How were dressed the pioneers of female tennis in the 19th century? And how did women’s fashion show up on the Wimbledon tennis courts, an ever-popular tournament for the impeccable style required on the green courts?

Women’s tennis players were admitted to the tournament in 1884 when Maud Watson defeated her sister Lilian to win. At the beginning the dictates of fashion imposed a really cumbersome and disadvantaging clothing for athletes: long skirts and petticoats, corsets, lace bustier, hats, lightweight shoes, scarves, cardigans, all strictly white.

At the beginning


Who brought a small revolution in costumes, in the name of comfort and feminine empowerment, was Suzanne Lenglen in the 20s: she first cut and lighten her clothes, wearing a kind of garter belt for the run and jumps required for the game.

In the 20s

In the 30s


In the 40s and 50s


As time flows, the clothes lighten up and become shorter, lighter, and handy. The first shorts appear, the sweater become adherent and the sleeves are short. More and more tennis players add “femininetouches to their outfits on the field: famous were the dresses showed off by Italian tennis player Lea Pericoli, extravagant, elegant, quirky and extremely feminine, rich in rouches, lace, big bows and even underwear in sight.


In the 60s

In the 70s and 80s


Today’s style of female players on tennis courts is more and more trendy, rich of fashion details and accessories such as watches, sunglasses, special hairstyles and makeup, in a very “street style” trend imitated by thousands of girls everywhere.

From 90s to nowadays


A bit of nostalgia for the chic elegance of the bygone times….


All Photos from Getty Images Archives Via Amica, and D