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Th'ink' talk: Tattoos in tennis

By Akshay Kohli    + Follow

Reads: 1,236, Comments: 0

Keywords: David-Nalbandian | Janko-Tipsarevic | Marat-Safin | Svetlana-Kuznetsova | Na-Li | Kim-Clijsters
Th'ink' talk: Tattoos in tennis
Getting your body inked may not be acceptable to everyone, but for some, it defines who they are or symbolizes someone or something important in their lives. Tennis players too have not held back when it comes to expressing themselves.


Tennis has a number of rules and regulations to follow, but it does not prohibit a player from getting himself/herself inked. Tennis stars are a diverse bunch of individuals when it comes to their body art; from the philosophical to the familial. Let’s have a look:

Kim Clijsters:

The former World No.1 has ‘B’ on her wedding finger. This ‘B’ is for Brian, her husband. “I’m not the most organised. I always had to put the ring away and take it on and off for practices.” The Belgian also has ‘Jada’, their daughter’s name, tattooed on the inside of her left wrist.

David Nalbandian:

The former Top-5 from Argentina has a bull tattooed on his right shoulder. This tattoo that was inspired by his idol, Guillermo Vilas, who during his playing was nicknamed ‘The Bull of the Pampas’. The tattoo was not visible to many as Nalbandian wore a semi-sleeves t-shirt most of the times.

Svetlana Kuznetsova:

The winner of the U.S. Open '04 and Roland Garros ‘09 has tattoos on both arms showing two meaningful sentences: one, in Russian, is dedicated to all those who criticized her during her career and means “Only God is our judge”. The other, in English, it sounds almost defiant: “The pain does not kill me, I kill the pain.”

Li Na:

As a romantic gesture for her husband, she had a red rose inked on her chest. “I had been with him for three years when I had it done – I wanted to do something for him and for us. I chose a rose because it’s romantic and having it on my chest means I have given my heart to him.”

Marat Safin:

Marat Safin's best known tattoo is on his left shoulder, a Chinese character that translates to “Hou” which means “Year of the Monkey”. Safin's Chinese astrology sign is Monkey. A year later he got two tattoos at the same time. On his right bicep, he tattooed a human eye and underneath that, a barcode. Safin also has a big sun on his back.

Janko Tipsarevic:

The Serb has a tattoo that is based on a quotation of Dostoevsky’s The Idiot stating, “Beauty will save the world”. He also has another tattoo engraved on his right shoulder in his mother language that interprets as ‘genius. He commented, “The first tattoo I did when I was 17. And when I showed up with my mouth piercing, my mother was chasing me with a knife around the house. Then after a while they got used to it and knew that my appearance isn’t anything to do with the kind of person that I am inside. Maybe it looks aggressive to other people but I don’t care.”

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