Morgan Riddle is serving love and looks with her boyfriend Taylor Fritz.
The TikTok influencer, 26, spoke with PEOPLE about her recent fashion and jewelry collaborations that have centered on the world of tennis.
All this success would not have come, however, if Riddle had not been inspired by her tennis professional boyfriend, Fritz, 25, she tells PEOPLE. Together, the two hope to “make tennis cool again” — in other words, more appealing to a younger fan base, with Riddle as the face of the effort.
Riddle says that Fritz is “very shy,” so while he stays out of her content for the most part, he’s excited about her mission.
“I think that he appreciates that we both have this collective goal of bringing it to a younger crowd. He does his part of it and I do mine,” she tells PEOPLE. “I remember when him and I first met, within the first week or two, one of the things that he told me is, ‘I just want tennis to be cooler in our generation.’ It’s just not.”
To that end, Riddle says she was excited about her partnership with a small jewelry business, Lottie NYC, to make a bracelet and necklace with a tennis charm, because “to be able to create products for my demographic as a tennis fan, I just don’t think there are a ton of brands that really appeal to us as a group yet.” And she was ready to take the lead.
Riddle, who grew up in Minnesota, said that as a teenager and throughout her childhood she didn’t know anyone who played tennis. Popular athletic brands like Alo and Bandier weren’t making outfits that were specifically designed for tennis, she says. Now, tennis has made its waves within fashion, especially as tennis skirts and dresses become part of everyday wear for many Gen Z youth.
While finding success has been a whirlwind of a journey for Riddle over these last two years, she’s also experienced her fair share of critics who point out that tennis has been a well-watched sport in the U.S. for years, so the notion of “making it cool again” may fall flat. For Riddle, however, while the internet may be a “scary, scary place,” the feedback has mainly been “positive.”
“I think people understand I’m just trying to make wholesome content about my life and traveling and the sport as a whole,” she says.
Leading the Wimbledon Threads series with the iconic tournament itself, where she asked people on the street about the inspiration behind their looks, was “huge” for her, and a major opportunity to be “taken more seriously” among the tennis community.
“To be recognized by a tournament of that prestige is just a big win for me and people taking me a little bit more seriously in the tennis world, to be honest, because that’s something that I’ve struggled with,” she says. “I guess the older, maybe more misogynist side of the tennis fan base is my biggest group of people that I’ve been working to win over a little bit.”
As for what’s next for the aspiring YouTuber? “Keep building my brand,” she says. Riddle hopes to expand into longer-form content on YouTube, while maintaining her TikTok platform as well.
While she travels alongside Fritz everywhere from Tokyo, Japan (her favorite) to Bali, Indonesia, Riddle is just soaking it all in. For a small-town girl from Minnesota, going along for the ride that her personal and professional journey has taken her on has been the best part.
“I grew up from a much more lower middle-class background in Minnesota, so [traveling] just wasn’t accessible to me ever,” she says. “I never really believed that I would be able to see the world in that way. So to be able to explore different cities and different cultures and all these amazing places that we get to go on the Tour is just the dreamiest part of it.”