If you’ve been watching the French Open—and if you haven’t, why not?—you’ll have noticed that most of the players are wearing the same outfits they wore at the US Open. A few aren’t, and a few didn’t play the American major, but in general there’s too much overlap to warrant a Fashion Face-off for the French.
I do have a fashion-related question, though: What color is Rafa’s outfit?
To my eyes, this is baby blue. Or maybe powder blue. At best, it’s sky blue.
All perfectly fine colors, but let’s be real. You’re not scaring any opponent when you walk onto the court in baby blue. Rafa’s supposed to be the fearsome Spanish bull, and Nike’s turned him into Ferdinand.
I’m an anxious fan. The more I love a player, the more I fear each loss. I’ve been having all sorts of angst about Rafa this year. The cooler weather at the delayed French Open slows down the ball and diminishes the effect of Rafa’s topspin. As if that weren’t enough, the tournament adopted new heavier balls this year. Conditions just aren’t favoring the 12-time champ.
Rafa’s had less match play coming into the French than just about anyone else on tour, having sat out all tournaments through the US Open, and then getting knocked out early in Rome. That’s only three matches under his belt since the virus upended everything in March.
Finally, there’s the field itself. Potential semi-final and final opponents Thiem and Djokovic have both proven capable of beating Rafa on clay, but first Rafa will need to get past red-hot newcomer Jannik Sinner, who is flat-out pounding the fuzz off the ball. When I watched Sinner take apart Zverev on Sunday, I was reminded of Mickey’s growled line in Rocky III, when he tries to convince Rocky not to fight Clubber Lang: “He’ll knock you to tomorrow, Rock.” (Yes, I’m quoting a Rocky movie. If you’re looking for Shakespeare analogies, you’ll need to find a different blog.)
So, I’m nervous, and Nike decking my guy out in powder blue as he enters the ring with Clubber isn’t helping any.
But then just the other day, a commentator described Rafa’s attire as ice blue.
“Hmm,” I mused, as I stroked my chin thoughtfully. “Ice blue does sound kind of intimidating.” Now I’m trying to reframe my thinking so I can watch Rafa tomorrow (Tuesday) with a little more sangfroid. The fun starts at 10:45 AM, Eastern Time.
Well, what color is it? Powder, baby, sky or ice? Can fashion choices like color affect the outcome of a match? Wouldn’t you have more confidence in Rafa’s chances if he could wear his practice gear (below) instead?