Sergio Tacchini Heroes
Sergio Tacchini is a heritage athletics brand representing authenticity, craftsmanship, and style. Founded in 1966 by Italian tennis champion Sergio Tacchini, the namesake label gained worldwide recognition by infusing color into an otherwise all-white sport while partnering with the world’s top tennis athletes including John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, and Martina Navratilova, among many others. For over 50 years, Sergio Tacchini has redefined traditional sports and lifestyle apparel both on and off the court—inspiring movements from the UK’s casual culture to the gritty street subcultures of the united states. Revitalizing and disrupting the status quo through innovation, Sergio Tacchini is everything you need to win.
Photo by Gianni Ciccia
Born in 1938, Italian tennis champion Sergio Tacchini entered the professional ranks at age 17 after joining the tennis club of Milan in 1955. During his career, Tacchini won three Italian championship titles and played on the prestigious Italy Davis Cup team from 1959 to 1966. After retiring as a player, Tacchini turned his focus to sportswear design, determined to introduce color to tennis apparel which, until then, was predominantly white. Tacchini founded ‘Sandys s.p.a.’ in 1966, renaming the brand shortly after to the namesake label it is today. With its iconic logo—intertwining the initials ‘S’ and ‘T’ to resemble a tennis ball and the court’s baselines—Sergio Tacchini is the synthesis of success.
Davis Cup team Italia
Often dubbed the “world cup of tennis,” the Davis Cup is the premier international team tournament in men’s tennis. Sergio Tacchini played on the Italy Davis Cup team from 1959 to 1966 prior to launching his namesake brand.
Nicknamed the “Bucharest buffoon” for his colorful personality and highly entertaining on-court antics, Romanian-tennis prodigy Ilie Năstase is often regarded as one of the most gifted players in the sport’s history. The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Năstase won seven grand slam titles throughout his career including singles wins at the 1972 U.S. Open and 1973 French open. He was ranked world no. 1 professional tennis player in 1973 by the association of tennis professionals (ATP), and was inducted into the international tennis hall of fame in 1991.
Jimmy Connors is an American tennis champion known for his searing, two-handed flat backhand, hitting the ball early, on the rise, for one of the best service returns in the sport’s history. Connors’ unapologetic on-court intensity—entertaining, though at times obscene—led crowds to either love or hate him. A maverick in the sport, Connors famously refused to join the ATP in 1972—the same organization that would rank him world no. 1 from ’74 to ’77. An 8-time grand slam winner, Connors took titles at the Australian open, Wimbledon, and the u.s. open in ’74 alone, and was inaugurated into the international tennis hall of fame in ‘98.
Montreal Olympic Games
Sergio Tacchini was the proud sponsor of the Italian team at the 1976 summer Olympic games held in Montreal, Canada.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, to Lithuanian immigrant parents, Vitas Gerulaitis was one of the most charismatic characters in tennis history. His fast hands and full-court prowess led him to victory at the 1977 Australian open and a career-high ATP ranking of world no. 3 in ’78. Off the court, the “Lithuanian lion” led a lavish lifestyle, frequenting studio 54 with the likes of Andy Warhol, while generously picking up the tab wherever he went. Having met an untimely death at age 40, he is remembered for his high-spirits and quick wit, once famously remarking (after ending a run of 16 losses against Jimmy Connors): “...nobody beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row.”
One of tennis’s all-time legends, John McEnroe is renowned for his shot-making precision, volleying touch, and all-around racket artistry. He won 7 grand slam titles while sponsored by Sergio Tacchini, earning him an ATP world no. 1 ranking in 1980, and his singles win-loss record (82-3) set in ’84 remains unbroken. McEnroe’s doubles prowess is equally impressive, with 9 grand slams in the category and a world no.1 doubles ranking in ’79. Famously prone to on-court outbursts, his “you cannot be serious” rant at Wimbledon in ’81 has endured as an iconic moment in the sport’s history. Since his professional retirement, McEnroe has found great success as a tv and film personality, sports commentator, and author, and was inducted into the international tennis hall of fame in 1999.
