The Vintage Tennis Fashion Guide (as told by today's tennis stars)

Thinking of bringing back some vintage outfits to the court next season?  We've got you covered with our favorites from throughout tennis history, modeled by some players you might be a bit more familiar with. 

As Clay Court Tennis described in their article on fashion, there have been very distinct periods of tennis fashion. Starting from tennis’s first days to the twenty first century, tennis players have worn a multitude of different costumes.

Pre 20th Century: The Baggy Pants Era

This period was known for long baggy pants and all white outfits.

Rafa and Roger as William and Ernest Renshaw

1900-1932: Tilden Era

American tennis star, “Big” Bill Tilden was a fashion icon and coined the cable knit sweater look.

Novak Djokovic as Bill Tilden


1932 - 1970: Let there be Shorts

Henry “Bunny” Austin, one of the greatest British tennis players of all time, led the charge for shorts on the courts.

Andy Murray as Bunny Austin


1970-1990: Intro to Color

Supposedly caused by the need to differentiate the players on the court, subtle colors are added to the previously all white kits. It was also during this time that headbands became popular.

Stan Wawrinka as Bjorn Borg


1990s: Explosion of Color

Color erupted onto players’ uniforms. Additionally, the previously popular short shorts were abandoned for longer ones.

Old Andre Agassi as Young Andre Agassi


2000s Onwards: No Sleeves No Rules

In today’s era of tennis fashion, anything is on the table, including the no sleeve look that Nadal debuted during the mid 2000s, and continues to rock.


Tell us - which vintage fashion would you like to see return to the court?

9 of the Most Unique Tennis Courts in the World

It's pretty easy to fit a tennis court almost anywhere - for years, people have been squeezing them into any place with 2800 square feet to spare.

Sure, you've seen the temporary courts Roger Federer and others have played on for marketing stunts:  On top of the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubal, on a floating court, or a half-grass half-clay court - but our favorites are standard tennis courts in exceptionally unique locations.

As the fall season winds down, we're sharing a few of our favorites:

Necker Island

There are many tennis courts on beaches in exotic locations, but few with as much posh as the courts on Necker Island.  Necker, of course, is Sir Richard Branson’s private island resort - which he bought for a measly $180,000 at the age of 28.

Necker is home to the Necker Cup, a prestigious pro-am tournament that occurs on the island every year and brings together current and former pros.

It’s hard to beat the setting:  the courts are right on the beach with a hint of a water view.  A little distracting during play, perhaps, but at least the time to get to the beach after the match is minimized.

Infinite Tennis Court - Los Angeles

Private tennis cubs are one thing, but private courts on the grounds of your own villa are another. The recreational sports scene among LA's elite often plays out on these secluded courts.  The private court of choice has to be the one behind James Goldstein's house - a house featured in "The Big Lebowski" - that features a tennis court reminiscing an infinity pool.  

It looks like a cross-court winner might just land in downtown LA, so make sure you bring an extra can of balls.


Monte-Carlo Country Club

One of the premier stops on the ATP world tour is the Monte Carlo Masters tournament, which actually takes place in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France - just across the border from Monaco.

The tournament takes place just prior to the French Open, and contrast between the unmistakeable deep red clay of France and the blue waters of the Mediterranean is simply stunning.


Roy Emerson Arena - Gstaad

From a clay court on the beach to a clay court in the mountains.  Gstaad hosts a mid-summer ATP tour tournament in the 5,000 seat arena in the middle of the Swiss alps.

Emerson, the court's namesake, won a combined 28 amateur Grand Slam titles in both singles and doubles (one of only five players to win multiple Slams in both disciplines) and won in Gstaad in 1969.


Stadium Grass Court at Desert Mountain, Scottsdale

Touted as the centerpiece of the facility, Desert Mountain's clubhouse overlooks a sunken grass court that has been called "the finest conditioned grass surface" that some pros had ever seen.

An advanced water heating system is buried under the court, ensuring ideal growing conditions for the grass are maintained at all times - handy when your grass court is in the middle of the desert.  We love the natural bleachers and surrounding cactus, too.


Astor Private Court - Rhinebeck, NY

John Jacob Astor IV's Astor Courts building, which he had constructed in 1902, is a sportsman's dream.  Specifically designed as a sporting pavilion, the building housed the first residential indoor pool, two squash courts, a bowling alley, and a shooting range.  An outdoor grass tennis court can be found on the grounds as well, but the crown jewel of the facility has to be the indoor tennis court.  

A gigantic skylight supported by a vault-and-truss system allows natural light to shine on the red clay, making it feel like you're playing tennis in the most elegant of field houses.

La Cavalerie - Paris

Paris’ rich tennis history needs no introduction, and the city has an amazing collection of tennis spaces in odd and beautiful locations, beautifully outlined in this excellent NY Times piece.  None are more delightful than La Cavalerie, an English hunting lodge style club located (conveniently) above an Aston Martin dealership.

The court is a sight to behold: 1,400 pieces of wood were fashioned to create a honeycomb style wall/ceiling arching over the playing surface.  A glass ceiling allows natural light to accompany the interior lights of the court.

Plus, after your match is over you can walk out on the patio and take in this view:

Rooftop Tennis Court - Holiday Inn Atrium, Singapore

It’s hard to believe that perhaps the best view of the Singapore skyline is on the roof of a Holiday Inn.  On a tennis court.  But it might just be true.  

