Big sport is big business. And when one of tennis’s Grand Slam events rolls into town you know that the mega brands will be serving it up to try to cash in on big name players strutting about in the sponsors’ product.

The Australian Open is the first of the Big Four in the tennis world and so offers a unique opportunity to see this year’s range of clobber being paraded before the TV cameras for weekend serve-volley stars the world over who are wondering what outfit to deck themselves out in for 2007.

If this means you – and I know Crikey is just teeming with folks who like nothing better than firing a passing shot down the line – then here are a few centre court catwalk catastrophes that are best avoided:

Serena Williams – Kermit from another planet. No surprises Serena tops the charts when it comes to fashion disasters. Remember the “Missy Elliott meets Godzilla in Suzi Quatro’s nightmare” outfit she wore at the 2004 US Open?

This year she’s gone for a “Pam Grier inhabits the body of Kermit The Frog” look. Maybe she’s onto something. How about the cast of The Muppets in a remake of the classic 70s flick Shaft. That’d be a clear winner! 

Michael Russell – Playing our Lleyton whilst pretending to be the Hoff. If it wasn’t enough that this upstart American qualifier tried to beat the ‘lil Aussie whinger in the first round, he had to do it while having an unnerving resemblance to TV’s David Hasselhoff.

Both The Hoff and Russell are fans of the tank top. They love putting their “guns” (that’s biceps for all you deskbound poindexters) on display.

That’s fine if you have them. Trouble is this kind of outfit encourages blokes with old lady chicken wings wobbling about where their biceps should be to believe they should get their “guns” out as well. Which bring us to…

Rafael Nadal – Nike’s kid on the block. This kid has the biggest “guns” going around.

They are more deadly than anything Saddam tried to cook up with his project Babylon nonsense. And our boy knows it. His golden tank top, headband and three quarter length Nike combat pants let his opponents know it.

If you are lucky enough to look like you were genetically engineered to play the devastatingly handsome but sadly misunderstood anti-hero in a Pedro Almodovar film, you might get away with a kit like this.

If, as I suspect, you more resemble Alexander Downer in fishnets at the net, then steer well clear.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey