Serena Williams Champions Female Empowerment at the French Open in Sexy Two-Piece Uniform
Last year, her black catsuit was banned from the court.
After facing much criticism for the black catsuit she wore to last year's French Open — which was ultimately banned from the court — Serena Williams one-upped herself in a sexy two-piece uniform that subtly sent a message to the game's officials.
On Monday, Williams arrived at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris and beat her opponent, Vitalia Diatchenko, wearing a custom performance-level skirt and crop top with a matching cape emblazoned with the words for "Mother," "Champion," "Queen," and "Goddess" in French.
The bespoke Nike ensemble, designed in collaboration with Off-White's Virgil Abloh, not only championed female empowerment, but basically told the French Tennis Federation that she will not be silenced, after they deemed her previous uniform as disrespectful.
“I think that sometimes we’ve gone too far,” said French Tennis Federation President Bernard Giudicelli last summer, referencing Serena's compression catsuit, which helped fight off blood clots following the birth of her daughter, Alexis Olympia. "Serena's outfit this year, for example, would no longer be accepted. You have to respect the game and the place."
Fans were outraged by the Federation's sexist dress code, but Serena handled the controversy with total tact, telling reporters that she felt "like a warrior princess" and a "queen from Wakanda" in the skintight garment.
She also highlighted the health benefits of her former on-court fashion. “I’ve had a lot of problems with my blood clots, God I don’t know how many I’ve had in the past 12 months,” she said at the time. “I’ve been wearing pants, in general, a lot when I play so I can keep the blood circulation going."
When the Federation banned the catsuit, we bet they didn't have Serena's revealing performance-wear in mind as a game day alternative. But leave it to Williams, without uttering a single world, to tell them to take their newly-imposed dress restriction and stick it.