Nike players like to tweak it! Outfit surprises at the 2015 Australian Open

Besides fighting with the Australian sun in who will shine brighter and force spectators to put their shades on faster, the new Nike collection is also perplexing us tennis fashion enthusiasts with some major tweaks their top representatives Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova have made to the planned Australian Open designs.

Let's first see how Serena describes her new dress in a nutshell:

One peanut and I'm going to break the dress, so I try not to eat that much.

Serena Nike dress - back design - Australian Open 2015

The five-time Australian Open champion won her first official WTA match of the season in just 61 minutes, defeating Alison Van Uytvanck in the first round on Margaret Court Arena, and while her solid performance was no surprise, her back-revealing dress sure was. Both the advertised version of Serena's Nike Spring Slam Tunic and the item available at retail don't have the back that is open that much and especially not that much that the cut goes all the way towards abs. Other features such as the spaghetti straps and contract hem with small splits stayed the same.

Serena has now officially announced in her post-match interview that Nike is parting ways with boring designs (and, truth be told, we saw quite enough of them in the recent past years), and is going for more adventurous styles, that will concentrate on bold back designs, something that has been a major trend in women's tennis fashion since last year (browse through my 2014 Fashion Retrospections and you'll see a wide variety of back designs in all brands).

Throughout the years we went for a more conservative look. This year we really wanted to bring out a powerful woman and a strong woman, like I said. You can be beautiful and powerful at the same time. So what we at Nike wanted to do was to focus on beautiful back. So kind of a lot of my outfits this year are really based on the beauty of and the shape of the back, which a lot of people don't think about.

Sharapova - Nike Australian Open 2015 dress in action

On the other hand, Sharapova decided to tone down her Nike Spring Maria OZ Premier Dress, which originally has a bold cutout at mid-back, while she shrunk it considerably for her Australian Open 2015 opening victory against Petra Martic on Day 1.

Azarenka Australian Open 2015

Victoria Azarenka made no major fashion surprises in her juicy first-round match-up with Sloane Stephens, wearing her Nike Spring Advantage Printed Tank, but she did make a slight switch, not opting for the printed Nike Spring Victory Printed Skirt, rather for a bright solid piece. Have you noticed?

Sharapova - Stuttgart

Last year we also had some personal modifications in the Nike club. Remember how Sharapova got rid of the draped mesh back of her Nike Summer Premier Maria Tank that she wore in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome.

After all, these are the biggest WTA stars, how can they wear something that is not personalized!

Check out my comprehensive overview of the Nike collection for the 2015 Australian Open. (photos: Mark Kolbe, Clive Brunskill/Getty Images, Jason Lockett/Tennis Australia, Jimmie48)

17 thoughts on “Nike players like to tweak it! Outfit surprises at the 2015 Australian Open

  1. sabey

    Lacoste had an open back dress two years ago. Not as open as Serena's but more like Marias.
    Nike men's clothing is headache inducing though. Especially the outfits on the younger guys.

  2. Zech

    I'm still getting used to new looks, but I do like the change up. Also, Serena is 5 time Aussie Open Champ, not 4.

  3. Marija Post author

    Sabey, haha I like your adjective "headache-inducing". Vika's outfit is headache-inducing as well, especially when she enters the court with the screaming yellow warmup jacket on. Many brands have featured back cutouts like Maria's post-change one, but this Serena's experiment is something new and it definitely stirred the tennis public.

    Zech, I would've liked to see Maria in the original version of the dress. Like this it is quite tamed, I'd like to see a bolder look. And thanks for the note, I corrected the mistake.

  4. Liz

    I think Maria made a good change by taming down the cutout… But I'm not sure about Serena's… The dress is much more exciting than the one retailed, but I don't see the point of the huge cutout and the thin spaghetti straps if you need two layers (yes, there was a brown one underneeth!) of bras to keep the 'girls' bounceless 😉 lol.

    And why is Aga not playing in the lace dress? Now she wore one of those regular boring Lotto styles 🙁

    I like the bold neons btw! But it seems there are (especially on the women's side) a lot of players wearing exactly the same… a miracle if you have created such a great diversity of mix and match styles as Nike did for this AO.

  5. Marija Post author

    Liz, hahaha bounceless girls! 😀 Aga is an absolute letdown with that regular dress. The black lace dress is not my favorite style, but she would sure be competitive in the Nike/Adidas/EleVen arena and would bring more variety to the AO fashion scene.

