How French Open Sneaker Style Has Changed Over the Years

As one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, the French Open has always been a major stage for the sport’s biggest stars.

Serena Williams has been a staple at the tournament since the late 1990s. She has won three singles titles at Roland Garros. In 1999, the star secured her first big French Open win in women’s doubles alongside sister Venus.

French Open Serena Venus Williams
Serena (L) and Venus Williams compete in the 1999 French Open doubles tournament.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Serena wore a gray and black Puma look, while Venus sported a blue, red and white outfit from Reebok.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion has been a Nike athlete for years now. She dressed in a black catsuit from the brand at the 2018 French Open — teaming it with black and gray trainers. While many were fans of the look, it caused some controversy as well, with the French Tennis Federation banning the style for this year (FTF president Bernard Giudicelli said her outfit went “too far”).

Serena Williams, catsuit, french open
Serena Williams at the 2018 French Open in her catsuit.
CREDIT: IAN LANGSDON/Shutterstock

On the men’s end, Rafael Nadal, dubbed the King of Clay, has been the biggest winner at the French Open in recent years. At the 2005 tournament, he picked up his first trophy clad in a green shirt, basketball-style white shorts and orange and white court shoes. Like Serena, Nadal is a Nike-sponsored athlete.

Rafael Nadal French Open 2005
Rafael Nadal wins his first French Open in 2005.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

While recent years have seen more out-there ensembles for tournament play, all-white outfits were previously standard at Roland Garros. Legendary stars such as Arthur Ashe, Billie Jean King and Bjorn Borg donned white from head to toe on the court in the ’70s.

Arthur Ashe American Arthur Ashe, of Gum Springs, Va., during his match versus French Georges Goven in the French Open Tennis Tournament in Paris on . Ashe won 6-4, 6-4, and 7-5Arthur Ashe, Paris, France
Arthur Ashe competing in the French Open in 1971.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Click through the gallery to see more tennis stars on the court at the French Open over the years.

Below, see tennis legend Stan Smith discuss his signature Adidas shoe.

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