Friday 10 to 1: players as models
As demonstrated in this edition of Friday 10 to 1, a tennis pro's comfort in the public eye makes the transition from player to model a fairly seamless one.
They are in front of cameras most of their lives, walk a catwalk of sorts from locker-room to court, and strut their stuff with the eyes of millions on them. The transition from tennis player to model, therefore, it not that difficult a one to make.
Demonstrating what a glamorous bunch they are, here are the top 10 tennis models for this week’s Friday 10 to 1.
10. Andy Roddick – Lacoste Challenge fragrance
In the run-up to Australian Open 2011, Roddick’s image was plastered all over Melbourne as the face of Lacoste fragrance “Challenge”. The clean-cut American’s modelling of the fragrance created quite the buzz, with many fans coming out to meet the tennis star in the menswear department at Myer’s flagship store in central Melbourne. It proved to be almost the highlight of Roddick’s visit down under – as the No.8 seed, he was upset in the fourth round at Melbourne Park.
9. Caroline Wozniacki – adidas by Stella McCartney
The Dane is the face of Stella McCartney’s adidas sportswear range, and the former world No.1 regularly enjoys getting glammed up to model the clothing line. In this promotional appearance, Wozniacki takes time out of her busy schedule – she does play a lot of tournaments, after all – to get her hair and make-up done and chat to fans before having a bash on a tennis court ringed with luxurious curtains. Form and function all in one.
8. Watch brigade – Sharapova, Federer, Graf and Agassi
It’s not just clothing that tennis players can model. Many of the game’s biggest stars endorse expensive watches, modelling them in classy, elegant advertising campaigns. There’s Maria Sharapova donning her sparkling Tag Heuer timepiece while chilling out in a car in the middle of nowhere, Roger Federer brandishing his best suit fort Rolex, and Steffi and Andre devoting “time” to helping kids achieve their dreams thanks to Longines. The nature of this advertising campaign is a far cry from Andre’s earlier image – see fourth video – as a modeller and endorser of Nike clothing ….
7. Venus Williams – Aneres model
The Williams sisters have always dabbled in interests outside the confines of the tennis court, and Venus, like the supportive big sister she is, was on hand to help Serena in the younger Williams’ Aneres fashion show (for those who don’t know, Serena has a clothing line branded as “Aneres”, a label derived from spelling her own name backwards). With models taking to the catwalk for the Miami show in 2004, Venus joined them, strutting her stuff in some of Serena’s iconic creations.
6. Underwear models – Fernando Verdasco and Janko Tipseravic
Verdasco claims to have been wearing CK underwear since age 15, making him one of the more fashion-conscious mid-teens we know. Whether or not this is true, the Spaniard is a perfect fit to model the underwear brand, clearly comfortable parading his chiselled physique while wearing next-to-nothing. Not to be outdone, Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic has recently taken to modelling trunks himself. He one-ups Verdasco by oiling up and flexing in his Extreme Intimo underwear while in the gym, revealing that their comfort and quality helps him overcome all obstacles.
5. Pat Rafter – Bonds
Sticking with underwear, we hit our top five. And it’s Australia’s own Pat Rafter who gets the nod, with the Queenslander the long-standing face of Bonds men’s underwear. Rafter is famous for the “very comfy undies” slogan, which no doubt helped him move around the court to claim a pair of US Open titles and reach world No.1. You can see Pat modelling Bonds’ finest in the ads below.
4. Naked players
Next we go from scantily-clad, to completely free of clothes. Tennis players have shown a willingness over the years to flaunt their bodies in all their glory, free of the constraints of fabric as nature originally intended. Website Tennis Now has neatly packaged this nakedness up into one racy vid, including Spaniards Verdasco, Lopez and Robredo all taking their kits off for charity, Ashley Harkleroad posing nude for Playboy, and Serena and Vera Zvonareva bearing skin in various editions of the ESPN Body Issue. The second vid shows another player, Daniela Hantuchova, doing the same in 2012.
3. Hantuchova, Kirilenko and Golovin – swimsuit models
Hantuchova is proving adept in the modelling stakes, joining Maria Kirilenko and Tatiana Golovin in a bikini on the beach for the 2009 edition of Sport Illustrated’s famous swimsuit edition. Take a behind-the-scenes look at the photo shoot below.
2. Novak Djokovic on the catwalk
We’re back on the catwalk, and who could possibly be more comfortable in the limelight than Novak Djokovic? The charismatic Serb takes to the runway in just his underwear ahead of the 2009 Montreal Masters, hamming it up for a sizeable crowd of onlookers. He’s proven himself an exciting – if slightly unpredictable – edition to any catwalk, mucking around with the other models before impulsively deciding to sprint at one after completing his lap.
1. Rafael Nadal for Armani
Looking more Bond than baseliner in this advertising campaign, Rafa gets our nod as the top tennis model. Armani have increased the drama with black-and-white, slow-motion footage, and if the reaction to such imagery – evident among sections of our office – is anything to go by, then this is a wise choice. The normally boyish, bashful Spaniard is all man here, with ripped body, ice-cool stare and slicked hair to boot. He might not be No.1 in tennis at the minute, but in the modelling stakes, he’s a tough act to follow.