With the flipping of the calendar from 2018 to 2019, Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig had a complete change of attire in the middle of the same tournament.
Must have involved some extra baggage charges on the trip Down Under.
On Dec. 31, 2018 as the Rio Olympic gold medalist defeated wild card Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the first round of the ASB Classic in Auckland, she was wearing the Ellesse kit she had been sporting for four years.
On Jan. 2, 2019, for her second round against No. 3 seed Hsieh Su-Wei – a totally different look.
Puig was decked out all in Yonex, which also is her racket sponsor.
(That Puig lost to Hsieh 6-1, 7-6 likely had less to do with the new look than it did the comprehensive bit of taping on her right shoulder).
A lot of changes for 2019
The Yonex kit is actually terrific. And that has not always been the case for the company’s line of women’s tennis outfits.
So that’s a plus.
They might think about maybe relocating her AT&T sponsorship patch, though.
That one stood out against the blue of the old kit. Stuck on the lilac, it kind of blends into the background.
Puig had posted a photo on social media a few weeks ago during preseason in which she wasn’t wearing the usual Ellesse, but a Yonex top.
That was the giveaway, although the pic was later deleted.
Puig’s coach hasn’t made the switch yet.
Konta in Ellesse
Meanwhile, Johanna Konta of Great Britain has joined countryman Cameron Norrie in the Ellesse stable for 2019.
Konta had been wearing Asics.
But when she appeared on Jan. 1 and pulled off an upset against Sloane Stephens in the first round of Brisbane, she was wearing a rather retro-looking Ellesse kit.
The shoes were horribly mismatched, though; she’ll have to get on that.
Former Ellesse ambassador Feliciano Lopez also is gone, to the Italian brand Hydrogen.
Bertens in Fila
Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens, who joined the top 10 in 2018, got there wearing Mizuno.
As the new season dawns, she’s wearing FILA. And nice-looking Fila at that.
Suárez Navarro needs wardrobe function
Spanish veteran Carla Suárez Navarro remains with Lotto.
But judging by her listless defeat in the first round in Brisbane – she got just three games against Anett Kontaveit – a major wardrobe adjustment is in order.
Suárez Navarro would have nothing to do with the low-cut, racerback top she was given to wear.
As is – NOTHING to do with it.
She wore a rather more modest undershirt beneath it to ease any concern about accidental visuals.
But beyond that, was the length of the skirt – or lack thereof.
Generously listed at 5-foot-4, the Spaniard shouldn’t generally have an issue with skirts being too short. But this one was.
As well, she kept … having to pull down the attached shorties (we girls know this feeling all too well).
It seems like nothing. But it doesn’t take much to throw a player off her game. And being thoroughly uncomfortable in her tennis duds will do it.
Kontaveit in Lacoste
After years wearing adidas (although we don’t know 100 per cent that it was an actual financial sponsorship), the Estonian Kontaveit has kicked off 2019 in Lacoste.
She trounced Suárez Navarro and, on Wednesday, Petra Kvitova to advance to the Brisbane quarterfinals.
So – so far, so good, although that center-pleat idea was probably best left in the 1970s.
Leggings are in
With the adjustment-clarification-change in the rule for the women and wearing leggings on the court in 2019 (call it whatever you prefer), a few veterans in Shenzhen have wasted no time taking it to the max.
The less-than balmy temperatures have made it far less a fashion statement than a necessity.
Which, of course, was what it always was before the French Open brouhaha with Serena Williams that led to the “clarification” of the rule.
Some new Nike – please
A lot of the players won’t debut their 2019 tennis wear until the Australian Open.
Which means that sort-of-mismatched Stella McCartney adidas outfit is still around (with Caroline Wozniacki, among others, wearing it).
Worse: it means that … Fall 2018 Nike gear is still around.
No matter what iteration it’s in – the mismatched colours, the skirt with the unflattering horizontal lines, the short-sleeve tucked shirt, the Sloane Stephens outfit, or the too-short racerback top sported by Belinda Bencic in Perth – it’s an eyesore.
Melbourne can’t arrive soon enough.
(All screenshots from WTA TV)