Tennis

Venus' unique fashion sense stands out

Venus Williams of the United States serves
Venus Williams' lace number was the talk of the French Open.
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Welcome to the 2010 Year in Review. Beginning Dec. 21, in a time frame just shy of a fortnight, FOXSports.com's panel of tennis commentators — Matt Cronin, Richard Evans, Zack Pierce, Addie Rising and Brian Webber — will share their thoughts on the topic of the day. So check back each day to catch one final look back at a memorable year in tennis.

TO CONTINUE OUR YEAR IN REVIEW, WE ASK . . . WHO MADE THE BIGGEST FASHION STATEMENT?

Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova reacts after winning the first set against Czech player Iveta Benesova

Nike and Maria Sharapova have been a winning combination.

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP

CRONIN: Venus Williams. I can't decide what made a bigger impact: the skimpy black lace dress that Williams wore at the French Open, or the pinkish-red, sparkle-motion outfit that she wore at the U.S. Open. Either way, Williams' skimpy attire grabbed the most attention in 2010. Few players would dare to wear so little, but not every player is blessed with a long and lean athletic body that allows Williams to throw on just about any piece of attire she wants and still look good.

EVANS: I have taken Nike and all the main tennis clothing companies to task over the years for refusing to aid instant communication and enhance the profile of their stars by allowing players' names on shirts. Kids love to wear shirts with the names of their heroes on the back, but tennis won’t allow this, which is absurd.

But I will not allow that to detract from the pleasure I get from seeing Maria Sharapova walk on court in her latest Nike creation. Their designers do a wonderful job making a tall, broad shouldered athlete appear as feminine and beautiful as she really is and, throughout the year, Sharapova continued to look stunning.

Viktor Troicki of Serbia, 2nd left, gets a celebratory haircut on the court

Viktor Troicki's celebratory haircut after Serbia's victory was one way to get noticed.

Darko Vojinovic

WEBBER: While it is hard not go with Venus Williams' "can-can" ensemble or her revealing outfit at Roland Garros, the Serbian Davis Cup squad deserves kudos for its team spirit. The Serbian players agreed to shave their heads if they won the coveted cup this year. So when Viktor Troicki defeated Michael Llodra of France to clinch the victory, it was time to break out the hair clippers.

The images of Novak Djokovic and his countrymen getting their heads shaved on the court will be part of the Davis Cup highlight reel for years to come. Any player can wear a flashy shirt or unique tennis shoes to try to stand out. Shaving your head is the ultimate fashion statement.

RISING: A few ensembles stand out from the 2010 season. Venus Williams' lace corset dress worn at Roland Garros was certainly memorable, but not exactly desirable. Stella McCartney for Adidas did a superb job pairing neon yellow with gray on Caroline Wozniacki's signature U.S. Open uniform, and Adidas also was responsible for my personal favorite, the magenta adilbra dress worn by Ana Ivanovic and countless others this fall. It was simple, flattering, wearable and contained subtle lace detailing (subtle being the operative word, Venus). I also had a soft spot for Roger Federer's white and light blue shoes featuring the New York City skyline. Well done, Nike.

PIERCE: Roger Federer going back to the all-black outfit at the U.S. Open. There's something about the silent assassin taking the court in that understated yet perfectly coordinated get-up that just makes me want to watch. It's James Bond with a racket.

Richard Evans and Matt Cronin are tennis writers for FOXSports.com. Brian Webber is a frequent contributor to FOXSports.com's tennis coverage. Addie Rising and Zack Pierce are tennis editors for FOXSports.com.

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