Summer is a great time of year to be a vaper, and nothing heralds the beginning of summer quite like the Wimbledon Championships.
Wimbledon is as much a part of the British summertime as damp barbecues and complaining that it’s too hot. As soon as you see punters tucking into strawberries and cream on centre court, you know the good times are rolling in.
But there are some other things that Wimbledon is just as well known for: there’s the grunting, obviously, and decades’ worth of dodgy hairstyles. We’ve flicked through the annals of Wimbledon folklore to unearth some of the most eye-catching, the most impressive, and frankly the most inexcusable hairstyles in the tournament’s history.
Nowadays Andre Agassi, who beat Goran Ivanišević over five sets to record his only Wimbledon victory, is better known for his lack of hair – a considerable upgrade on his look throughout most of the early-1990s. The American’s free-flowing mullet is well documented (unfortunately), and fashion’s last forgotten man would regularly play in denim shorts instead of the usual white polyester. In 2009, Agassi admitted that his wild mane was actually a wig all along. It’s one thing growing those locks out but imagine choosing to wear that every morning…
Ivanišević – whose defeat to Agassi in 1992 was the first of four Wimbledon finals, the last of which he won against Pat Rafter in 2001 – is no stranger to an unusual hairstyle himself. For most of his career, the Croatian sported the same slick look that he’s grown out in retirement, but for a time in the late 90s he wore it longer and tied up in a top knot.
Federer is known around the world as the epitome of style and suave, an icon both on and off the court who has been a brand ambassador for luxury watches, Swiss chocolate and fine champagne. It doesn’t get any more sophisticated than that. But in his youth, Federer – who has won more Wimbledon’s singles titles than any other male player – wore his hair both long and in a top knot, not unlike Ivanišević. We’re not sure he would have been quite the style icon – or sold as many Swiss chocolates, for that matter – had he not seen the error of his ways.
What? You thought we’d get through a list of Wimbledon hairstyles without mentioning Mac? You cannot be serious! It’s well known that the legendary American, who lifted three Wimbledon trophies in the early 80s and now plies his trade as a commentator, had a wild and curly head of locks during his playing days. McEnroe had lost the curls by the end of his career and is rocking a short grey look into his 60s, but at least we know now why he was so angry on the court…
McEnroe lost out in the 1980 Wimbledon final to Björn Borg, who secured the last of his five successive Wimbledon titles (McEnroe took revenge on Borg by beating him in the 1981 final). But Borg also gave McEnroe a run for his money in the hair stakes. His characteristic style is probably best described as ‘viking in a headband’, at times bordering on a mullet. Today Borg has a line of boxer shorts named after him and has shopped in his wild hair for something tamer.
There are no shortage of female contenders for this list – but to be fair to American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who has won nine doubles titles in her career, we quite like the neon green and blue style with undercut that she sported at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships. Mattek-Sands is no stranger to quirky hairstyles, having sported different bright pink and violet styles at various points. In fact Mattek-Sands, at one point number 30 in the women’s rankings, is commonly known as ‘the Lady Gaga of tennis’ for her unique look.
Another unmistakable style that we like – to look at, if not to cope with – is Dustin Brown’s long dreadlocks. The tall Jamaican-German’s hair is almost as integral to his style of play as his frequent use of trick shots and his strong, two-handed backhand. Brown is best known for pulling off a couple of Wimbledon upsets, beating Rafael Nadal in the second round in 2015 as well as Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt in 2013. As much as we love watching him play, we can’t understand how he manages to get through three sets with all that hair whipping around him.
Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova wouldn’t usually make a list of freaky tennis haircuts, normally tying her hair back into a manageable ponytail. That was until Kuznetsova – a two-time Grand Slam single’s champion – rocked up to the 2007 Wimbledon Championships with a braided style. Despite her questionable cut, she made the quarter finals of the competition that year where she lost out to Venus Williams, who went on to win the women’s singles title. Kuznetsova returned to Wimbledon again in 2008, this time without the braids…
Unless you’re a die-hard tennis fan, Andrea Jaeger is probably not a name you’ll be familiar with. But the American made it to the final of Wimbledon in 1983, finishing runner-up to Martina Navratilova, and was at one point ranked second in the world. Jaeger’s career was cut short due to persistent shoulder injuries but in her prime, she regularly played against some of the world’s best with pigtails down to her waist. Fun fact: after retiring from tennis, Jaeger started a charity and was later ordained as a nun.
Tennis’ bad boy, Australia’s Nick Kyrgios is no stranger to controversy and criticism – although it’s usually down to his on-court antics rather than his hairstyle. But Kyrgios, who reached the quarter finals of Wimbledon in 2014 and the Australian Open in 2015, has adapted his trademark undercut on several occasions with touches of blond and even, at one point, pink.
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