Wimbledon style: The unknown history of the tennis bracelet

A tennis bracelet (or necklace) is one the most elegant, timeless pieces of bijouterie of all time. 

Despite the diamond trinket often being worn for the most sartorially glamorous occasions, it actually got its eponymous nickname – of which its now most commonly known – from the sport. 

When the jewellery style rose to fame around the 1920’s, it was called a ‘diamond line bracelet.’ But an incident at the US Open in the summer of 1978 with American tennis player Chris Evert, changed its name forever.

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Katie Boulter wearing a tennis bracelet at Wimbledon 2023© Rob Newell – CameraSport
Katie Boulter wearing a tennis bracelet at Wimbledon 2023

Evert was already a fashion muse. From red striped shirts to pleated skirts, block coloured dresses to powder pink minis, her on-court style was well-versed and effortlessly enviable. Add her memorable jewellery moment into the mix, and she became the ultimate tennis style icon.

Centre court fashionistas including Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova are among those who’ve donned delectable wrist diamonds whilst playing the game, and British number one Katie Boulter has brought her fashion A-game to Wimbledon 2023amping up the Glam by wearing the most elegant tennis bracelet from British lab grown jeweller The Diamond Lab, alongside her wrist sweatbands (talk about juxtaposing styles…). 

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Serena Williams during the Wimbledon championships in 2011© Rebecca Naden – PA Images
Serena Williams during the Wimbledon championships in 2011

Here’s everything you didn’t know about sport’s most glamorous accessory.

What is a tennis bracelet?

“The classic tennis bracelet is a popular and timeless piece of jewellery that is typically adorned with a continuous line of diamonds,” according to The Diamond Lab.

How did the tennis bracelet get its name?

In 1978, Chris Evert was playing in the US Open when her line diamond bracelet snapped mid-match and she requested to pause the game whilst she looked for the jewels. From that moment on, the bracelet became synonymous with Evert and has been known as a tennis bracelet ever since.

Chris Evert in 1978© Mirrorpix
Chris Evert in 1978

Which wrist should you wear a tennis bracelet?

“The tennis bracelet is most popularly worn on the opposite wrist to your dominant hand (in true tennis player fashion),” says Welsh jewellery company Clogau.

How do I style a tennis bracelet?

“If you have an active lifestyle or you simply fancy a change from heavy bangles, then investing in a tennis bracelet is a smart move to up your jewellery game,” Clogau explains. They also suggest pairing it with other wrist jewellery such as watches and rings, and stacking with other bangles.

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