Tennis Prose



Special Borg Fila Shoes Auction

April 29, 2021 NEWPORT, R.I. – In celebration of the recent launch of Kicks on Court, a new digital exhibit about the history of tennis shoes, the International Tennis Hall of Fame is auctioning off a pair of one-of-a-kind, hand-painted sneakers featuring art inspired by Hall of Famer Björn Borg. Proceeds of the auction will support the Hall of Fame’s programs and services to preserve and promote tennis history and inspire future generations.

Utilizing a pair of FILA Original Tennis LX men’s sneakers as his canvas, sneaker artist Paul Lempa developed a work of art that features a replica of Borg’s autograph and a finely detailed portrait of the 11-time major champion, along with artistic nods to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The shoes are hand-painted and are one-of-a-kind.

Sneaker Auction! Hand-painted Bjorn Borg inspired tennis shoes
Inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987, Borg won five straight Wimbledon titles from 1976 through 1980, as well as six Roland-Garros titles between 1974 and 1981. Topping off his history book results, the former world No. 1 also left a legacy in the sport as a style icon who wore FILA apparel on court.

Paul Lempa is an award-winning artist from New Jersey who specializes in painting as a means of celebrating the beauty and grace of athletes and sport. He frequently uses athletic shoes as a canvas. In recent years, his art has been featured in national publications, on Topps baseball cards, and in the National Art Museum of Sport. He was named one of the “Top-12 Artists to Collect” by Beckett Sports Card Monthly.

The special auction on these custom-designed shoes comes on the heels of the recent launch of Kicks on Court: How Tennis Shoes Impacted Pop Culture, an historical digital exhibit presented by the International Tennis Hall of Fame and FILA. The exhibit utilizes the Hall of Fame’s vast museum collection of tennis footwear to showcase its evolution over the past 100+ years, to highlight the personalities who have been integral to some of the sport’s great sneaker stories, and explore tennis footwear’s noteworthy influence into music, off-court fashion, and pop culture. Production of the historical digital exhibit was supported by FILA, a long-time partner of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Kicks on Court can be viewed at

The digital exhibit is part of the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s ongoing digital initiatives to share the inspiring and engaging stories of tennis history with fans around the world, reaching far beyond the walls of the Hall of Fame’s physical museum in Newport, RI.

The International Tennis Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization. Proceeds of the sneaker auction will directly support the Hall of Fame’s programs to preserve and promote tennis history, celebrate its greatest champions, and inspire the future of the sport. This work includes programs such as digital museum exhibits, operation of a physical museum, youth tennis and education programs, induction celebrations, and much more.

Online bidding in the sneaker auction will run April 28 – May 13, 2021 on

To bid or learn more go to:

Scoop Malinowski’s eleventh tennis book “Facing Bjorn Borg” will be published later this year.

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