“You Cannot be Serious”
Renowned for his unpredictable on-court outbursts, john McEnroe’s “you cannot be serious” tirade at Wimbledon in 1981 has gone down as one of the most memorable moments in sports history. Decked out in Sergio Tacchini’s iconic young line polo, McEnroe faced tom Gullikson when a shot of his in opening round was called out by umpire Edward James. “you cannot be serious, man,” McEnroe exploded in reply, “you cannot be serious!” Already dubbed the “superbrat” by reporters, McEnroe’smeltdown cost him a point in that game, though he’d go on to win the match and the Wimbledon title that year. Having shook the conventional tennis world, McEnroe —and his Tacchini gear—became a favorite amongst tennis fans and rabble rousers alike.
By the late-1970s and throughout the 80s, a new British youth subculture known as the “casuals” emerged out of the UK working class and football terrace scene. Renowned for dressing well and fighting violently, the casuals established a new fashion—consisting of designer tracksuits, trainers, and sportswear by Continental-European brands such as Sergio Tacchini—which helped distinguish them from rivals while avoiding police scrutiny. Though largely unloved for their strong association to hooliganism, British casual culture left an indelible mark on contemporary youth movements—including music, film, and fashion—that remains relevant today.
Famous for his fatal left-handed serve, roscoe “the rocket” tanner was one of the finest tennis players of his 1970s generation, winning numerous awards throughout his career including the men’s singles title at the Australian open in 1977.
Known for her attacking serve-and-volley style, Czech-born American tennis legend Martina Navratilova is considered one of the greatest players the sport has ever known. In grand slam titles alone, Navratilova holds 18 in singles, 31 in women’s doubles, and 10 in mixed doubles; she is also only one of three players ever to have won the “grand slam boxed set,” consisting of every grand slam title in all categories. Navratilova was ranked world no. 1 by the WTA in 1978 and inducted into the international tennis hall of fame in 2000. The first openly homosexual American professional athlete, Navratilova is a vocal advocate for gay rights.
Ayrton Senna was a Brazilian racecar driver, widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential formula one drivers of all time. He won the formula one world drivers’ championship in 1988, 1990, and 1991. He met an untimely death during an accident at the 1994 San Marino grand prix.
Amongst its many professional endorsements, Sergio Tacchini proudly sponsored Italian basketball player Dino Meneghin of the prestigious Olimpia Milano team. Regarded as one of Europe’s all-time greatest basketball players—and Italy’s best ever—Meneghin received numerous awards and medals throughout his career, and was inaugurated into the Naismith memorial basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.
Swedish tennis champion mats Wilander is a 7-times grand slam singles winner, taking three of those titles at the Australian open, French open, and US open in 1988 alone. Known for his gentlemanly sportsmanship, stoic on-court presence, and heavy topspin hits, Wilander was ranked world no. 1 by the ATP in 1988 and was inducted into the international tennis hall of fame in 2002.
Australian tennis champion Pat Cash is known for his attacking serve-and-volley technique and stylish panache—which included his trademark black-and-white checkerboard headband. After claiming the 1987 Wimbledon singles title, Cash famously ascended the stands at Centre court to celebrate with his girlfriend, father, and coach, establishing a grand slam champion tradition ever since. An avid guitar player, cash was elected into the sport Australia hall of fame in 2005.
THE RISE OF HIP HOP
As hip hop gained prominence in popular culture through the ‘80s and ‘90s, so too did the genre’s defining fashion trends become more refined. East Coast inner-city youth—from the Bronx, Harlem, and Queens boroughs, all the way down to Washington, D.C.—looked to local street hustlers who flexed their wealth through gear. Luxury brands and high-end sportswear became a symbol of status and bragging rights. Rappers like Rakim, Eric B, NAS, The Notorious B.I.G., and LL Cool J were dipped head-to-toe in Sergio Tacchini, while the Wu Tang Clan, Kanye, Jay Z, Pusha T, the Beastie Boys, and countless others laced their alliance to the brand throughout their lyrics.