  6. Ga

    Wow! Everyone in the room watching the match shouted out once they saw Serena's dress. I love the change 😀
    Is it me, or is the back a bit like the 2012 Olympic dress that Serena wore? Only that one didn't go as far down
    Maybe Aga will wear the lace after the aus open? I'm so tired of the exact same dress every time, lotto could have at least stepped up for a slam

  7. Jim

    Methinks the women and men who are wearing the chartreuse colored attire are cheating (especially Azarenka). How can their opponent see the yellow tennis ball against their outfits? Just like last years Oz Open, there are a lot of women wearing the same Nike pink floral dresses. Could not stand last year when Ivanovic, Muguruza, and Halep all wore the same Adidas dress! Btw, 2 luv Muguruza's Gray top and pink skirt this year. Too bad Ivanovic lost..loved her purple see through back!

  8. Ga

    Marija, my "good memory" can be attributed to frequently looking at said retrospections 😉 that dress stood out when I looked at them because I liked it so much more seeing the details you pointed out 🙂
    At first, I thought Aga would skip the lace dress because it was too dark in the heat, but her actual dress is a dark navy… Maybe they'll surprise us and have her wear it if Aga makes the second week?
    I think both adidas and Stella look better than nike in the two piece outfits, as we can actually look at the clothing 😉

  9. Emman Damian

    Adidas started doing great back designs for dresses last year. I think Nike was pressured to do the same for all their lines. I must commend their effort here. It's good that they can offer more than the usual or basic designs. The choice of color for Vika is not a winner for me. They could have opted for the pink version of the dress. The color is too striking. She's like a walking tennis ball.

  10. Marija Post author

    @Jim, Azarenka's outfit is really too loud, I wouldn't wear something like that. Just the top is OK, but both the top and the skirt in that color is too much. Have you ever heard players complaning about the color of their opponent's apparel?

    Adidas is the champion in cloning their players. They do have wonderful designs, but really the amount of players wearing the same clothes can be overwhelming, I agree.

    Muguruza's outfit is Stella McCartney. I also love that collection and I wrote about it here: http://www.womenstennisblog.com/2014/12/14/a-closer-look-at-new-adidas-designs-for-2015-wozniacki-promo-photo/

    @Ga, I first started the yearly fashion overviews inspired by Sharapova's tennis fashion and then the following year I figured it would be fun to include other players. Gradually I started receiving requests to feature more and more players and when my collection of those articles was getting quite large and created the Fashion Retrospections page. It turned out that readers love it and also it happens to be a great resource for me as well!

    I agree, that Olympic dress is one of the best dresses ever, even though people have mostly forgotten about it. It combines "ordinary" colors of navy, white and red in such a good way to make it both classic and edgy. That's the best combo!

    And about Aga's dress, you're right, nothing makes sense here, from a logical point of view. I doubt that she'll introduce another dress in the second week.

    "As we can actually look at the clothing" hahaha! 🙂

    @Emman Damian, the back designs became a hit last year and a lot of brands played with the back designs, especially EleVen I think. But I didn't notice who started the trend. You remember it was Adidas? With which outfit?

    @Francisco, very good observation! There's been no discussion about that. I'll have to try to get the answer on Twitter.

  11. Jim

    Marija, I don't think any of the pros complain about the colors. But they should be complaining about the screaming of Sharapova and Azarenka. Sharapova's screams got a little louder and longer in the latter stages of the Panova match yesterday..she is lucky to have pulled that one out. Btw love how the qualifiers, like Panova have simple little outfits and this is what makes me love women's tennis..the borderline players who are trying to make a name and move up the rankings. I hope Zarina Diyas and her simple little Srixon outfit can give Maria a good match.

  12. tenniz-fan

    Wow at Serena's dress! Her best in quite some while in my opinion. She looks strong, fit and overall gorgeous. Love it!

  13. Marija Post author

    Jim, oh well, there has been a lot of complaining about the screaming and a lot of discussion about it. About the up-and-coming players, I think we can all appreciate the variety, we have everything — simple and busy outfits, prints and solids, provocative and traditional, edgy and classic, safe and daring. Plus, players are increasingly bringing their own personality to the entire look by hairstyles, manicure and accessories.

    Tenniz-fan, certainly a nice change from the good but too predictable 2014! And everyone's talking about her new dress. Maybe Nike heard my complaints 😉

  14. Emman Damian

    I remember it started last 2011. Check Ana and Daniela's Adizero dresses for Australian Open. Then last year they started doing a lot of dresses with nice back designs.

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