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Why Female Tennis Players Wear Skirts

Do you find it fascinating to watch women’s tennis and the skirts that brush up against their thighs as they move swiftly within the tennis court? 

There is something about the way their hips sway when they turn, how their skirt catches on the racket. The way it turns into a blur of color and then falls back down when they catch a ball or stop to retrieve a ball from out of bounds.

A lot less glamorous would be the sport of female tennis if the players were not wearing short skirts. The question of why female tennis players wear skirts generates a lot of discussion and controversy.

The 2 main reasons why female tennis players wear skirts are the following:

  1. Because the skirts are more aerodynamic, allowing the players to move over the court faster.
  2. An old custom handed down from generation to generation. 

Do Tennis Players have to Follow a Specific Dress Code?

To compete on the women’s WTA Tour, players are required to “present themselves professionally and wear suitable tennis apparel,” as stated in the rulebook. But, no dress code says that players are forced to wear any type of skirt, they choose to wear them anyway.

If a supervisor or referee determines that a player is not complying with this regulation during practice or warm-ups, the player may be disqualified from the event or fined. Leggings or mid-thigh compression shorts can be worn with or without a skirt, shorts, or dress, according to the 2019 guideline amendment.

A player who fails to dress “professionally” during a match can be penalized by forfeiture. Men’s ATP Tour rules state that “every player should wear appropriate attire and look professional. “Clean and typically appropriate tennis clothing as recognized by ATP should be worn,” the rules state further.

What it suggests is that there is no governing body making these female tennis players wear short skirts, but they still do it even though most other female athletes now wear pants or shorts. And this leads many individuals to scratch their heads and wonder why things are the way they are. Here are some possible reasons.

Fashion and Tradition In Tennis

Women and fashion are inextricably linked, and female tennis players are not immune to this. It was at Wimbledon that female tennis players first began to experiment with different clothing styles. 

The inaugural Ladies’ Wimbledon Championship was won by Maud Watson in 1884 when she was sporting an all-white outfit. Players could sweat freely without worrying about their garments being visibly discolored from the sweat.

Today, several players, like Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, and Victoria Azarenka wear bright, brilliant colors that cover sweat less often, caring little about what others may regard as a fashion faux pas. 

Similarly, the short-sleeved uniforms seen now may be traced back to May Sutton, who wore them to the 1905 Wimbledon Championships because she felt the long sleeves restricted her agility.

While those ladies experimented with colors and look, the skirt always remained static for female tennis apparel. And so many women now wear it to look fashionable and keep the tradition alive. 

You Cannot Rule Out Comfort

One of the reasons women tennis players wear skirts is because they are more comfortable. When it comes to breathability, nothing beats the versatility of a good skirt.

In this manner, their attention is not diverted to their sweaty legs and the clammy sensation, but rather it remains focused on their game.

When you see a woman athlete, she is likely wearing something along with a skirt, which in most cases is spandex to ensure a full range of motion.

There are a variety of lengths that are now in style, but the majority of them fall somewhere between the knee and the ankle. Moving around the courts might be a bit difficult if the ball is too long or too short; therefore, it is best to find a middle ground.

It Feels a Lot More Convenient

When it comes to tennis, it is all about the ease of play. Skirts are fast to put on, come with undershorts, and have pockets for a tennis ball and your personal things.

Within the pockets of their undershorts, they can carry a couple of tennis balls. The pockets are usually quite elastic, so they seamlessly tighten up against the thigh for increased comfort.  

It Is About Femininity

Many believe that skirts help females feel more feminine and graceful on the court. Wearing a skirt while participating in a male-dominated sport can make women feel more empowered and assertive. It also conveys the message to the world that this is a sport where girls can have their say.

There is also the idea that females wear skirts in order to acquire a psychological advantage. Studies have revealed that when women dress in a style that accentuates their feminine side, they do better in activities involving coordination and elegance.  

It means girls who play games that are more physically demanding than those typically played by guys may have an advantage if they wear skirts.

It Inspires Agility

There is also the theory that the skirts make these players a bit more aerodynamic, which would help them travel across the court faster. This is because the skirt’s fabric is more comfortable to move around in compared to the pants’ fabric.

The fact that skirts are so much more breathable than other sports apparel compels many female tennis players to wear them. The use of stretchable fabric improves their speed on the court.

Additionally, it helps to keep the player dry and cool even when the weather is really hot. This guarantees that players wear skirts regardless of the temperature or other external factors.

You cannot Rule Out Sponsorships

Marketing is an essential part of our daily lives. Big businesses would pounce on any opportunity to promote their products. Tennis is an easy target for covert marketing because of its prominence among outdoor sports.

Many companies approach tennis players and make financial offers to them in exchange for just wearing their clothing during a competition. This places the product in a position where it is visible to those in attendance as well as the millions of people watching on television.  

However, the skirt is not the only place where the sponsor’s brand will shine. Athletes frequently wear t-shorts, shirts, caps, and even socks with the sponsor’s logo.

And believe it or not, a significant portion of a tennis player’s income comes from the money they get through sponsorships and advertisements. In fact, a major chunk of the highest-paid tennis players’ income comes from endorsement deals.

Take, for instance, Naomi Osaka’s staggering earnings of $37.4 million in the year 2020. However, only $3.4 million came from tournaments’ winnings, with the remainder coming from advertising contracts. 

A similar trend can be seen in Serena Williams’ earnings, which totaled $36 million in 2020, with $32 coming from payments from various advertisements.

One more illustration, if you will. A preposterous sum of 106.3 million dollars was made by Roger Federer, of which 100 million dollars were expenditures associated with advertisements.

The Future of Skirts

It is rather difficult to estimate the number of women who choose to wear skirts rather than the alternative, but this statistic has been consistently shifting over the years.

Thankfully, there are now more alternatives available than ever on the market for ladies who wish to participate in the sport and remain comfortable when they are on the court.

In the modern world of tennis, women’s most common attire choices are shorts, skirts, or complete dresses. This is because of the variety of possibilities that are currently accessible. Nevertheless, most female players still like to compete in skirts, despite everyone having their own favored playing style.

All this suggests the skirt is not going out of style any time in the near future. When it comes to fashion, it has already reached the point where wearing skirts is quite easy on the body, and businesses are going to keep coming out with a wide variety of new and interesting designs.

According to the data, we believe that it will be quite difficult to genuinely surpass the tennis skirts.