FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – For those interested in the US Open collections from the various kit manufacturers, we’ve all seen the heavily Photoshopped promotional handouts that are released leading up to the final Grand Slam of the season.
But how do they fit?
How do they look when the players move?
Are the color choices such that the sweat stains are somewhat alarming (see Nike – mustard-colored US Open series shorts)?
The qualifying is a good opportunity to actually see the kits in action. Because if the lower-ranked players are sponsored, they’ll be wearing them then.
That’s how we knew that Nike’s “baby doll, accordion-pleated” white dress at Wimbledon a few years ago was going to be … about what we expected it might be.
adidas colors shine
For adidas, which has generally outshone its bigger tennis competitor, Nike, in recent years (more Nike’s fault than theirs, really), the new kits are pretty terrific.
They don’t necessarily make a statement as the “Pharell Williams” collection did. But they’re really smashing – especially the women’s outfit.
Here’s China’s Shilin Xu, a 21-year-old ranked No. 215 who rates new adidas gear, (although not a photo – or any other pertinent information other than her birthdate – on the WTA Tour website).
Xu beat Victoria Duval in the first round of qualifying, upset No. 32 seed Varvara Flink in the second, and lost to Mariam Bolkvadze in three sets in the final round.
If we have one bone to pick, it’s this (not new) notion of having the visors and shoes completely unrelated to the colours in the kit.
Either of these is a better option.
As well, when the wind picks up at the US Open (as it usually does), those pleats are going to be flying all over the place. And that can prove a distraction as some of the women worry about exposing their … undergarments.
Brooksby flies the colors in Qs
Meanwhile, American teen Jenson Brooksby flew the new adidas colors all the way to the main draw on the men’s side.
Brooksby had won two $25,000 ITFs earlier in the summer – 10 matches, only four of which featured opponents who had an actual ATP Tour ranking at the time.
But he lost 6-2, 6-2, to Ernesto Escobedo in the first round of the Aptos Challenger in California a few weeks ago.
So, at No. 394 in the rankings (close to his career high), you wouldn’t have picked the wild card to make the US Open main draw.
He got a main-draw wild card a year ago after winning the U.S. Boys’ 18s in his final year of junior eligibility. But he managed just six games against Aussie John Millman in the first round.
This year, Brooksby beat Kaichi Uchida and No. 27 seed Yuichi Sugita – both tough outs – in the first two rounds. And then, he took Pedro Martinez of Spain (who had upset Tommy Paul in the second round) in three sets to make it to the show again.
It was an impressive effort, to say the least, for a kid who will be a freshman at Baylor University this fall.
Brooksby drew veteran Tomas Berdych, who has played little this summer and is on his protected ranking, in the first round.