A master of the fast-paced grass court, American tennis champion Pete Sampras won 14 grand slam singles titles throughout his career, earning the nickname “Pistol Pete” for his punishing serve. Sponsored by Sergio Tacchini from the late-1980s to the mid-90s, Sampras took the u.s. open title in ’90 & ’93, Wimbledon in ’93 & ’94, and the ’94 Australian open while wearing the brand’s iconic Solengo polo. He was ranked world no. 1 professional tennis player in ‘93 by the association of tennis professionals (ATP)—holding that position for 286 weeks—and was enshrined into the international tennis hall of fame in 2007.
Argentine-tennis champion Gabriela Sabatini is perhaps best well-known for her screaming topspin forehand, the likes of which clenched her a grand slam singles title at the 1990 US Open against her long-time rival and dominant force of the era, steffi graf. A renowned philanthropist since her retirement from pro tennis—working with organizations to help children and the poor—Sabatini was inducted into the international tennis hall of fame in 2006.
In the 1990s, Sergio Tacchini became home to some of the world’s greatest skiers, sponsoring Fis alpine ski world cup circuit champions from 1990 to 1995. Among such endorsements was swiss alpine ski racer Pirmin Zurbriggen, who won his fourth world cup title in the ‘90-’91 season, as well as Austrian and Luxembourgian-skier Marc Girardelli, who claimed his fifth world cup in ’92-‘93.
Welsh golf champion Ian Woosnam won the coveted masters tournament in 1991 and was rated world no. 1 by the official world golf ranking from April ’91 to march ’92. In 2017, Woosnam was elected into the world golf hall of fame.
Italian Basketball Team
Sergio Tacchini was the proud sponsor of Italy’s national basketball team.
Spanish tennis champion Sergi Bruguera has won numerous awards throughout his career, including back-to-back men’s singles titles at the French open in 1993 and 1994. He reached a career-high ranking of world no. 3 in 1994 by the association of tennis professionals, and went on to win a silver medal at the 1996 Olympics in men’s singles.
Martina Hingis is the daughter of professional Czech-tennis player Melanie Molitorová and highly-ranked Czech player Karol Hingis—tennis runs in Martina’s blood, literally. Named after world-renowned tennis champion Martina Navratilova, Hingis began playing tennis at 2 years old and subsequently dominated the sport from an early age. She famously set multiple “youngest-ever” records throughout the 1990s, including the youngest-ever world no. 1 ranking by the ATP in ’97 and youngest grand slam singles champion in the 20th century with her win at the Australian open, also in ‘97. That same year, she won Wimbledon and the US open, was champion in Australia again in ’98 and ’99, and was inducted into the international tennis hall of fame in 2013.
Currently endorsed by Sergio Tacchini, Croatian tennis champion Goran Ivanišević is known for his powerful left-handed serves, earning him a spot in the exclusive 10,000 club for career aces. He reached a career-high ranking as world no. 2 player by the ATP in 1994, and is famously the only player to hold a grand slam title at Wimbledon as a wildcard with his win in 2001. Having retired in 2004, Ivanišević coached Marin Cilić during his grand slam title win at the 2014 US Open.
Juan Carlos Ferrero
A master of the clay court, Spanish tennis champion Juan Carlos Ferrero won a grand slam singles title at the 2003 French open. Nicknamed “el mosquito” for his lithe build and on-court agility, Ferrero received a world no. 1 ranking by the ATP in 2003.
Sergio Tacchini Trimaran
In 2001, Sergio Tacchini launched its own namesake Orma60 Trimaran, skippered by brand ambassador Karine Fauconnier. A world-class sailor from France, Fauconnier embarked on a single-handed Trans-Atlantic race, “the transat,” aboard the 60ft. Multihull “Sergio Tacchini” in 2004.
Novak Djokovic is often considered the world’s best tennis player by the world’s best tennis players. A 16-times grand slam winner, he possesses every desirable skill of the sport—from his stunning serve and court coverage to an unbeatable service return, backhand, and baseline game, Djokovic’s versatility is unmatched. While sponsored by Sergio Tacchini in 2011, Djokovic won the Australian open, Wimbledon, and US Open, as well as 5 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, earning him a world no. 1 ranking by the ATP. He achieved a career grand slam in 2016, and is the 3rd player ever to hold all four grand slam titles at once.