The chicest way to accessorise your centre court attire: the tennis bracelet. Its history is one immortalised by world-ranked tennis star Chris Evert in 1987 during the U.S. Open Tennis Championships. An accomplished athlete, Evert won eighteen Grand Slam single tournaments in her career, including three Wimbledon Championships.
Known for her chic on-court attire of delicate lace dresses and elegant accessories, “The Ice Maiden” was one of the most talked about style stars. Her signature accessory was an eternity bracelet: a flexible, serpentine design of diamonds that provided flexibility even while landing her opponent a perfectly placed backhand shot. Popular in the 1920s, this elegant bracelet was worn by fashionable women at the time, who would stack them in multiples on their wrists.
During an exceptionally long rally in the 1987 Grand Slam, Chris’s diamond eternity bracelet snapped mid-game. Refusing to continue playing until her bracelet was recovered, officials halted the game till, at last, it was found. The elegant bracelet immediately gained notoriety; jewellers everywhere began receiving requests for diamond “tennis bracelets.” Despite the bracelet’s name throughout history, it's timeless and classic design are sure to been seen from the grandstands of Wimbledon.
Almost 30 years later, Evert’s game-on style resonates with the great female tennis stars today. Other ladies that have sparkled on the tennis court and not only for their amazing game are: Serena Williams with her outrageous five-carat diamond chandelier earrings, and Caroline Wozniacki’s diamond bezelled Rolex wristwatch, the queens of the court embody athletic glamour.
Serena Williams is tennis royalty — even down to her jewellery. Queen of the tennis court, she has won 24 Grand Slam titles, 7 of them at Wimbledon. Jewellery and accessories have always been key to Serena’s on-court style, so her latest motif bling comes as no surprise. Statement rings, hoop earrings and sparkling necklaces comprise her match day jewels. Last year, she unveiled a jewellery collaboration with diamond manufacturer KP Sanghvi, an extension of her eponymous fashion line.
On the other side of the spectrum we have rising WTA star Belinda Bencic. While she might not be a household name yet, the world’s number twelve seed made headlines serving up wins over the likes of Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic, and even Queen Serena Williams earlier this year. And like Chris Evert, who elevated the idea of the tennis bracelet with a simple strand of diamonds around her wrist, and Marion Bartoli, who retired on a high note after a 2013 win at Wimbledon to launch her own jewellery line, Bencic is all about the bling.
Bencic sports a Tiffany & Co. heart-shaped necklace, a gift from her family, which has become a good-luck talisman to the athlete. “I always wear it,” she says. “I wore it at the US Open last year and did well reaching the quarterfinals.” And since the necklace is engraved with a message of support from her family, she’s able to keep the spirit of loved ones even closer to her heart. “It’s kind of like they’re always with me,” says Bencic who also favours bold, colourful necklaces off the court. The emerging athlete also has a penchant for pearls. “I like earrings that don’t hang, especially for matches, but I also like other more sparkly ones,” she says. With a US Open victory in her sights, here’s hoping that the jewellery adds some shine to her game in more ways than one.
Five Fab Jewellery pieces to sport at Wimbledon
1 Tennis bracelet
2 Diamond Studs
3 Tennis necklace - yes it is a thing!
4 A fancy watch - Rolex is traditional but we love Backs & Strauss watches
5. Pearls if you want to match your tennis whites!
Tennis Bracelet Trivia
Chris Evert’s diamond bracelet was made by jewellery designer George Bedewi.
In the 1920’s, the tennis bracelet, was initially known only as a ‘diamond line’ bracelet.
A tennis bracelet consists of a line of diamonds of the same size, cut, colour, and clarity set side by side to make a complete, flexible circle.
Is there a correct size for a tennis bracelet or is it a one size for all deal?
For the most comfortable fit, aim for a bracelet that sits lightly and loosely at the point where your wrist meets your hand. If you can slip a finger easily in the space between your wrist and the bracelet, the fit is perfect!