Top 10 hairstyles in tennis.
Andy Murray’s Afro. Whether or not Murray believes in clichéd expressions, it seems there was one he whole-heartedly embraced: go big or go home. Kept in peat and fed with plenty of Miami sunlight during the winter break, Murray’s afro made its brief and tumultuous debut at the 2008 Australian Open. He lost in the first-round. Afro conspiracies aside, it was probably a good thing it got the chop. According to his website, Andy said: “What the woman in the salon must have been thinking when we turned up, I really don’t know.” Nor do I.
Goran Ivanisevic’s top-knot. “I lost one match [with my hair like this]. It’s just fun, you know,” Ivanisevic said in the moments after his loss to Boris Becker in the 1996 Grand Slam Cup. It should come as no surprise that the enigmatic Croat, famous for his habit of watching Teletubbies during his 2001 Wimbledon campaign, firmly believed: “You have to change sometimes. It’s too boring, everybody, they have the same fashion all the time.” Buy new shirts next time, Goran.
Andre Agassi’s mullet wig. Agassi may be considered one of the great male tennis players, but his hair – or as it transpired, lack of – left a lot to be desired. His now infamous ‘mullet wig’ led to far more problems than style. Agassi contended that his fear that the hairpiece would fall off in front of judges, viewers, and fans affected his concentration and led to his defeat in the 1990 French Open final: “Of course I could have played without my hairpiece, but what would all the journalists have written if they knew that all the time I was really wearing a wig?”
Sveta Kuznetsova’s corn rows. Change can be good, but it comes with its pitfalls. Sveta’s corn rows fell very far into the latter. For months she told Serena that, “I want her hair, to have corn rows like her”, a wish which was to be eventually granted. At the 2007 Wimbledon Championships, the Russian ploughed through the competition only to come unstuck against Serena’s older sister, Venus. After the match Sveta said: “My head was very tired and was asking me to take them out.” Head? Crowd? Same thing.
Andy Roddick’s mohawk. For so many years Roddick has embodied the image of the all-American, baseball cap wearing, sharp, boyish look. Never one to bore, A-Rod sent shockwaves through the tennis world at the start of 2012 donning a mohawk. He was quoted to say: “I only have a few more years of hair anyway, so I might as well have fun with it.” This isn’t as much as a ‘don’t’ but more a ‘probably shouldn’t’. Nevertheless, 30 titles and counting, what a guy.
John McEnroe’s nest. They say dogs are like their owners. So is hair. Big, brash and very loud, McEnroe’s curly brown locks were often overshadowed by his on-court antics. In an odd clash of the two, he once told a line judge in the 1984 US Open to “grow some hair.” A casting director on hit U.S. show 30 Rock must have remembered this, as he guest featured in an episode titled ‘The Head and The Hair’. At least John saw the funny side.
Steffi Graf’s mane. At the age of 17 years and 11 months, Steffi Graf became the youngest ever winner of the French Open women’s singles in 1987. Unlike her better half, sporting a huge mane of blonde clearly worked in Steffi’s favour. Her rival Monica Seles said “A lot of us were scared of Steffi.” So were the hair stylists.
Roger Federer’s ponytail. Picture the scene: it is 2003 and dressed in a sleek all-white ensemble, the first Swiss man to win a grand slam lifts a beautiful golden trophy to an adoring Wimbledon crowd. One problem, the hair. It is difficult to criticise a man who then went onto win another 15 majors (and counting) but the Fed’s ponytail was more Steven Seagal than sophisticated. With each slam since, he has transformed into one of the most stylish men on the planet. Easy enough.
Venus Williams’s braids. In a bizarre incident a the 1999 Australian Open, Venus’s hair caused more than a fashion fracas. When her multi-coloured beaded braids fell on to the tennis court, they were deemed to have caused a ‘disturbance’ by the umpire and he called a let. Fighting back tears she argued as her remaining beads bounced and clattered on the tennis court: “There’s no disturbance, no one’s being disturbed.” Moral of the story? Keep it simple.
Alexandr Dolgopolov’s corn rows. What was the greatest thing before sliced bread? Is there another word for synonym? Why did Dolgopolov get corn rows? These are some of life’s greatest mysteries. At this year’s ATP Masters 1000 event in Miami, the young Ukrainian transmogrified his long, silky locks into what can be best described as gym ropes.