As the world's best players prepare for the iconic crushed brick of Roland Garros, Nike unveils the innovative footwear and apparel they will wear to make their mark.
These are the looks that Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka will wear as they chase championship dreams on the rich red clay.
Reigning tournament champion and world No.1 Rafael Nadal will seek a remarkable ninth title in Paris wearing a striking blue 2014 Premier Rafa Crew, redesigned Nike Premier Rafa Jacket, Nike Gladiator Premier 7-inch Shorts and the new Nike Lunar Ballistec.
The 2014 Premier Rafa Crew for Roland Garros utilizes Nike Dri-FIT fabric panels to keep players dry and comfortable. Intelligently placed Nike Sphere fabric panels resist the cling that can be created by excess moisture and a laser-perforated back panel also enhances ventilation. Using bonded no-sew construction techniques on the sleeves and side seams provides a stitch-free finish that removes irritation points to also enhance player comfort.
Nadal's key color for Paris is Polarized Blue, chosen for its powerful contrast to the signature orange hue of the playing surface at Roland Garros. The fabric, fit and color of the 2014 Premier Rafa Crew all combine in a system designed with feedback from the world's best player to deliver unmatched comfort, performance and confidence on the court.
The Nike Premier Rafa Jacket was inspired by the on-court style of Rafa and includes Dri-FIT four-way stretch fabric for comfort, a longer length drop back hem for enhanced coverage, water repellant panels on the front for added protection and invisible zippered side pockets for secure storage. Nadal’s Gladiator Premier 7-inch Shorts have been constructed from Dri-FIT stretch fabric to be as lightweight and fast as possible while a sublimated graphic print adds a pop of style to the look.
Nadal’s footwear is the explosively fast Nike Lunar Ballistec delivering unprecedented speed and control. The Nike Lunar Ballistec in a men's size 10 weighs just 13 ounces using Nike Lunarlon, a proprietary Nike technology that provides extra cushioning while keeping the shoe ultra lightweight and responsive.
World No.4 and 2013 Paris quarter-finalist Roger Federer will compete in this year's tournament wearing the Nike Premier RF Cover-Up, Nike Premier RF Crew, Nike Gladiator Premier 9-inch Shorts and the Nike Zoom Vapor 9.5 Tour.
The Nike Premier RF Crew is an ideal performance option for warm-weather matches. Heathered Dri-FIT jersey fabric helps pull perspiration to the surface of the shirt where it evaporates quickly to keep the player dry and comfortable. The surface of this particular crew has been sanded for a uniquely soft feel and the ribbed fabric of the collar provides a snug fit that will not loose its shape with use. To deliver even great comfort, the side seams are bonded and the shoulder seams are flat-lock stitched to reduce the irritation caused by chafing.
Inspired by Federer's style on and off-court, the tailored Nike Premier RF Cover-Up is made from Dri-FIT sweater knit fabric which delivers great breathability and comfort in an elegant silhouette. Crafted open knit panels on the side and back of the jacket deliver improved ventilation, and an articulated sleeve design provides an ergonomic performance fit.
Federer's Nike Gladiator Premier 9-inch short also uses Dri-FIT fabric for superb comfort, with a 9-inch inseam for excellent on-court coverage. His footwear of choice remains the evolutionary Nike Zoom Vapor 9.5 Tour with textile upper, flex grooves, supportive TPU foot frame and Dynamic Fit for a lightweight, cushioned and responsive high performance ride.
Maria Sharapova returns to Paris looking to avenge the 2013 final. She will wear a specially created Nike Premier Maria French Dress that blurs the line between a tank and a dress with a blend of performance and style.
The dress and shorts are constructed from Dri-FIT jersey fabric to help manage heat and ensure Sharapova stays dry and comfortable. An inner definition bra with moulded cups delivers shaping and support, while perforations on the back, neck, straps and front of the dress enhance ventilation. Flat rubber tape around the armhole seams has a slight grip that prevents the fabric from negatively influencing movement, and the shorts have an extended inseam length to provide greater coverage and secure ball storage.
Sharapova’s footwear choice is the NikeiD version of the iconic Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour shoe.
The current world No.1 and 2013 champion in Paris will look to defend her title in the unique Nike Novelty Knit Dress. The front bodice of the dress features sweat wicking Dri-FIT jersey fabric that pulls perspiration away from the skin to make it super comfortable on court whatever the temperature. The skirt, back and straps of the dress utilize a jacquard Dri-FIT fabric made of 100 percent recycled polyester for lightweight sweat management and a soft hand feel.
Flat rubber tape around the inner armhole and front neck seam has a slight grip built in to prevent unwanted movement, while an elasticized waistband provides a smooth secure fit allowing Williams to move freely and dominate the court.
Azarenka, a 2013 semi-finalist in Paris and currently the fourth ranked player in the world will wear the Nike Dri-FIT Touch Sleeveless Polo, Nike Printed Pleated Woven Skirt, Nike Knit Sweater Jacket and the Nike Lunar Ballistec footwear.
The new Nike Dri-FIT Touch Sleeveless Polo has the familiar Racerback design for a full range of motion and includes a hidden, perforated 4-button placket for custom ventilation. The use of sanded Dri-FIT Touch fabric provides cool comfort for hot conditions with a soft, natural feel.
The Nike Printed Pleated Woven Skirt is a great example of form following function. Perforated pleats made from Dri-FIT woven polyester have two-way stretch for mobility and deliver breathable performance. The 12-inch length of the skirt enhances coverage but is short enough to allow for maximum range of motion. Azarenka's Nike Knit sweater Jacket for women combines a soft, warm sweater fabric made of wool, with a kangaroo pocket on the front for easy ball storage and an ergonomic fit to create the perfect hoodie on or off-court.
Azarenka’s shoe is the incredibly responsive Nike Lunar Ballistec — a new Nike Tennis shoe for 2014 that delivers faster speed to the ball combined with unprecedented cushioning, durability and control.
The Men's and Women's footwear and apparel highlighted above is available now from nike.com and also at select Nike Tennis retailers.