My observations as a tennis clothing fanatic. I've tried to keep the pictures small. If you have any of these, let me know, as I'm trying to collect them! #1 Zeus, Caesar, & The Fila White Line. There is no comparison between these and their contemporaries. The Borg line ran for several years. Although Borg wore other style shirts at other tournaments during the year, he always wore a version of this shirt at Wimbledon. There were accents of red, green, navy, and light blue on each separate edition, but the shirt was essentially the same. It was the shirt to be seen wearing at country clubs in the 70’s. There’s even a guy wearing it in CaddyShack, so look for it. You might even remember a young qualifier named John McEnroe wearing it at Wimbledon in 1977 when he was under no clothing contract. It sold for $70 at retail back then. That made it super expensive. The cotton itself is very very smooth, thin, and stretchy like underwear. It was a very tight fitting shirt. Today, it sells for hundreds in mint condition, and some of us can only afford to buy up the replicas produced by Fila in 2001 as part of the Settanta (Italian for “seventies”) line of clothing. The Settanta line continues into Spring 2004, but little of the merchandise reaches the US market. The actual name of the shirt above is the “Settanta Signature Polo”. It retails for $60. #2 What do you do when you retire from tennis? Borg, Conners, & Navtratilova all failed at producing a well known line of clothing bearing their name. Fred Perry, the last Englishman to win Wimbledon, certainly did well, as did Sergio Tacchini. Tacchini built his recognition off of McEnroe during the 70’s and this shirt was the one seen during television appearances by Mac during the Davis Cup and at Wimbledon. The shirt was re-issued as a retro version around 2000. The original is a collector’s item as it sells for hundreds. Why? Because they were made in Italy. It’s part of the whole Italian Sportswear collection of Fila and Tacchini that people collect. In the mid 80’s production went to the far east, and those items are considered to be worth close to nothing in comparison. #3 The US Open 1990. That was the all time peak in popularity of Andre Agassi. He was everywhere. His popularity had been building, but everyone wanted to see what Agassi was wearing when he came to NYC that fall. It was bright, neon yellow. Some players actually complained that they were afraid of losing site of the tennis ball in Andre’s clothing, but he laughed it off. Agassi seemed primed to win his first major, but he was doomed to face a S&V unknown from SoCal. The shirt was also made for Agassi in a purple colorway for Roland Garros 1991 the following Spring. #4 The Warrior. I call him Orion. The tag on the shirt calls it the Reve. It was the beginning of a new era in tennis as we knew it. The 19 year old from SoCal was named Pete Sampras, and he was an unknown. Very unknown. For everyone tuning in to watch Agassi win the 1990 US Open final, they got a shocking surprise. This hard hitting S&V kid from nowhere was about to give us all a lesson in form, technique, and nerve. It would take Sampras another 2 years to repeat his feat of winning another slam title, but they simply kept coming one after another. This was the shirt that started it all. #5 Code Violation. Verbal Abuse. Default Mr. McEnroe. What was supposed to be John McEnroe’s last great year on tour ended prematurely in January during the QF of the Australian Open against Micheal Pernforns. The rules of 1989 required 3 code violations before a default. The 1990 rules were changed to allow only 2 code violations before default. The memo never reached Mac’s desk. Mac berated a line judge and broke a racket. Those were his two lifelines. The chair umpire called out Ken Ferrara, and the call was made official. Mac was out. He had a great amount of success in 1989 reaching the SF of Wimbledon and finishing #4 in the world. He was part of the new ad campaign for Nike touting the more conservative line of Challenge Court tennis clothing by Nike. Mac spent most of February, March, April, and May at home sheltered from the tour. One particular outing in February in Philadelphia that year placed him in the finals against a young Pete Sampras. Mac lost the match, and Sampras gained his first title. Mac went back to his Malibu home and volleyed around for a few months of training. Said sportwriter Richard Evans at the time: “Mac never did his homework all the way through his great years. He has always been one of those naturally talented players. He could go out, practice for a half hour, and play the greatest tennis in the world. Now he has to do the home work and I don’t think he can do it”. McEnroe agreed. He skipped Roland Garros that year and opted to spend those two weeks in New York on the grass courts preparing for his London voyage. Lendl, too, skipped the majority of the red clay court events that year, including Paris. This was his second Spring of total dedication to preparing on grass. He went down in the 1989 SF to Becker. As it happened, The great Queens Club tournament was underway in London one week prior to Wimbledon. Defending champion Ivan Lendl, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, and John McEnroe all made it to the semifinals. Mac faced Lendl on his side of the draw, and Lendl defeated him in a cakewalk. McEnroe left Queens with a lot of work to do, but never produced, losing in the first round of Wimbledon to Derrick Rostagno. It was a sad end for McEnroe, but he would have one last hurrah, the US Open. Mac made it to the SF’s only to fall to Sampras. Mac only struggled after 1990, and made it to the 1992 SF at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.