The court itself is rather unremarkable, but it’s nearly impossible to beat the view.


All Iowa Lawn Tennis Club

A beautiful grass court surrounded by a white fence in the middle of a cornfield?  Sign us up. The All Iowa Lawn Tennis Club is a slice of Wimbledon dropped squarely in middle America.

It's like a real-life tennis version of "Field of Dreams," and it's been called "glorious" by this tremendous article from Grantland in 2013.

What'd we miss?  Where is your favorite place to play?  

Share you story below!

What does Tennis mean to you?

It's a question we ask ourselves constantly here at MatchOn HQ.  Our team's tennis experience is all over the place - ranging from high-level college play to a few weekend warriors.  Everyone has a great tennis story and, more importantly, tennis means something to everyone no matter how they play the game.  

One of our summer interns, Asher Weiss, explains what tennis means to him.  Join in on the conversation and share what tennis means to you below!

By:  Asher Weiss


Tennis is one of the most popular and extraordinary games in the world. The game spreads from Boston to Sydney to Bangkok and everything in between. Tennis is played in different climates, on different courts, and with different surroundings and has become a widely recognized sport. Some play for enjoyment, others play to make money, but all seem to share a same strong love of the game.

Ever since I can remember I have played tennis. I learned when I was just a little kid and have loved playing ever since. Something about being out on court with nothing else on your mind always makes playing tennis a really special experience. I played a wide range of sports as a kid including basketball, baseball, hockey, and soccer, yet none seemed to stick with me as much as tennis. So what makes tennis so special?

It could be the mental strategies used at all times, it could be the strong sense of one on one competition, or it could be the fact that when you are on court, there is nothing to think about except the game. For me it’s a mix of all those things. However, one very special aspect of tennis is the fact that it is a multi-generational game. Fathers and mothers teach their kids, who teach their kids and so on and so forth. Tennis really is a sport that family members can easily teach to each other and can play together for fun.

Spending my summers in a small town with a strong tennis community has allowed me to experience the real generational aspect of the game. Tournaments in my town consist of sons and grandsons, uncles and nephews, mothers and daughters, basically any combination of family members you can think of. Being able to share a game with your family is something that few other sports can offer.

Being able to play with people of all ages is another very special part of tennis. I have to admit that people 50 years older than me have beaten me a few times. The fact that anyone, no matter what your age, can beat anyone else makes the game so much more interesting.

Over the years tennis has become a very important part of my life. Sometimes we don’t realize how important things are to us until we really sit back and think about it. Tennis has taught me to focus, taught me how to lose, and taught me how to compete. It has relaxed me in times of stress and has picked me up in times of defeat. I have trouble imaging what my life would be like without my favorite activity. Tennis is so much more than an activity; tennis is a part of me.

Why Technology Can (and Should) Change Tennis.

Technology is doing great things for Tennis. Smart racquets and smart courts are transforming the way we play the game we love. What we need are better ratings.

 The French Open saw some professionals being equipped with so-called "smart racquets" - a tennis racquet that can collect data on the player and then upload this to a computer where it can be used to improve the player’s game. These racquets designed by Babolat are being used by pros such as Rafa, Li Na and Sam Stosur. The technology will allow tennis players to get a deeper understanding of their game’s strengths and flaws. This is a really exciting development in Tennis!

 Another development in technology for tennis has been the PlaySight Smart Court. PlaySight has designed courts equipped with cameras, which can track ball speeds and record your shots so that a coach can give you better tips. These devices can also function as line judges giving real-time playback to players. With the smart court, tennis is about to get a lot more interesting. We can’t wait to see what PlaySight does next!


Part of our goal to creating more competitive and fun tennis matches involves re-imagining the way we go about tennis ratings.


With great advancements in racquet technology and on-court data collection, you’d think a cutting-edge system to rate tennis players would have been created years ago. Unfortunately this isn't the case, and MatchOn is out to fix this problem. Our goal to creating competitive and fun tennis matches involves re-imagining the way we go about tennis ratings. Much like the Golf handicap system, MatchOn will use dynamic ratings based on objective match result data. This means your rating will change after every match you play, giving you a real-time view into your current tennis playing level.  



Click Here to Learn More and Get the App







Welcome to MatchOn

Welcome to our new site and our blog.  The MatchOn app will launch in mid-August in a select group of cities, and we're excited about its potential to revolutionize the way we find people to play tennis with.  

So why are we launching a tennis app?  It's simple:  the top reason why people don't play tennis is because they don't have anyone to play with.  We realized, however, that the problem runs deeper than that.  The real reason people don't play is that they don't have anyone to play with at their skill level.  Hundreds of thousands of tennis matches go unplayed every year because people would rather not play at all than play someone at a different level.  We want to change this.

Our app is going to match you with a player at your level every single time.  You're going to have more fun playing tennis.  And unlike other sites where you have to scroll through a database of players and schedule the match yourself (not knowing if it will even be fun), we automate this process and deliver a fun match at the touch of a button.  

We hope you'll come join us!  Pre-register for the app, tell your friends,  download it on launch day, enter your results and, most importantly, have more FUN playing tennis!


Click Here to Get the App