By Caitlin Thompson
Sometime around the sixth month of quarantine, the Instagram advertising algorithm finally cracked me and I surprised myself (though not, it should be noted, my wife) by becoming the proud owner of several iffy and outrageously expensive pieces of home wellness technology. I regret nothing. This year, self-care and a continued dedication to collecting beautiful printed matter have led me to believe that whatever happiness we can glean from retail therapy is probably worth it. That is the ethos I’m bringing into this unique holiday shopping season, as mailed care packages are taking the place of in-person gatherings, for the good of all. To that end, I’ve compiled an exhaustive list of gifts—from the required to the truly ridiculous—for the specific flavor of tennis lover in your life.
The Connoisseur of Arts & Letters
Start with a beautiful print from Catalan collage artist Marc Rabal, Coreografia Estrategica (“Strategic Choreography”), which we featured in Issue No. 2.
Every possible demographic will stan Stan Smith’s coffee-table book about the history and evolution of the world’s most popular sneaker: Some People Think I’m a Shoe.
We’ve all seen those vintage travel posters around the internet, but you definitely haven’t seen any of these original silkscreens, which celebrate the underappreciated Mexican tennis scene from the 1950s.
The best tournament poster since the back of Bjorn Borg’s head graced the French Open’s in ’81, this year’s Roland-Garros official print continues the tradition of high art.
And most crucial for the Racquet completist: Racquet: The Book, an anthology of the best writing from our first three years.
The On-Court Warrior
There’s a reason The Inner Game of Tennis is read by athletes and coaches of all sports—it’s a solid-gold gem that will (probably?) improve player performance. Couldn’t hurt player performance, of that we can be sure.
Anyone who’s listened to our podcast knows Rennae and I are obsessed with our Slinger ball machines—especially for times when practice partners can be hard to come by.
You think warrior and you can’t help but picture a very pumped and sweat-slicked Rafa. His end-of-the season kit is especially fire this year.
Not all women dabble in menswear and non-tennis clothing as much as I do, and for those women there is Tory Sport: simple, flattering, astoundingly well-made. You won’t mess it up with a terry crew and chevron legging. Throw a scarf and beanie in there, and you’re done.
I’m obsessed with recovery, so I can’t really say enough good things about my HyperIce Hypervolt, which also has an app that can customize your “muscle hygiene routine.”
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention our dope NYC-public-parks-inspired collab with adidas, featuring these Defiant shoes and specially reissued 1980s Forest Hills throwbacks.
The Purpose-driven Tennis Enthusiast
Our friends at the trippy tennis destination The Courts, situated at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in California, are open for visits but also have a curated online store featuring handcrafted and eccentric products, which funds their annual artist-in-residence program.
Speaking of handcrafted, some of our favorite on- and off-court gear comes from Re-Inc, the brand founded by a gaggle of USWNT soccer stars. Cop one of their sustainable kits, or dig deeper into the ethically sourced accessories like blankets and a DIY paint set.
Wilson made a major step forward with the release of the Trinti ball, which lasts longer and is made with upcycled and recycled materials. A whole case can last up to a year.
Tennis is S L O W L Y starting to get on the right side of single-use plastic, and nobody has done a better job than the All England Lawn Tennis Club. Give Wimbledon some props by replacing your bottled water with this metal beauty from their online shop.
As always, cash is the easiest gift to give—make a donation in your recipient’s name to a cause that helps tennis. Sloane Stephens, Andy Roddick, Zina Garrison, Andre Agassi, and Kamau Murray all have education- and enrichment-based charitable orgs, or go with our local favorite: Brooklyn’s Kings County Tennis League.
The Hypebeast / Hypebae
Get on the stick with our newly refreshed Parqs & Rec collection. Most of this sold out in two days the last time we put them up, so don’t delay!
This silk-centric collection from Casablanca will place you spiritually (if not physically) at a riad with a bubbling fountain courtyard.
Does anyone need a YSL check-patterned racquet? Need is not the correct rubric by which to evaluate this collaboration between the French fashion house and Wilson.
Hypechildren, take note: Gucci has something extremely just for you!
The Racquet Gift Subscription
And last but certainly not least, give the gift of Racquet with our Gift Subscription: Starting with Issue No. 15, this gift certificate is good for a four-issue subscription to our award-winning magazine. At checkout, simply input the recipient’s shipping address where prompted, and provide their email address in “Order Notes” at the bottom of the checkout page (required to notify gift recipient). We’ll inform them of the gift on Dec. 25, 2020.