminist landscape (and rightly so), however misogynist mores aside, there was no doubt about it: Siegel had a beauty look to boot.
The French-Canadian tennis player had textbook French beauty down pat; championing that laissez-faire guise which has compounded French beauty for eons, she was au naturale when it came to her makeup and hair, favouring sandy plaits and minimal makeup.
“Gorgeous Gussie” as she was affectionately nicknamed, lived up to her title. The glamorous American served a lesson in sporty glamour, wearing lipstick, ribbons and pin-curls when playing. She also famously shocked the sport (and the world) with her ruffled panties and short skirt at Wimbledon – still the most conservative Grand Slam of them all. Game, set, Gussie.
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