Tennis is an underrated sport.

Tennis, unlike golf, is a cheap sport to pick up; it wouldn't surprise anyone if every Play It Again Sports location was contractually obligated to carry at least 130 used tennis rackets at any given time or risk having their franchise license revoked. And, in contrast to pickup basketball or football, you only need one other person to play. It's simple to learn the basics, but difficult to master nuances and intricacies. And for readers of this website in particular we know it was easy to grasp the "Love = Zero" concept, thanks to all those fathers incapable of expressing emotion. 

Where tennis really shines though is as a spectator watching on TV. Pro football has become a test in endurance, forcing viewers to tune in for three hours of commercials for an average payoff of less than twelve minutes of active game time, and regular season baseball is less interesting than watching a cactus grow. Throw in the time that both football and baseball spend on coach or manager challenges and instant replay and you might as well just DVR the game and watch it on 3x fast forward - at least then you'd be able to squeeze it in between lunch and dinner.  

Tennis, on the other hand, is almost constant energy and motion. Plus, unlike other sports where most longtime watchers still have no idea of the in-game strategy that goes in to each coach's or player's decision, it's easy to put yourself in the mind of a Nadal or Federer as they try to predict a lob or a slam, or whether to counter with a backhand crosscourt or down the line. 


And tennis has far and away the best instant replay in the game. If Venus doesn't like the referee's call she can protest, and within seconds some next generation, laser science shit springs in to action; a nifty, computerized rendering of exactly what happened is created, and the ball is declared In or Out. No more waiting around for some guy to run a mobile 14" TV on to the playing field for the head official, or yelling at the screen when TBS clearly shows a pitch down the middle and the umpire squawks, "Ball!"

Whatever replay inspired Thom Browne to create this Tennis Ball Cashmere Sweater, the ball was clearly in - a fitting metaphor for the sartorial equivalent of an Agassi ace punctuated with a McEnroe expletive.


Price:  $1,490

Brand:  Thom Browne

Store:  Mr. Porter

Why:  If you're going to drop a month's rent on one straight bourgeoise country club piece of clothing, it's got to be be versatile. Lucky for you Thom Browne's tennis sweater can be styled up for your office holiday party with a white oxford underneath and a pair of grey wool trousers or down with some skinny black jeans or brown corduroys for a few beers before you catch The Disaster Artist. And if you find yourself in Flushing Meadows next September you'll have the perfect top to wear while you watch the American men continue their fourteen year streak of Grand Slam futility. At least your sweater will be a winner.