Un-Rafa-like yes - but the contrast provided by the dark-slatey shorts saves this from being the utter monstrosity it might otherwise have been. And even those yellow sweatbands aren't as hideous as you might initially have thought? No?
Unfortunately Yes. For it's only when you take a closer look at the outfit in all it's nightmarishly
resplendent glory does it's hideousness begin to reach out at you.
Roger Federer's worst nightmare of a Dystopian future dominated by doublehanded backhands and garish tennis wear. I feel your pain.
Take a look at those aquamarine swooshes. On Yellow. On Purpley-Pink? Now you're just toying with me.
As a fashion statement it is of course, quite ridiculous. But as a rule, whenever I witness anything as outlandish as this, I tend to look for some kind of a method behind what is otherwise instantly dismissible madness.
When I first saw Rafa stride on to court dressed like he'd just climbed out of a gigantic pre-teeners water colour palette, I stopped dead in my tracks. Not even flinching - just stone cold.
I was sitting there comfortably ensconced in what should have been the best part of the bank holiday weekend getting ready to explain to my nephew what exactly makes Rafa so intimidating and why he comes into his own on clay. And then it happened.
"Why's he wearing pink?"
"WHY'S he wearing pink?"
"huh? Oh that's Rafa's thing, he's youthful, vibrant, brimming with energy and now that he's on his way to a fifth RG title and confirmed as the greatest clay courter of all time, he can get away with wearing anything he wants..." No I'm not buying it either. It's all been a huge messy pink mistake.
Except I believe there's some truth in the part about Rafa being at the stage where he can get away with it.
Something similar happened at Wimbledon three years ago. Roger had won the event three years in a row and came on to Centre Court in that blazer. Polarising the tennis world, and much of his fan base in an instant. The only thing missing was a bunch of ball kids throwing rose petals at his feet.
I didn't actually dislike it as much as many Tennis fans appeared to. Roger, having flexed his muscles on court for three years was now having a bit of fun. The Anna Wintour way of saying 'Look -No Hands'.
Who was I to stand in the way of his very own day in the sun. Or all four years of them. Besides Champions do things differently, and it did sit well with the idyllic country club world of garden parties and tinkling tea cups. Then of course came the cardigan. But I digress (The controversy surrounding the subject of Roger and his Cardigan has spanned as diverse a set of disciplines as Fashion, Art, History, Platonic and Aristotelian Philosophy, Psychology, Anthropology, Lawnmowing and Medieval Glass Blowing - casually alluding to 'The Cardigan' in tennis circles is akin to making a fleeting reference to The Big Bang or Relativity at a Conference on Theoretical Physics).
Ain't no different where Rafa's concerned.
This is the garb of a man that has never lost at RG saying I can do and wear anything I want.
Except I don't think Rafa has ever ridden his success with any particular attention to pomp or pageantry. That natural uneasiness he must now be feeling together with the fact that this is Nike's first incarnation of Rafa doing 'The Cardigan' mean that this is very, very rough around the edges. No question they've got this one wrong.
But don't let the colours in that technicoloured mess of a dreamcoat fool you. This is Rafa's 'Cardigan' and (subject to some changes) it may be here to stay.