Serena Williams is part tennis player, part advocate, part fashion icon no matter where she goes. Yet nowhere is that more pronounced than in Paris at the French Open, where in 2018 she shook up sports talk and rules with her famous catsuit.
Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, revealed her 2019 look on Instagram over the weekend in a continuing Nike partnership with designs by Virgil Abhol.
The reveal prompted questions of if Williams would really play — and likely trip — on that long skirt. She answered it Monday during day two by ditching the skirt once she walked on to Court Philippe Chatrier.
The competition-ready version featured the words "mother, champion, queen and goddess" in French as part of the print.
She dropped the first set against Russia’s Vitalia Diatchenko, 2-6, and committed 14 unforced errors. She bounced back to win the second set, 6-1, and dominated the third, 6-0. It was her 800th career match victory.
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 27, 2019
Williams keeps Paris trends
Williams showed up at Roland-Garros in 2018 outfitted in a Wakanda-inspired catsuit that would fit in “Black Panther.” She said she felt like a superhero in it, especially after becoming a mom. It was a fashion statement, but also a choice for her health.
Williams made a return at last year’s competition less than a year after giving birth to her daughter. She experienced life-threatening complications from blood clots and the suit improved blood circulation during competition.
It drew the ire of French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli, who said the outfit would no longer be acceptable at the French Open. "One must respect the game and the place," he said.
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced rule change in December that allowed compression shorts and leggings.
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