Towelling over the competition
What's hot in tennis merchandise right now? Towels of course, and try to contain your excitement because the Australian Open has just released a blinder for 2011...
A racket, a ball and a net may be three of the more crucial ingredients for a tennis match, but there's an item too often undervalued and overlooked amidst the furious bouts of on-court ball-bashing.
The humble towel of course - a must for de-sweatifying the brow, wasting a little time, or simply for hiding under when the going gets tough.
Firmly entrenched in the traditions of Wimbledon, towels - decorated in iconic green, purple and gold - have become one of the Championships most sought after items.
“These towels have been a long tradition at Wimbledon and players make a habit of stealing as many as they can get their hands on,” doubles specialist Bob Bryan once admitted.
“They make great gifts... For every match there are two new towels on your chair. When the match finishes, the ball boys try to snatch them from you, but if you shove them deep in your bag and run, they’re yours."
Handy advice, thanks Bob.
Although Wimbledon initiated the love for the towel, the Australian, French and US Open's have quickly caught on. And while they won't admit it, all four major tournaments are embroiled in a battle to produce the best of the bunch.
With the Melbourne Slam now just three months away, Aussie Open organisers have shocked the booming tennis-towel market with their cutting edge design for 2011.
The flashy design depicts the iconic Melbourne skyline looking like a radio wave, an innovative image firmly in keeping with next year's tournament, which is billed to reach 'a whole new level’ after organisers announced that there will be a record $23.9 million(US) prize pot up for grabs, making it the richest Grand Slam of all time.
Wowza. That's enough to get you 442,592 towels from the Aussie Open shop. Dependent on availability, of course...