Thirty years ago, Andre Agassi made a bold fashion statement at the US Open. The American wore the daring Nike Challenge Court collection in New York, a series of rebellious designs that broke the unwritten rules of tennis fashion.
During the next three weeks at the Western & Southern Open and the US Open, his charge, Grigor Dimitrov, will be at the forefront of a new take on the 1990 Agassi collection. Dimitrov is no stranger to bold fashion statements. At this year’s Australian Open, the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion wore an eye-catching dark purple and yellow Nike tracksuit.
“I absolutely love it. I spoke to Andre about it and I have been dying to wear some of those things. I am so glad I am able to do it,” said Dimitrov. “It is one of the most iconic collections there has ever been. No doubt about it. They have done such a great job with the collection this year. Super amazing stuff… I love the colours and the denim and everything that comes with it.”
With modern and functional fabrics, Nike’s designers have restored the classic graphics of 1990, including the flaming tennis ball. The collection’s signature graphics have been reimagined, using torn paper, coquille board and snippets of the original design. The unconventional Challenge Court gear have not only been embraced by Dimitrov, but also Top 20 stars Karen Khachanov, Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Agassi’s iconic denim shorts, known as ‘jorts’, are back in a new form. The Nike Fall NY Flex Ace 9″ Shorts have the same denim look, but are made with a stretchy, lightweight fabric.
By looking through its past, Nike has managed to create a bold new look for its leading stars. For Dimitrov and his fellow ATP Tour rivals, the hope will be that their fashion choices earn them the same success that Agassi enjoyed 30 years ago. The Las Vegas native advanced to the 1990 US Open final in the famous apparel.
“[Andre and I] exchanged a little message together. We were on the phone just talking about that and he was like, ‘Boy, time flies. Let’s see how it is going to look on you.’ I think it is special. He appreciates it a lot as well,” said Dimitrov.
“I think there are periods in somebody’s life that we are always going to remember, we are never going to forget and we always want to have more of it as well. Now we are able to revive it, bring it back.”