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By Ann Stark, Special Contributor 

(August 25, 2011) It seems to be a rule that as a new Grand Slam rolls around, the top clothing manufacturers come out with a new line of clothes to showcase their brands.

The manufacturers seem especially keen for the US Open because it’s the Grand Slam after Wimbledon, which has an all-white rule that limits creativity.

With that said, I'll take a look at some of the great, and not so great, styles of the US Open.

Nike isn’t shy when it comes to color, as they’ve introduced shades like “sonic yellow” and “scarlet fire.” Bright hues will be popping up all over the courts of NYC on players like
Roger Federer and Serena Williams.

Nike recently outfitted
Serena in day/night versions of the Smash Hard Court dress which comes in “treasure blue” and yes, “scarlet fire.” She’ll be hard to miss regardless of the time of day, especially with the matching bandanas.

Serena, Fed-Ex, and of course
Rafael Nadal will be sporting coordinating Nike bandanas—that is, coordinating with each of their outfits, not with each other. Spot Rafa from the nosebleed section in his white (with sonic yellow accents) Ace Court Top and matching banana bandana.

The Ace Court Top features a front design that looks as though someone lost control of a highlighter. The blue version of Rafa’s Ace Court Top is more appealing with light blue accents.

will hit the court during the day with the Trophy Court Tennis top. At the US Open, he will be wearing the top in a very eye-catching scarlet. At night, he’ll show his stuff in a charcoal-colored polo with red accents. Both shirts will be matched to charcoal-grey shorts for a look befitting a champion.

Nike’s Maria collection is significantly toned down. This collection, inspired by
Maria Sharapova, features soft fall colors and feminine designs. The Ace Day dress comes in light grey with some touches of “solar red” that add to the dress’s modern edge but aren’t overpowering.

Adidas is a bit more hit and miss with their style this year. World No. 4
Andy Murray will take the court in the black adidas Barricade tee-shirt. Although I like the black with green accents, the symmetrical design on the chest and back take away from what could have been a really great shirt.

You can say the same of the
blue shirt as well. The blue is a nice and rich color, but the grey design really takes away from the look.

red and white versions get away with it, though. The red is a stunning color, and the symmetrical design is darker. The design barely shows up on the white, which I think is the best of the bunch.

Most of adidas’ other players, including
Fernando Verdasco and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, will play in the Adizero series of gear.

For the most part, adidas hit a double fault with this line. Most of the shirts have solid-colored shoulders with triangles, parallelograms and vertical lines to create something that looks quite messy.

The problem is compounded when you combine a
dark maroon color with a reddish-orange, or if you mix those two with white. Although I’m not a fan, the blue combined with optic yellow is appealing, but not enough for me to buy it for anyone I know.

Adidas massively redeems itself with the
Adipure Traditional Tennis Polo, which will be worn by Gilles Simon. The polo comes in a vibrant red with a blue and white stripe across the front, or an appealing blue with red stripe.

It’s a great look, and I’m surprised that many of adidas’ players aren’t kitted out in these shirts.

The women’s clothing is much more appealing.
Ana Ivanovic and Daniela Hantuchova will play in the highly attractive Adizero Feather dress, which comes in sky blue accented with neon pink or reddish orange with pink. Although the colors aren’t traditional, these dresses still look stylish and not overdone, unlike the men’s Adizero line.

Andrea Petkovic
and others will take the court in the Barricade top, which has what looks like the letter “Y” on the front. The other shirts in this line are light blue with a pink “Y” and pink with a white “Y.”

I’m a fan of simple being better, and like the men’s Adizero this line is just too “busy.”

Honorable Mention

has made a big move recently to sponsor some of the top players, with special mention of Mardy Fish and Vera Zvonareva.

Fish, who
won the US Open Series, will play in the classy Stripes Tennis Polo, which has grey and red horizontal stripes in the right half of the shirt. As I said earlier, I’m a fan of simplicity. The great thing about this shirt is that it has a traditional look as well as a bit of an edge with the hint of red they added.

Zvonareva, the World No. 2, will wear the
Racerback Tennis Tank, which comes in white and an attractive turquoise blue.

Both tops have the same black accent, and while they could use a little more of an edge I think they get the job done.

So there you have it. This is the gear that all the top players are wearing for the next two weeks.

If you want to don any of these outfits yourself, make sure to pick them up from our friends at
Tennis Express, who were nice enough to give us these images.


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