By Chris Oddo | Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Ernests Gulbis is cool but did the Latvian make our list of the top 10 coolest players in the game today? We break it down for you here.
Photo Source: Thailand Open
In response to Doug Perry's recent article, which ranked the 10 coolest tennis players of all-time, we've put together our own coolness rankings for our current crop of active stars.
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Read on to find out who we're tabbing as the kings and queens of cool in tennis' present era:
10. Benoit Paire
The Frenchman is stylish—many find his beard to be downright mesmerizing—and also edgy. And, if his twitter account is any indication, he pursues his partying with as much passion as he does his tennis. Plus, there is an air of mystery about Paire, a vital ingredient when it comes to the coolness quotient.
9. Venus Williams
What's cool about Venus is that she really doesn't give a damn about what you think. You want her to retire? Say she's over the hill? Screw you, she loves tennis and loves rocking your world in her cutting edge attire. She's also probably the most Zen tennis player out there, and she conducts herself with the utmost of dignity whether she wins or loses, which we find inspiring and, well, cool.
8. Fabio Fognini
Fabio is crazy cool, in that crazy, cool kind of way. The demonstrative Italian is straight out of a Fellini movie, part absurd, part super-model fashionista, and never far from the center of a controversy, or at the very least a wild, thrilling, gesticulating tantrum.
7. Laura Robson
Great sense of style. Great on Instagram. Great sense of humor. This woman will take over the world if her tennis ever catches up with her cool.
6. Svetlana Kuznetsova
Oh, Sveta, let us count the ways that we love you. Tattoos, pit-bulls and a few Grand Slam titles are just a few of the things that make you cool.
5. Maria Sharapova
Maria would rank even higher if it wasn't for her screaming and fist-pumping. But off the court she is a style maven, a jet-setter, and she has a very cool, detached way of interacting with the public. She's gracious, but you know if she ever decides to really tell you how she feels you'll be running for cover for days. Oh, and it doesn't hurt that Sharapova is a global fashion icon with legs as long as (longer than?) the Mississippi, either.
4. Tommy Haas
Haas is the respected senior spokesman of cool on the ATP Tour. He's blessed with movie star looks, is a humble and passionate spokesman for the game, looks great in a tennis kit or in a suit, and makes the girls swoon and the guys envious. If there was ever a player who we could picture driving a convertible in the Malibu canyon (Stan Getz playing bossa nova in the background), with one hand on the wheel and the other running through his long, flowing hair (which would be conveniently blowing in the breeze), it would be Haas.
3. Andrea Petkovic
Now we are getting closer to the heads of the class. Petko, and her wildly popular alter ego, Petkorazzi, have lit up the lives of many a tennis fan. Players like Petkovic, who offer depth and levity on an otherwise uber competitive and self-centered, results-driven tour, are a godsend. If Petko ever quits tennis, don't be surprised if she pops up in an indie rock band as a drummer soon thereafter.
2. Ernests Gulbis
What is your definition of cool? If you like wild and crazy, as in mad to live and willing to sacrifice political correctness for random acts of spontaneous combustion, then Gulbis is your guy. Much like his good friend Marat Safin, Gulbis can frequently be found on another planet, speaking verbosely with no filter, with a slightly twisted cant. It's a wildly entertaining stream of consciousness that he spits out. Gulbis says what other people think but would never dare to say. Or is it that he says what other people would never and aren't capable of thinking? Either way, it's cool. Don't ever change, Ernests.
1. Li Na
The purpose of cool people is to entertain and inspire us, and Li Na never fails on either calling. She is relentlessly funny, and relentlessly rebellious all in one. One minute she is thanking her husband for doing a good job making her drinks just right (facetiously, and hilariously) and the next minute she is telling the Chinese government to bleep off. If the emerging face of tennis is Asian, the emerging face of cool in tennis is Asian, too--it's Li Na.
Did we leave out your favorite player, and is your favorite player cool? Sound off in the comments!