Back in 2008, it took a monumental effort from watchmaker Richard Mille to convince Rafael Nadal to take the court wearing one of its ultra-light timepieces. Fast forward more than a decade, and Nadal is still wearing his signature watch during competition—and high-end watches have now become a staple of pro tennis attire.
It used to be part of a winning player’s post-match routine to swap out a sweaty wristband for a luxury Rolex before waving to the crowd or lifting the trophy, all while posing strategically in front of a scrum of photographers.
But with watches becoming ever more lightweight and durable—and with many ATP and WTA players earning disproportionately more of their income through sponsorships—watchmakers are keen to claim precious real estate on tennis pros’ wrists on and off the court.
From Nadal’s staple Richard Mille to Donna Vekic’s ‘élégante’ accessory, here are six tennis players who rocked their watches at the 2023 Australian Open: