PARIS, May 27 (Reuters) - Paris looked nothing like the fashion capital of the world for a few hours on Monday when France’s Gael Monfils faced off with Czech Tomas Berdych in the first round of the French Open sporting a rather garish outfit.
Maria Sharapova lit up Roland Garros when she stepped out for her title defence in a figure-hugging optical illusion purple dress but chances are the fashion police would have given Monfils ‘nul points’ for his multicoloured tank top over a black and red skin-tight body suit.
While fans wanting to copy the styles of Sharapova and Rafa Nadal can expect to fork out a hefty sum to purchase replica outfits, Berdych appeared to capture the mood of a world still struggling to come out of recession.
His simple white shirt and black shorts bore the logo of an affordable high street chain popular all over Europe.
Roland Garros is often a fashion focal point, with Venus Williams triggering a few bemused comments in 2010 when she flashed her skin-coloured underpants every time she belted out one of her trademark serves while wearing a lacy, corset-like dress.
Her sister Serena is also no stranger to raising eyebrows, having turned up in majors wearing outfits she has dubbed the ‘Pink Panther’ or all-in-one ‘sexy catsuit’.
In Paris, her Cameroon soccer-strip inspired ensemble, complete with knee high yellow socks in 2002 was in total contrast to the more elegant dark grey dress she is modelling this year.
In terms of masculine elegance, Roger Federer set tongues wagging by showing off a variety of all-white jackets, cricket jumpers and waistcoats at Wimbledon.
Monfils, however, was not the only one who left a lot to be desired with his choice of attire at Roland Garros this year.
Finn Jarkko Nieminen and Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu did not flinch when they suffered every woman’s nightmare, turning up at the same event - or in this case court - in identical outfits.
However, their choice of grey shorts and a pale orange shirt with a grey and white stripes did not exactly set off a battery of clicking cameras. (Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)