Fashion Face-Offs: US Open 2023

Halfway through this year’s US Open, I thought I was really going to take a beating in my fantasy leagues. Rybakina, Samsonova, Wawrinka, Svitolina — all knocked out of contention. But then, somewhat inexplicably, I ended up winning both the men’s and women’s contests. (Well, not winning-winning. There were people that finished ahead of me. But I beat the LittleYellowBall followers who participated, and then I got to rub it in their faces. I don’t ask much more from life than that.)

Today, we’re going to do all the face-offs in one post. That’s three separate polls, so don’t quit until you’ve voted for the ugliest of the uglies.

The Best-Dressed Man Face-off

Nominee #1: John Isner

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I’m sure I’ve shared before that I don’t enjoy watching Isner play. His brand of tennis, so reliant on aces and service winners, doesn’t make for compelling rallies. He moves with a lumbering, almost apathetic quality. He must have a passion for the game, but he doesn’t physically convey it. It’s not easy to cheer on his tennis.

It is easy to cheer him on as a person, though. The same unassuming, just-go-about-your-business quality that makes his tennis so uninspiring makes him downright lovable in interviews. I admit I got a little choked up listening to his heartfelt retirement speech.

I think I’m nominating this classic Fila outfit on its own merits, but it’s possible my sentimental tears are compromising my fashion integrity.

Nominee #2: Francis Tiafoe

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Big guns in a sleeveless tank is a surefire way to get noticed here at LittleYellowBall. Another easy-to-love American, Tiafoe made it through to the quarters before bowing out to upstart Ben Shelton.

Some will say this Nike outfit is too busy, but I say poppycock. I love the rich teal shorts, the vibrant, tropical-vibe top, and the biceps, which, though not technically part of the ensemble, are nevertheless essential to pulling off the look.

Nominee #3: Alexander Zverev

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I almost made this an all-American face-off with Ben Shelton as the third choice. He’s young and bold and highly watchable, and his hot pink side-stripe was very on-trend. But I keep coming back to this Adidas number. Adidas tried many variations of this colorway on both their men’s and women’s rosters, but this is the only version that works. It’s bright and energetic and bold and surprising while still managing to stay coherent. (For an example of bold and surprising and incoherent, keep on scrolling…)

The Best-Dressed Woman Face-off

Nominee #1: Aryna Sabalenka

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With her statuesque frame and regal bearing, Sabalenka can elevate most outfits from the banal to something special. I can’t tell if I would like this Nike dress on another player, or if I would find it a bit drab. In truth, the color could be brighter, and I’d prefer a more open back. It’s possible the Belarusian earns her nomination thanks to an overall lackluster Slam for women’s fashion. But quibbles aside, I’d be thrilled to look this good, on or off the court.

Nominee #2: Leylah Fernandez

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Leylah wasn’t on my fantasy team, which is fortunate because she was ousted in the first round. Will she ever again come close to her magical run to the 2021 US Open final?

In doubles, though, the Canadian made it to the quarters, partnering with new mom Taylor Townsend. Fernandez kept her cool in the late summer soupiness with this well-fitting, midriff-baring getup by Lululemon. The mirroring notched edges of the top and skirt keep the two pieces in conversation with each other and makes the exposed middle an essential element in the overall look. (Yes, I know that’s a weirdly specific compliment. I’m setting up a contrast with a later nominee. Bear with me.)

Nominee #3: The ball girls

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Like I said, it was a lackluster Open where women’s fashion was concerned. But I did like these snappy little Ralph Lauren numbers the ball girls were wearing.

The Worst-Dressed Player Face-off

Nominee #1: Jessie Pegula

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Do the people at Adidas have a grudge against Pegula or her family? Do they just hate the Buffalo Bills? This looks like someone fed Zverev’s shirt through the garbage disposal.

This isn’t the first time Adidas has done the American star wrong. Time to look for a new sponsor, Pegula!

Nominee #2: Caroline Wozniacki

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Oh, Caroline. How we’ve missed you at Fashion Face-off.

We used to be able to blame Stella McCartney for Woziacki’s fashion fiascos. But this time, the Dane herself is claiming “credit,” remarking that as a mother of two returning to the tour, now was the time to be bold.

Bold is good. Ugly is not. Am I the only one who’s put in mind of a wrestler’s singlet?

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Still, I am glad to see Miss Sunshine back on tour and playing remarkably well.

Nominee #3: Coco Gauff

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I know, I know. How can I possibly nominate America’s darling? But let’s consider this outfit objectively. I’ve got no problem with a cropped top (see Leylah Fernandez above). But what is going on with this one? It looks more like a tank that’s bunching up on itself. Every time I see this shirt, I want to fix the front — unroll it, smooth it out, pull it back down. And, color aside, I don’t see any aesthetic correspondence with the skirt. Yes, Coco is adorable, but this outfit is a total whiff for New Balance.

Want to yell at me for being mean to Coco? Keep scrolling to find the comment section…

Friday Fashion Face-off: Best-Dressed Woman at 2022 Wimbledon

After a brief hiatus, we’re back with our Wimbledon face-off. Well, the women’s face-off, anyway. The men look completely indistinguishable to me.

