Rafa, What's With the Collar? And ... Sleeves?

Nadal dons polo, ditches capris in Nike makeover
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2009 12:38 PM CST
Rafa, What's With the Collar? And ... Sleeves?
Spain's Rafael Nadal hasn't lost his competitive edge, but his Australian Open sartorial choices have thrown fans for a loop.   (AP Photo)

When Rafael Nadal emerged a few weeks ago without his signature capris and—gasp!—wearing a polo shirt, many fans of the top-ranked tennis player began grumbling. And now his Australian Open outfits, though a bit less Roger Federer-esque, are still no longer pirate chic, but more “retro bubblegum,” writes the Age. What’s happening?

Sponsor Nike wants Nadal, 22, to dress a bit more adult, though it can’t seem to stop him from picking at the seat of his pants before each serve. “For sure with the sleeveless, not everybody like the sleeveless,” is Nadal’s diplomatic take. “Important thing in the end is not the clothes; is the ball and racket and play well.” (More tennis stories.)

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