The Most Famous Tennis Players Throughout The 70s & 80s

Iconic tennis players from all over the world have blossomed since the start of the Open Era, showcasing legendary skills that we still admire today. 

The iconic tennis superstars – that arguably peaked during the ‘70s and ‘80s – not only inspired those dominating the game today but also what we wear on the court. 

Fashion within tennis was at its peak in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The classic brands Sergio Tacchini and Diadora rose to prominence during this era, all thanks to the legends who wore them.

We’re going to showcase why fashion within tennis peaked during the ‘70s and ‘80s by delving into the icons who brought these brands to life. So, without further ado, let’s delve in.  


Björn Borg

Björn Borg is an iconic tennis player considered the most famous from Central Europe. Raised in Sweden, Borg gained international fame throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s due to his impeccable skills. His talent led him to become the first man to win 11 grand slam titles, and he unsurprisingly reached No.1 status by 1977. 

Borg displayed skills from an early age which were vital for his success. His powerful serve and agile, acrobatic moves led Borg to become Sweden’s No.1 junior player at the early age of 13 and the world’s No.1 at 21 years old. 

While Borg was certainly known for his accredited tennis skills, his charming manner and slightly bizarre fashion choices were what stuck in our minds.

The International Tennis Hall Of Fame (TITHF) describes Borg as “a rock ‘n roll star draped in tennis clothes“. Quite literally the rock star of tennis, Borg has been unapologetically himself with his sportsmanship and fashion choices. 

Björn Borg unexpectedly retired from tennis at 25. He did return in September 2022 to remake his iconic match with John McEnroe, which was shy of 40 years prior. 

What did Björn Borg wear on the tennis court?

Always staying close to a pair of short shorts, Björn Borg was the face of the low shorts movement. Borg’s signature look incorporated classic shorts, a fitted polo shirt and a matching headband. 

We can’t acknowledge Borg’s style without mentioning his prize possession, the wooden Donnay racket with which he played every game using. 

If you’d like to reenact the iconic moves displayed by Borg, ensure you dress the part. Check out our iconic Borg-inspired collection of wears once seen on the famous tennis player Björn Borg. 

John Newcombe

Born in Sydney, Australia, the charismatic John Newcombe has had many entertaining games across his athletic career and certainly wasn’t one to miss. 

Newcombe’s appeal came from his impressive skill, which led him to be the first to achieve a No 1 ranking in single and double tournaments. 

John won the Wimbledon doubles in 1965, the start of an impressive streak of wins. While John Newcombe displayed his skill in doubles, it was in his singles that he earned his status as one of the most famous tennis players ever to live. 

Newcombe is one of the two tennis stars to win the amateurs and pros at Wimbledon and Forest Hills. His incomparable skills allowed him to win 34 solo titles, and by the end of his career, his ultra-quick reflex left him with a total of 41 titles, including an impressive 7 grand slam wins. 

During the ‘70s, Australian tennis stars dominated professional tennis, and some looked as good as they played. John Newcombe made the court his playground, showcasing unique tennis skills and iconic outfits. 

John Newcombe Outfits

Newcombe was like many of his peers and enjoyed looking stylish on the court. He enjoyed a clean and powerful look, and the stylish brand Maggia was his go-to. A particular favourite was a lightweight yet practical Maggia v-neck polo and a matching pair of crisp white shorts

Vitas Gerulaitis

Rising to fame in the ‘70s, Vitas Gerulaitis was quickly heading to become the best American tennis player ever. 

Showcasing great skill on the court, Vitas made 1 grand slam win in his career. Sadly, his life was cut short as he passed away while visiting a friend due to poisoning from a carbon dioxide leak. 

Vitas Gerulaitis’s death sent shockwaves through the tennis world. He is remembered for his infectious laughter, striking presence and dedication to the sport from an early age. 

Born in New York, Vitas Gerulaitis was inspired by his father, who had an immense passion for tennis. He started playing tennis in kindergarten, and the spark for tennis never simmered, leading Vitas to drop out of school and dedicate his life to his favourite sport. 

It was a risk for Vitas Gerulaitis to drop out of school, but he believed in himself and continued to perfect his skill which quickly took off. 

Throughout the ‘70s, Vitas Gerulaitis played with and against famous tennis players worldwide, such as Jimmy Connors, Sandy Mayer and even defeated Borg. 

What did Vitas Gerulaitis wear?

When it came to Vitas Gerulaitis’s on-court style, he was adventurous, commonly wearing zip-up track tops that embraced vibrant colours such as orange and pink. He would complete his look with a matching polo shirt and sleek pair of shorts. 

If you’d like to resemble the legend that is Vitas Gerulaitis, then explore our vintage Gerulaitis collection for mesmerising pieces once seen on Vitas himself. 

Jimmy Connors

The tennis legend Jimmy Connors is potentially the most rebellious tennis player; unapologetic about his on-court behaviour no matter how manic, relentless or off-putting it seemed. 

This outspoken attitude built a distance between him and his counterparts at tournaments, and ultimately led people to either love him or hate him – there was never any inbetween. 

While Jimmy Connors was a famous tennis player, he was controversial and aggressively competitive. These ‘flaws’ ultimately led him to earn a wall of victories throughout his 17 year career. His biggest trophy was the global world tour final in 1977, but every game Connors graced promised entertainment and power – putting blood, sweat and tears into every slam. 

When we think of Jimmy Connors we think of Sergio Tacchini. Rich green, vibrant red and the classic green, Sergio Tacchini is an Italian brand that Connors famously wore on the pitch during some of his biggest games. 

How many titles does Jimmy Connors have? 

Jimmy Connors has an impressive 125 titles, with a success rate of an incredible 82% throughout his entire career. The 10-time major champion and 9-time finalist made his major success as the global No.1 tennis player in 1977 after winning the world tour finals. 

Vintage tennis attire at Golden Age Of Tennis

The ‘70s and early ‘80s were a time when it was all about the classics, and we’re bringing it back! Just like the most famous tennis players, we want you to look as good as you play.

Explore our complete range of vintage tennis attire now for sleek and authentic designer brands. 

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