Tennis players are constantly the subject of scrutiny when it comes to what they wear on the court. Male or female, if you’re a top player, you can bet everyone will be giving the thumbs up or down to your Nike duds when a Grand Slam rolls around. Looking at on-court photos, we can deduce that the likes of Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Roger Federer all have spectacular style.
But do they really?
Off-court might tell a different tale. Free from the restrictions of sponsorship, tennis players can choose exactly what they want to wear. And that’s not always a good thing.
On The Go Tennis will be analysing the off-court style of a top player every week. Shoes, earrings, cardigans... nothing will go unnoticed.
Ana Ivanovic is many things - passionate, determined, overly enthusiastic and possibly a bit nervous. But there is one trait all her fans agree on, she's damn cute. Ivanovic's looks are such that they kept her relevant when she dropped out of the top 50. She's always been a fan favourite with a smile that comes easily to a pretty face, and even when she's losing, she's still being talked about. But looks don't buy you fashion sense. And on that note we will embark on what has been a bit of a love/hate relationship between Ana and clothing.
Her best look
Ana has a habit of going overboard, (both with fist-pumps and fashion... more on that later), but the Serbian darling looks best when she appears to have just thrown on any old thing. She doesn't necessarily work high fashion particularly well, but arguably looks better than any other WTA player in a loose gray jumper, simple make-up and basic jewelery.
She's been fluking rocking the same look since 2009, when she turned up to Melbourne airport in a basic singlet, a few necklaces and some low-slung jeans looking like a film star.
Blazers are another basic Ana can turn to when in doubt - she always looks good when she pairs one of these with a basic tee. In this photo I can't actually see her feet, which concerns me a little as Ana has a tendency to go wrong at any moment.
Case in point: the following photo was taken a few days ago and posted on Twitter. I took a quick peak and favourited it, thinking it was going to be my 'holy shit look how amazing she can dress' shot . Then I looked closer...
If you're going to go to the effort to bring green jeans back single-handedly, if you're going to throw on an absolutely gorgeous expensive-looking jumper and then brush your hair 100 times in all its silky smooth glory, then for gods sakes WHY DID YOU FORGET ABOUT YOUR FEET? Yes it's cold. But this is a form of footwear once reserved only for PAMELA ANDERSON. There is no excuse, ever, for wearing Ugg Boots outside your own home where only your kitten or long-term partner can be offended by them.
What's next, Ana? Leggings as pants?
Unfortunately, the more I hunted for photos of Ana wearing something fantastic, the more I found of her appearing decidedly uncool. She looked particularly ... unfashionable ... in 2008-09 when she went through a phase of wearing pants under skirts. Neither item was a bad choice by itself, but once teamed together they created a combination vile enough to take on velvet Ugg Boots.
To be fair she was possibly taking fashion advice from Fernando Verdasco at the time (matching jackets!!), and therefore cannot be held responsible for the above outfit.
The good news for Ana and her fans is she appears to be completely cured of this pants-with-skirts virus and I am confident in giving her the all-clear after failing to find even a scrap of evidence of the skirts/pants combo after 2009.
Regrettably, Ana often goes for the more-is-more look on the red carpet as well. She has gravitated towards dresses in the past that are with covered in jewels or feathers or both.
While in the following photo she managed to stay away from the vile pinks shown above, it's unfortunate the designer became bored halfway down and decided to find inspiration from an ostrich. Or a fairy. Or something.
Thankfully, Ana chose this moment to debut the most stunning hair and make-up combo I have ever seen on her and in doing so almost cancels out the bottom-half of this dress, (how good is the picture on the right, sans tutu?)
Once again, Ana does seem to be improving. She wore this outfit in Montreal this year and it is the perfect fit and colour for Ana. She even resisted the urge to match it with jeans.
Ivanovic has possibly the best hair on tour, (sorry, Lopez), and while I prefer it when she pulls it back into an understated pony tail, she looks good when she lets it out too.
Obviously her hair had the aid of a wind machine in this photo, but it still looks incredible.
The only thing missing is some risk-taking; I would absolutely love to see Ana try a fringe.
Ana also does a good job on keeping her make-up understated. Even in the most horrible dress, her face, shoes and hair almost always look elegant, (except when she's wearing Ugg boots).
For the most part...
Ana tends to go overboard when it comes to clothes, but has her accessories down pat. We have seen improvements in the Serbian star's style over time, so here's hoping she eventually nails her look and wins over even more fans.
Some more of out favourite Ana moments...
The shoes and blazer here are absolutely stunning, (I'm less sold on the top and skirt)
And my absolute favourite (trust Rolex to get it right)