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Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Updated: June 25, 6:29 AM ET
Players sporting their latest Wimbledon fashions

By Bonnie D. Ford
ESPN.com

Four Points

Federer

This is not your father's cardigan
Or Mr. Rogers', or Fred MacMurray's. For one thing, Dad wouldn't have shelled out what Nike is asking for Roger Federer's buttoned-down look. Only 230 of these limited-edition cream-and-gold sweaters (one for each week Federer's been on top of the tennis world) with engraved buttons were produced, and guess who's going to get one of them -- perhaps No. 1? Serena Williams, who bumped into Federer when they did back-to-back television interviews. We'd told Williams about Federer's most recent fashion statement during her postmatch debriefing with the print media, but she hadn't seen it for herself. When she inquired about it, Federer gallantly asked if she wanted one. Williams raised her index finger. What's next -- an exchange of shoulder bags?

Williams

Who'll start the rain?
Speaking of Serena, her mini-trench coat was a '60s flashback, reminding us of Agent 99, Carnaby Street and other Cold War-meets-cool references. She debuted the ice-white outerwear as she warmed up for her first-round match against Estonia's Kaia Kanepi -- and we really mean warmed up, since the two women played in blazing sunshine rarely seen this time of year at SW19. If this is what it takes to keep the skies clear, we'd suggest that galoshes be required for all top players. Then again, we're convinced London will enter a period of lengthy drought once the retractable roof is installed on Centre Court next year.

Mattek
Absent: Where's our lingerie?
Sadly, France's Tatiana Golovin is hurt and therefore unable to deliver on a sequel to 2007's sensational red knickers. This is one AWOL that really hurts the paparazzi. Bethanie Mattek, who upped the ante with blue knickers of her own last year, won her first-round match in straight-ahead white but said she has some surprises in her suitcase.

Sharapova
White-tie event
Amid the classic looks, Maria Sharapova's daring, androgynous "tuxedo" outfit is one you'll either love or hate. We were prepared for the tailored short-shorts, but the top -- with a halter neck (trendy this season), pleated vest front and sheer material on the sides and back -- was a revelation in more ways than one. When Sharapova walked out in her cover-up, a cropped, faux-belted jacket (there are wide-legged pants to go with it, but it was a bit warm Tuesday), we thought she looked ready to play high-stakes billiards. Hey, you gotta play the angles in both pursuits, not to mention the merchandise game -- although the jacket is a floor model only. Sharapova said she already knows what she's wearing a year from now. "Tennis is not a sport where you have to wear uniforms," as she points out.

Bonnie D. Ford covers tennis and Olympic sports for ESPN.com. She can be reached at bonniedford@aol.com.

Nair-y a word about it

Reynolds

One of our sharp-eyed colleagues noticed that Bobby Reynolds, the only U.S. man to advance on Wimbledon's opening day, had shaved his arms. Reynolds actually blushed as he disclosed to a small group of reporters that he began practicing the art of depilation a few years ago as a gag for a New Year's Eve masquerade party, though he wouldn't say whom he was trying to emulate. Some male players actually shave their limbs to facilitate therapeutic massage, but Reynolds said he just does it for luck.

Shared taste

Petrova

Too bad Venus Williams and Nadia Petrova are in different quarters of the draw, making a potentially historic meeting somewhat unlikely. The statuesque Russian is wearing clothing designed by Williams for her EleVen line. "She was doing me a favor," said Williams, who added that Petrova's outfit is different from her own elegant dropped-waist skirt, halter-top dress inspired by Norma Kamali.

She knows better

Mirza

India's Sania Mirza has had more than enough personal criticism in her young career, and she wasn't about to get enmeshed in another clothing controversy. Asked politely whether she, as a Muslim, found it "difficult being on a circuit where women do flaunt themselves with their clothes," she just as politely replied, "I don't think I would like to answer any questions about my religion or anything of that sort."

Stat of the week

520: Number of dollars, at the current exchange rate, it would cost you to acquire Federer's sweater.

Quote of the week

Williams

"It's definitely not athletic attire. But it's ladylike, and I'm very ladylike. … It's very movable. It's very light. It's just delectable." -- Serena Williams, on her cropped trench coat.

Question of the week

Rate the fashions at this year's Wimbledon, or tell us how you'd dress your favorite player.

Send your thoughts to Bonnie D. Ford.