The French Open is in just a few days, and when it comes to tennis, it seems like everyone who is someone has a watch brand behind them. We’re likely to see some unique pieces and partnerships at the tournament this year. Here are the athletes to lookout for and the brands they’ll be sporting.
Top Tennis Athletes
This is perhaps one of the most iconic partnerships to ever exist in the colliding worlds of watches and sports. From Switzerland himself, Roger Federer has become a household name synonymous with the Rolex brand. He has a laundry list of achievements, including all-time records of 20 Grand Slam singles titles and 8 Wimbledon titles. He was the number 1 player in the world from 2004-2008, and he went on to regain this ranking a few more times – most recently in 2018. Federer can be seen wearing much of the Rolex catalog, but one of his favorite pieces is his blue-dialed Sky-Dweller and a Daytona.
Naomi is the number one ranked female player entering this year’s French Open. Her journey to this top spot was a rather quick one, as she was ranked 68th upon the culmination of the 2017 season. She went on to win the 2018 US Open, besting her childhood idol, Serena Williams, and achieving her number one rank. She won the Australian Open soon thereafter, winning the second Grand Slam title of her career and becoming the first Asian player to reach the number one ranking in singles. Citizen felt Naomi closely encapsulated their mission to constantly push the limits and offered her an ambassador title in August of 2018. She can be seen wearing her own Eco-Drive BZ4006-01E model on and off the courts.
No stranger to the French Open, Rafael Nadal won this competition in nine of his first ten attempts, his first of which when he was nineteen. He earned himself the “King of Clay” title over this time. In 2010 he won the French open and the three other clay court Masters 1000 events in the same year, becoming the first and only player to complete the “Clay Slam.” He holds the impressive all-time records of 33 Masters 1000s, 24 Clay Masters 1000 titles, and 11 Grand Slam singles titles. Nadal partnered with Richard Mille in 2010, and since then Nadal can be seen wearing several of his RM watches on and off the courts, most notably, his orange RM27-02 from 2010. Nadal played the 2017 French Open with the $725k RM27-03 on his wrist. This vibrant piece was designed to pay homage to his native country of Spain.
Serena Williams is another household name who has been catching attention in the tennis world since winning her first major title as a 17-year-old back in 1999. She has had an extraordinarily successful career, collecting 4 Olympic gold medals and 72 career singles titles. Thirty-nine of those titles were Grand Slam titles. Serena has become an icon beyond the world of tennis, as an active voice empowering other women to be their best. Williams can be spotted wearing Audemars Piguet watches regularly, particularly her rose gold Royal Oak Offshore. She can be seen wearing this watch when she won the French Open in 2015. With the legendary status of the Royal oak’s design and Williams being an icon herself, this is a perfect partnership.
Novak Djokovic and Seiko go back to 2014. He is well-regarded as one of the best tennis players of all time and can often be seen wearing his Seiko Astron watches. The Astron watches are a line of sporty, GPS-controlled watches. He has seen much success in his career, with 15 Grand Slam singles titles, 32 ATP Masters Series 1000 titles, and a bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He is the only male player to ever win all nine of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments. Djokovic at one point held the number one spot for 153 weeks, and he is entering the French Open back at this 1st overall spot.
Angelique Kerber’s tennis career took off at the 2011 US Open where she proved herself to the tennis world by upsetting the 26th seed when she was ranked 92nd herself. Following that tournament, she moved on to break the top 40 ranking at 34th. She is entering this year’s French Open ranked 4th overall. She has won three Grand Slam singles titles across hard, clay, and grass surfaces. In 2016 this German athlete became the oldest player to ever reach the milestone of being ranked number one at 28 years old. She can be seen wearing her Rolex Datejust 36 with pearl dial and a sportier white-dialed Daytona.
Alexander Zverev is another impressive player to come out of Germany. His professional tennis career began as a young fourteen-year-old in 2011 where he entered three different qualifying rounds for different tournaments. He has certainly come a long way since then, coming into 2019 with an impressive list of achievements including being the reigning champion at the ATP finals and garnering the praise of his more seasoned competitors, including aforementioned Nadal and Njokovic. Zverev is the youngest player outside of the distinctive “Big Four” (Federer, Nadal, Njokovic, and Murray) with three Masters titles. He joined the Richard Mille team in 2016, in-part thanks to the suggestion of Nadal himself. Zverev can be seen wearing his red RM 67-02 when he beat Djokovic in the 2018 ATP Final.
Up next is Czech athlete Petra Kvitova. She has been involved with professional tennis since 2006 and has accumulated 27 career singles titles since then. Two of those titles are Grand Slams and two are Wimbledon Championships. She also secured a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and is entering this year’s French Open ranked 2nd overall. The Grand Slam title in 2011 established Kvitova as a force to be reckoned with as she became the first player ever born in the 1990s to win a Grand Slam tournament title. The determination she has shown over her impressive career fits perfectly with TAG’s “tagline” of “Don’t crack under pressure.” She was brought on as an ambassador in 2018 and can be seen wearing several models when hoisting her most recent trophies.
Kei Nishikori is another prominent tennis player part of the TAG Heuer family. Nishikori has had an remarkable career, and though he is coming into the French Open ranked 7th, he is the only male Japanese player to ever be ranked within the top 5 (with his number 4 rank in 2015.) He is also the first Asian male to ever reach a Grand Slam singles final. Nishikori has won 11 singles titles over his career, and he certainly has a bright future ahead of him. He has identified his favorite TAG as his black-dialed Formula 1 Chronograph.
Ashleigh Barty has been part of the tennis scene since her pro career began in 2010. Barty is the top-ranked Australian female player in both singles and doubles, and she has spent considerable time ranked in the top ten for both designations, 9th and 5th respectively. Over the past nine years she has accumulated four singles titles and nine doubles titles on the WTA Tour. She won her first Grand Slam title at the US Open in 2018. Barty became part of the Rado YoungStars program, a venture centered around up-and-coming tennis players, in 2017. She says Rado was her favorite brand growing up, and her go-to piece is her white ceramic True Thin-Line.