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The History of Nike Tennis

Principal to the collection was a McEnroe logo: a red swoosh and revolutionary "Mc" emblem backed by a black-and-blue checkerboard, which paid homage to the taxis of the star's hometown and evoked the bruising he often delivered opponents. Corresponding apparel also championed the athlete's divergence from conventional tennis attire. Black, blue and red separates from the McEnroe line, paired with the player's preferred shoe: the Nike Air Trainer 1, transported the player and sport's influence beyond the court.

Nike's brash approach to tennis design persisted even as McEnroe...