Tennis Players, Marketers Fashion Competition At U.S. Open

Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams in Nike outifts for the 2009 U.S. Open.August 27, 2009: Although not official sponsors of the U.S. Tennis Open, Nike, adidas, Fila and others have enough savvy and experience in such situations to know how to make it seem as if they are officially attached. So it should be no surprise that when the Open hits New York on Aug. 31, players will make sure they shine in the Fashion Capital of the World.

Nike has unveiled its U.S. Open apparel and footwear for Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams and Juan Martin del Potro, meaning the "swoosh" likely will get significant court and TV air time throughout the event. “We are very proud to raise the bar for this year’s U.S. Open apparel and footwear collection by drawing inspiration from New York's style and energy,” Janice Lucena, global tennis design director, said in a statement. “From Nadal’s taxi cab yellow polo to the sleek sophistication of Maria and Serena’s night dresses, we continue to create product that helps our athletes perform better on the court while looking incredible.”

There likely will be a fashion playoff as Serena's sister Venus Williams is again set to wear outfits from her own Eleven collection, which used to be sold at Steve & Barry's before the national retailer closed shop. Serena and sister Venus Williams also fashioned other news this week when they confirmed they had become part owners of the NFL's Miami Dolphins, joining a celebrity-laden minority owner list that also includes Marc Anthony and Gloria Estefan.

Adidas will not be without strong representation at the Open with No. 1 ranked Dinara Safina, Ana Ivanovic, Caroline Wozniacki and Melanie Oudin among the women; Novak Djokovic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Fernando Gonzalez and Marat Safin among the men.

Fila's Tennis Heritage Collection roster includes James Blake, Anna Chakvetadze, Agi Szavay and Kim Clijsters.

Andy Roddick sports LaCoste, Andy Murray wears Fred Perry. Elena Dementieva wears Yonex. Jelena Jankovic this year left Reebok and signed with Chinese sports brand ANTA.

Polo Ralph Lauren, a sponsor of the U.S. Open for the last five years, outfits the ball boys’ and girls’ outfits, (pictured), meaning the brand might get the most air time of all.

The 2009 U.S. Open will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 13. The tournament will be broadcast by CBS, ESPN and Tennis Channel. Official sponsors are: IBM, Lexus, Citizen, JP Morgan, MassMutual, Chase, Olympus, Heineken, AmEx, Continental, Airlines, Polo Ralph Lauren, Canon, Evian, Tiffany and Kraft.

Caroline Wozniacki Scores Deal With adidas

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