And on first blush, I thought the women’s outfits would be a bore, too, but on closer inspection, there’s more to like than expected. In fact, even as I type out this sentence, I’m debating whether to have four nominees instead of our usual three. We’ll just have to wait to the end of the post to find out… Continue reading “Friday Fashion Face-off: Best-Dressed Woman at 2022 Wimbledon”

Friday Fashion Face-off: Worst-Dressed at the 2021 U.S. Open

Late again. But to make it up to you, we have two polls!

A couple of people suggested Naomi Osaka for inclusion on this week’s worst-dressed list, and while I can’t disagree, I also can’t pile on the poor girl. She’s clearly having a rough time adjusting to the expectations that come with being a champion. My heart went out to her when she was crying in her interview after her third-round loss.

So to demonstrate our compassion, let’s pile on other people and see if we can make them cry instead.

Continue reading “Friday Fashion Face-off: Worst-Dressed at the 2021 U.S. Open”

Friday Fashion Face-off: Best-dressed Woman at 2021 US Open

Yes, I know it’s Sunday. Friday is a state of mind.

What a strange and wonderful Open it’s been on the women’s side. I won’t comment on the
results of the final since some people may have recorded it, but both young women were
deserving of the title, much like our best-dressed nominees. Continue reading “Friday Fashion Face-off: Best-dressed Woman at 2021 US Open”

Friday Fashion Face-off: Best-dressed Man, 2021 US Open

Every slam, it’s the same story. I’m completely blindsided by the first Friday. How can it be time for another best-dressed man contest??

Fortunately, I was sent a gentle reminder by good friend and blog reader Eileen. An avid student of the game, Eileen went to the US Open for the opportunity to study the finer points of strategy and stroke execution. So dedicated is she in her quest for tennis excellence that she even shot some instructional video to continue her studies at home: Continue reading “Friday Fashion Face-off: Best-dressed Man, 2021 US Open”

Friday Fashion Face-off: Best-dressed Man, Wimbledon 2021

Every blog day is a joy, but some days you just have to work a little harder for it. Case in point: The “best white outfit on a guy” contest. It’s always a challenge to find some detail—any detail—that can set one outfit apart in a sea of bland undershirts. Things got so dire at one point that I even considered nominating Novak Djokovic!

But the specter of the twirpy Serb on my best-dressed list brought me back to my senses. I redoubled my efforts and finally identified these three worthy candidates. Continue reading “Friday Fashion Face-off: Best-dressed Man, Wimbledon 2021”

Friday Fashion Face-off: Worst Dressed at the 2021 French Open

My apologies for the late edition of the worst-dressed poll. I had the post ready to go yesterday, but the images weren’t embedding. What good is a fashion face-off without images? My descriptive powers only go so far.

Distressingly, all of today’s nominees are my compatriots. How can this be? Are we really that fashion-challenged? Or could it be that spectacular failure is the risk that accompanies bold and innovative thinking, and that fearlessly embracing that risk is what exemplifies the best of the American spirit?

Yeah, let’s go with that.

Now, quick, before the images stop embedding again, let’s vote for the worst dressed boldest and most innovative player at the French. Continue reading “Friday Fashion Face-off: Worst Dressed at the 2021 French Open”

Friday Fashion Face-off: Best-dressed Man, French Open 2021

I know you’re all itching to get to today’s nominees, but first let me update you on my fantasy league.

I’m currently in SIXTH place (out of 117) on the women’s side of the draw! That’s pretty damn good for someone who’s new to fantasy leagues. My picks: Sabalenka, Gauff, Collins, Swiatek, Jabeur, Pegula, Sorribes Tormo and Badosa. (The crossed-out names have been eliminated from the tournament.)

And on the men’s side, I’m 144th out of 166th. Wow. That’s embarrassing. But my four players still in contention are John Isner, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Jannik Sinner and some guy named Nadal. I’m feeling pretty good about my chances of cracking the top 100 over the next week.

Now, aren’t you sorry you didn’t participate? Okay, I didn’t give you much notice. Maybe you’ll make a fantasy team for Wimbledon.

Without further ado, let’s get to the best-dressed men at the French Open. Ooh la la! Continue reading “Friday Fashion Face-off: Best-dressed Man, French Open 2021”

Friday Fashion Face-Off: Worst Dressed at the 2021 Australian Open

Sadly, but fortunately for me, there was no shortage of heinous outfits at this year’s Australian Open. In fact, I had such a surfeit of possible nominees that I had to leave off Serena Williams: Continue reading “Friday Fashion Face-Off: Worst Dressed at the 2021 Australian Open”

Friday Fashion Face-off: Best-Dressed Woman, Australian Open 2021

It’s the second Friday of the Australian Open, time for the women to face off with their fashion.

Surprisingly, I had a tougher time finding three worthy nominees among the women than I did among the men. In fact, I’m not 100% sure all three of these nominees are worthy. No doubt you’ll let me know if one of these ladies shouldn’t be here. Continue reading “Friday Fashion Face-off: Best-Dressed Woman, Australian Open 2021”

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