Function Meets Form

New line of women's tennis attire resolves a practical challenge

BY ED NAKFOOR

Dmitri Diakonov lives and breathes tennis. Rated an Elite Professional by the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA), as well as Master of Performance with the Professional Tennis Registry — a global organization with more than 15,000 members across 125 countries — Diakonov has more than twenty years of playing experience under his belt. In addition to competitive play, Diakonov is an experienced instructor, teaching at a number of Detroit-area tennis clubs. 

But it was in the role of a spectator, that Diakonov recognized a need specific to women’s tennis: Unlike men’s tennis attire, women’s apparel overlooks the obvious question of where to put a second ball. 

“I was at the Western and Southern Tennis Open in Cincinnati a few years ago watching Dominika Cibulkova … the ball in her pocket was impeding her swing,” explains Diakonov. 

Engineered specifically to meet the needs of performance tennis, the CourtViper™ Series One features a pocket that allows the player to securely slip a tennis ball “in and under” during play. The patented technology makes fast on-court retrieval possible by merely reaching back for the next tennis ball.

Located along the back waistband, the double pockets are made of ultra premium fabric with breathable mesh vents. The fabric provides UV protection and features moisture-wicking fibers that allow for a faster drying time and increased comfort. 

“I saw an undeniable need for high quality, fashionable sportswear meeting the demands of performance tennis and on-court functionality. Women who wear them can’t believe how soft and supple they are,” says Diakonov. And with the widespread popularity of exercise clothing, he believes this attire makes for a smart fashion statement off the court as well. 

The CourtViper™ Series One is manufactured in limited runs and features multiple colors in capri and leggings styles. The line is marketed and distributed by Detroit-based On’Re Sport. 

Launched in 2016 after a year of prototyping 23 iterations, Diakonov seeks to set a new standard for women’s performance tennis apparel, aiming for a spirit of relentless focus, dynamic grit and a touch of rebellion. 

Plans for the future include the introduction of LuxAthletic, a companion brand geared less toward the performance customer. “It’s more for everyday wear but still embodies athleticism,” Diakonov says. Items in the Lux line will include a patented pocket design to securely store valuables, especially mobile phones. Diakonov adds, “There’s nothing like it.” 

ON’RE Sport apparel is available for purchase at onresport.com.