Nike 'nightie' causes a stir at Wimbledon: How tennis stars try to 'tame' the dress

Nike's new dress for tennis stars at Wimbledon this year has caused quite a stir on and off the court.

The babydoll-style Premier Slam dress has been dubbed the Nike "nightie" because of its skimpy design and flimsy material that left little to imagination.

The floaty - and some say flirty - white dress tends to fly up above the waist when the player is in action, causing what some tennis fans have described as "Marilyn Monroe" moments.

More than 20 players competing in the Wimbledon tournament are sponsored by Nike, according to reports.

It has been suggested that the £75 (S$135.70) dress was to blame for Brit star Katie Swan losing her match earlier this week.

The 17-year-old, who was beaten 6-2 6-3 by Hungary's Timea Babos, 23, was visibly struggling with her dress and had to tuck it into the bottom of her shorts at one point, reported the Mail Online.

Some stars, including German Sabine Lisicki, refused to don the outfit.

"I didn't feel comfortable showing that much," Lisicki, the 2013 Wimbledon runner-up, was quoted as saying by The New York Times.

Off the court, it has also caused some distraction, with commentators talking more about the dress than the score.

To make it less revealing and distracting, some players have come up with creative ways to "alter" the look.

Here's a look at some examples:


Who says you can wear a headband only on your head?

British tennis player Katie Boulter, 19, cleverly secured the loose fabric of the Nike dress by tying her headband around her waist like a belt.


Sweden's Rebecca Peterson, 20, opted for the easier option of taming her "babydoll" dress by wearing a long-sleeved shirt over it.

"When I was serving, it was coming up, and I felt like the dress was just everywhere," she told The New York Times, "In general, it's quite simple, the dress, but it was flying everywhere."


The Telegraph reported that Czech Republic's Lucie Hadrecka, 31, wore white leggings under the dress, which resulted in everyone mistaking the all-white one piece for a shirt.


German tennis player Sabine Lisicki , 26, decided to ditch the new dress for the classic, sensible combination of a tank top and tennis skirt.


Canada's Eugenie Bouchard, 22, is reportedly one of the few female tennis players who are fans of the Nike dress.

"It's nice and short so you can move around and be free with your movements," she raved to The Sports Network.

Joining her is Greek tennis player Maria Sakkari, 20, who told The New York Times: "I think it's a very pretty dress, and I think that it's very feminine. It's very comfortable."


Don't like the dress?

Get Nike to make one for you - if you are defending Wimbledon champion Serena Williams.

The 34-year-old gets her very own Nike Women's Premier Wimbledon Serena SW19 Dress - an adapted version of the NikeCourt Premier Slam Dress that is more structured than the "babydoll" dress and comes with a higher neckline and a tighter waist.

Serena raved about her new outfit by posting a picture on Instagram with the caption, "Kinda in love with my wimbledon dress @nikecourt #audemarspiguet #nikecourt".

This article was first published on July 1, 2016.
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