The biggest upset in tennis this week wasn’t Roger Federer’s fall to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at Wimbledon. Nor was it the early exits of the Williams sisters and Andy Roddick, or even women’s No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki losing in the Round of 16.
It was Wozniacki (right) being named the Most Stylish Tennis Player in a Nielsen/E-Poll.
The 20-year-old Dane has built her world’s top ranking without winning a Grand Slam. She plays a lot of tournaments, has won five of them this year. Nothing major, but apparently she has made an impression along the way.
The verdict is that Wozniacki exudes style, more so than the likes of Serena and Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Anna Kournikova and Federer, all of whom rate considerably higher in name recognition and marketable appeal, as measured by N-scores.
N-Score, as defined by Nielsen, is a tabulation of name and image awareness, appeal and personality attributes such as sincerity, approachability, experience and influence.
Serena Williams rates high with an N-Score of 131, but 10th for style, cited by 17 percent of those polled. Wozniacki barely registers as recognizable with an N-Score of 7, but 30 percent considered her stylish.
Agree with the poll? After looking through dozens of photos of Wozniacki, the poll result seems as debatable as her ranking on the court.
Wimbledon does present a challenge to players in the fashion sense with its requirement to wear white. Some pull it off with more eye-catching grace than others.
Venus Williams took the challenge to extremes in the opening round with her “peek-a-boo” jumper (pictured below). Reviews ranged from unflattering to ghastly, though the Christian Science Monitor was most kind in referring to the outfit as “goddess-like in keeping with her name.”
Venus and Serena have often pushed the envelope with a fashion sense that doesn’t necessarily jive with the consensus of style. Venus has an N-Score even higher than her sister, 169, but didn’t make the Top Ten list of most stylish.
But stylishness clearly varies with the palate. Sharapova was runner-up on the list to Wozniacki. It is difficult to imagine how the incessant grunts and shouts on every shot could have contributed to that impression.
Here are the top Ten most stylish tennis players based on the Nielsen poll:
Rk Player N-Score / % Stylilsh
1 Caroline Wozniacki 7 / 30
2 Maria Sharapova 43 / 27
3 Nicole Vaidisova 5 / 25
4 Elena Dementieva 9 / 25
5 Anna Kournikova 42 / 22
6 Gael Monfils 2 / 22
7 Mike Bryan 3 / 21
8 Roger Federer 57 / 20
9 Agnieszka Radwanska 4 / 19
10 Serena Williams 131 / 17